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Second City to host national artistic event next year


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Birmingham City Council today announced that Birmingham would be a host city for The World Reimagined – a national art education project that works to transform our understanding of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and its impact on all of us to help us make racial justice a reality.


In development since 2019, The World Reimagined will see trails of large globe structures in cities across the UK from August to October 2022.  Artists will create the sculptures to bring to life the reality and impact of the Transatlantic Slave Trade – responding to the themes ranging from ‘Mother Africa’ and ‘The Reality of Being Enslaved’ to ‘Still We Rise’ and ‘Expanding Soul’.


Confirmed participating artists and icons so far include The World Reimagined’s Founding Artist Yinka Shonibare CBE; Lakwena Maciver; Zak Ové; Nicola Green; Maxim (Prodigy); Sir Trevor McDonald and Lina Viktor.


Alongside Birmingham, The World Reimagined will see trails in 7 other cities across the UK, with 250+ schools and colleges participating in an experiential learning programme, and 1m+ visitors actively engaging with the trails.


Michelle Gayle, a co-founder of The World Reimagined, said: “Given Birmingham’s deep historical connections to the Transatlantic Slave Trade through the city’s manufacturing sector, it was imperative for The World Reimagined to take place here, building on the powerful dialogue being had in the city around our shared history and racial justice.


“The response we’ve had so far from communities, artists, school – everyone – shows the desire for a multi-dimensional telling of our shared history – honouring the many people and organisations who have worked in pursuit of racial justice and extending an invitation to all to join the conversation. We hope you will join us.”


The trails will be the centre of a broader learning and community programme – with schools, community groups, sporting and cultural institutions from across Birmingham taking part – that will deliver significant, proven community benefit as well as economic and visitor uplift as Birmingham continues its recovery from COVID.


The World Reimagined team will work closely over the next year of development with people, organisations and communities across Birmingham to ensure that the final trails and activities are deeply connected to Birmingham’s communities and place.


Councillor John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities at Birmingham City Council, said: “There are stories in Birmingham’s history that we need to own: whilst we can’t rewrite history, we can and must learn from it. The World Reimagined provides a creative and vital opportunity to do just that.


“The World Reimagined provides a platform for our diverse communities to share their stories and have conversations, so we can ensure that in the Birmingham of 2021, tackling inequalities is everyone’s battle and everyone’s business.”


Written by: David Watkins

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