Yinka Shonibare’s The World Reimagined, 2021. Image: courtesy Hackney Council

Hackney is set to welcome a number of public artworks to its streets this summer as part if a UK-wide art and education initiative.

The World Reimagined takes the form of a series of walking trails, dotted with works by high-profile artists, designed to challenge people’s understanding of the transatlantic slave trade and its impact on the world.

The initiative will see Hackney collaborate with other London boroughs including Camden, Lambeth and the City of London.

Seven cities across the UK are taking part, with over 250 schools and colleges participating in an experiential learning programme. More than two million visitors are expected to walk the trails.

Co-founder Michelle Gayle said: “If we’re going to make racial justice a reality for all, it calls on us to courageously face our shared history with honesty, empathy and grace. If we do that, we can create a future in which everyone can say I’m seen.

“That’s the mission of The World Reimagined and we’re so delighted to work with the people and communities of London.

“The response we’ve had so far from communities, artists, schools, everyone across the country 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.”

High-profile artists who have taken part in the trails include Zak Ové, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Lakwena Maciver, Maxim, Nicola Green and Kimathi Donkor, but the list is extensive.

While the artwork is on display, residents and visitors will be able to take part in walking tours, which will educate participants about the slave trade and its history.

Each trail will consist of 10 globe sculptures – one for each of the nine themes of the World Reimagined’s ‘Journey of Discovery’. A tenth globe designed by an artist in collaboration with community groups will ensure the trails remain rooted in their respective areas.

The Hackney trail will form a 60- to 90-minute walking tour for residents and visitors, who will learn about the valuable contributions of diverse communities in the borough and the UK.

Schools and colleges in Hackney will also be able to access free learning resources created by The World Reimagined.

Details on the locations of the globes and the full walking trail will be announced in the coming months.