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Altogether now! City’s sculptures united as free art attraction

Swansea’s 10 globes from its city-centre public art trail are being displayed in one place for the first time to create a unique, educational experience.

The free spectacle of The World Reimagined sculptures all together in St David’s Square is perfect for families and culture vultures looking for some free time well-spent during October – Black History Month.

They’ll be in their new location – between the St David’s and St Mary’s churches – until early November.

The groundbreaking free experience explores themes ranging from Mother Africa to Still We Rise and Expanding Soul with an enormous range of interpretations and creative styles.

The sculptures are an invitation for people, families, businesses and communities to talk together about how they understand their history; how the past – particularly the UK’s relationship with the Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans – shapes the future; and how to act for social change to make racial justice a reality.

The globes will be between the St David’s and St Mary’s churches until early November (Image: Swansea Council)

Swansea’s sculpture trail has been created by the artists Mfikela Jean Samuel, Laura Bolton, Abbi Bayliss, GE, Hazel Blue, Joshua Donkor, Joanna Cohn, Carol Sorhaindo, Parys Gardener and Kyle Legall.

Until last week placed as a walkable trail across Swansea city centre, the globes have now come together in St David’s Square for the second half of Black History Month to allow visitors a unique opportunity to view and enjoy all 10 large scale artworks at once.

The globes have been moved as part of a Black History Month exhibition (Image: Swansea Council)

As people visit the globes, they will also be able to explore an online collection of short, accessible stories that bring this history and its modern day impacts to life.

Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, this unique collection features contributions from historians, museums and heritage organisations, including Professor Kehinde Andrews, the British Library and CHART at Swansea University.

Supported by Swansea Council, the globes will be in St David’s Square for key moments such as the city’s half-term school holidays.

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For parents looking to introduce their children with the history and cause of racial justice, The World Reimagined also offers free online resources for artistic and creative activities they can do at home to start the conversation.

The resources build on its learning programme that has been delivered in more than 200 UK schools over the last year. A number of Swansea schools created their own smaller globe sculptures.

With Swansea Council venues and community organisations across Swansea also hosting their own events and activities as part of the programme, The World Reimagined is one of the largest art education projects for racial justice the UK has ever seen.

Bringing together art, education, activism and community, it captures a unique moment in time to examine a shared history, helping audiences to better understand what it means to be British.

All the globes brought together at St David’s square (Image: Swansea Council)

On October 30 the city’s African Community Centre is organising a parade starting from the Grand Theatre’s Multi Cultural Hub and ending with workshops and music in celebration of the project and month at the National Waterfront Museum.

Michelle Gayle, co-founder of The World Reimagined, said: “It has been so exciting to see how people have responded to the Swansea globe trail. Now, we’ve made it even easier for people to feel the collective power of these incredible, thought-provoking and inspiring works of art. They invite us to understand it is not Black history – it’s all of our history. And all of us have a role to play in the work of making racial justice a reality. So we hope that people will visit the globes now they’re all together in St David’s Square.”

Swansea Council cabinet member Elliott King said: “Our city has a long history of supporting and welcoming diverse communities – as a City of Sanctuary, a city of culture and now as a Human Rights city.

“In 2020, along with others in the city, we made a commitment to better reflect the history and cultural heritage of all our communities. This was formalised when the council agreed a Black Lives Matter motion.

“Through the work of our cultural and community services we continue to honour this pledge and we encourage all our residents to come and see just one example this October – The World Reimagined globes. We pledge to deliver many more great experiences for all our visitors and residents.”

(Lead image: Swansea Council)