An art installation promoting dialogue on racial justice at St Paul’s Cathedral has received a blessing during a service attended by 1,700 pupils from London church schools.
The installation, named ‘Tributaries of Knowledge’ was crafted by British-Trinidadian artist Bryony Benge-Abbott, is one of over 100 globes created as part of The World Reimagined art education project, created to transform how the transatlantic slave trade is understood and viewed.
With over 100 globes created nationwide, this project aims to reshape perceptions of the transatlantic slave trade, reaching 3.52 million individuals across seven UK cities in 2022.
The London Diocesan Board for Schools (LDBS), a charity supporting over 150 Church of England schools and over 55,000 students in London, bid for and secured a globe for half-term display across the capital.
The globe, which honours the legacy of Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was blessed during the service themed on reconciliation by Bishop Lusa Nsenga Ngoy of Willesden.
Following the service, the globe will find its next home at St Paul’s Primary School in Friern Barnet.
Reflecting on the importance of educating children on racial justice, Bishop Sarah Mullally of London stressed the significance of using art as a medium for learning.
“Teaching the next generation about racial justice, the transatlantic slave trade and its devastating consequences is crucial if we are to prepare children as conscientious, respectful and welcoming members of society.
"Learning through the medium of art is one such way, so I am delighted that so many children at today’s service engaged with the installation, and that many more will have the opportunity as it visits different church schools across the Capital.”
The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, highlighted the upcoming 60th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s sermon, underscoring the progress in race relations while acknowledging persisting challenges.
He expressed hope that the globe would spark meaningful conversations among London's schoolchildren and visitors alike, fostering positive change.
Michelle Gayle, actress and Co-Founder of The World Reimagined, added that “It’s wonderful to see how successfully the LDBS schools have engaged today with the globe, ‘Tributaries of Knowledge,’ and its themes of racial justice and environmentalism.
"The World Reimagined will continue to support the globe on its journey to allow even more children to learn, reflect and be inspired into affecting positive change.”