Artists’ globes mark Lambeth slavery education trail

globe sculpture in public square
Richard Mensah’s Lambeth Community Globe in Windrush Square

Lambeth council is taking part in The World Reimagined, an art education project designed to transform understanding of the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans.

Its trails feature temporary globe installations that will stand in cities across the UK until the end of Black History Month on 31 October. There is one in Windrush Square.

One trail goes from Lambeth to Southwark, running from Peckham to Borough Market, over to the South Bank and Waterloo, on to Vauxhall and then down to Stockwell and Brixton, ending at Windrush Square.

A community globe in Peckham and the one in Brixton have been designed by artists working with local people.

Lambeth council is looking at opportunities to keep this globe at the end of the project and find a permanent home for it.

globe sculpture next to war memorial
Expanding Soul by Dreph in Stockwell, picture by Mark Allen

Cllr Donatus Anyanwu, council cabinet member for stronger communities, leisure and sports, said: “We are delighted to be a host borough for this important educational, engaging and creative project.

“It approaches a painful historical period in a way that improves our understanding of the impact and legacy of the slave trade.

“The transatlantic trade in enslaved africans has never really been properly addressed or taught in our educations system.

“For the sake of honesty, learning and avoiding the mistakes of the past The World Reimagined has a really important role to play for us all.”

An app and website enable visitors to navigate the trails and explore themes around the slave trade and racial justice and how they connect to the local area.

Locations, themes and artists for the Lambeth globes are as follows:

Emma Cons Gardens (Waterloo) – A Complex Triangle – Alvin Kofi

Old Paradise Gardens (Vauxhall) – Echoes in the Present – Gail Stirling-Robinson 

Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens – Still We Rise – Vashti Harrison

Stockwell Memorial Gardens – Expanding Soul – Dreph

Max Roach Park – Reimagine the Future – Suchi Chidambaram

Windrush Square – Lambeth Community Globe – Richard Mensah

sculpture in public square

The project is accompanied by an extensive learning programme, including community workshops, heritage trails, and school resources.

There is an exhibition of smaller globes, that have been created by local schools in Lambeth and neighbouring boroughs.

Three of these smaller globes are currently on display in Lambeth town hall’s reception area in Brixton.

Michelle Gayle, co-founder of The World Reimagined, said: “We know that the greatest force for progress and justice is people coming together in understanding, in conversation and in action.

“That is what we have seen so far in the artists, activists, schools, community groups, businesses and councils who have made The World Reimagined possible.

“And these thought-provoking, challenging and inspiring works of art that are now transforming the streets of our host cities 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 you will explore the trails and join the conversation.”