New art trail uses shared histories to bring about racial justice

16 August 2022

Southwark welcomes four globes marking a sculpture trail to transform our understanding of the transatlantic slave trade and how we can take action to make racial justice a reality, together.

This is part of a national art education project called The World Reimagined. 103 uniquely designed globes mark out trails tracking across seven UK cities. They explore the history, legacy and future of the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans, through the work of outstanding artists.

The globes will bring people, families and communities together to talk about how we understand our history, how our past shapes our future and how we can act for social change.

Southwark’s free art trail starts in Peckham and runs from 13 August to 31 October. Visitors can collect a physical map from Peckham Library and follow 10 globes along a path of learning and discovery that will take them to Brixton.

Artist Birungi Kawooya produced the first globe on Southwark’s art trail, now located on Peckham Square. Birungi was inspired through community workshops with members from Elim House and Peckham Platform.

Birungi said: “The globe was inspired by the participants tireless work, love and care that they pour in the community, so I decided to create a site of rest and restoration for them with a globe featuring tropical plant life that is reminiscent of their countries of origin. One of the participants brought a baby banana tree and I love banana trees, it was a match made in Peckham!”

Cllr Alice Macdonald, Cabinet Member for Equalities, Neighbourhoods and Leisure, said: “We are delighted to be a part of this national project, as part of our broader work tackling injustice and inequality, here in Southwark.

“We understand the importance of coming together, sharing experiences and reinterpreting our history. As we work toward the social change that is needed to create a more equitable and fairer future for everyone.

“I’d like to thank artists Jasmine, Susan, Alison and Birungi, for their work bringing Southwark’s globes to life with meaning and beauty.

“I’d also like to thank community members who took part in the workshops with Birungi and all the children who contributed to the five smaller globes. I would encourage everyone to take the World Reimagined trail and see them all.”

The World Reimagined looks at Africa before the slave trade. Then the slave trade. It moves on to abolition, agency and emancipation. It touches on the Windrush Generation and how slavery still lives with us now. It also celebrates the many great Black leaders in fields from business to activism, and sport to the arts.

The other globes respond to each of the nine themes of the project’s Journey of Discovery. 

Page last updated: 16 August 2022