If you were wandering around Bristol this weekend, you might have noticed some new globe sculptures popping up. Ten unique globes have been created by Bristol and UK artists, and dotted throughout the city centre. They form a new sculpture trail that starts in Royal Fort Gardens and finishes in Broadmead. But what is it all about?
This globe sculpture trail is part of a new UK-wide charitable art project, The World Reimagined, that invites the public to explore the UK’s relationship with the transatlantic trade of enslaved Africans. Each globe is a different response to the topic, covering themes of Mother Africa to Still We Rise and Expanding Soul. The World Reimagined invites Bristolians to take the trail and learn more about the city’s dark and complicated past.
Bristol has a well documented involvement in the transatlantic slave trade that officially started in 1698, although for many centuries prior slaves were sold in the port also. As late as 1789, trade to Africa and the West Indies was estimated to be over 80% of Bristol’s abroad trade. And one of Bristol’s most famed philanthropists, Edward Colston, was also a known slave trader.
This is much more than a history lesson, however. The World Reimagined hopes to also inspire conversation on; how the slave trade has impacted on modern life; to better understand what it means to be Black and British; and, by remembering the past, how we can help make racial justice a reality.
“The trail will help us to consider our city’s legacy, learn about the injustices of the past, and contribute to our ongoing debate about identity and belonging while celebrating Bristol’s diverse and vibrant culture.” said Councillor Ellie King.
Running until October 31, similar trails are also taking place in six other cities that include Birmingham, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, and Swansea. For more information and a map of the trail see here.
The World Reimagined trail in suggested order:
Maize and Grace by Emma Blake Morsi
Royal Fort Gardens
Race by Godfried Donkor
Stolen Legacy: The Rebirth of a Nation by BS51
Hidden Gems by Oshii Rowan
Wanderers of the Empire by Bandele Iyapo
Old Market roundabout
Legacy by Adam Grose
Trinity Community Arts Centre
Like the Sun by Felix ‘FLX’ Braun
Peel Street green space
Ascension by Michele Curtis
St Paul’s Learning Centre
Foundations by Jasmine Thompson
Grosvenor Road Triangle
Under the Skin by 3dom