The morning team TMC mute session finishes just before 2pm and following some loud closing of laptops, shuffling of chairs and waves across the office, we’ve all gathered down in Rutland Street to explore the Globe Sculptures on the trail of The World Reimagined. Our Orange Mighty Unmute badges are prominent on our coats, and we’re determined to show them to anyone who’s interested, albeit in silence.
The World Reimagined is billed as “a Journey of Discovery to transform how we understand the Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans and its impact on all of us, so that we can make justice a reality.”
So we head over first to the Globe Sculpture made by artist Laura-Kate Pontefract, inspired by the theme Mother Africa, being shown at Leicester Station.
Except it’s not there: we discover that the rail dispute has led to the globe being moved over to Leicester’s New Walk. The doors to the station are locked, there’s no sign of the globe and the only significant signage is a notification from East Midlands Railway about the station’s closure.
Outside the station, we wave to the members of picket line who wave back and show some interest in our orange Mighty Unmute badges although no-one steps up to snap the QR code on the badges. One missed fundraising moment silently passes us by.
Somewhere in the back of my memory, I’m reminded of the links between the railways and the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans but as we’re all on mute for the day, that conversation will have to wait for another time. One missed understanding moment silently passes us by.
We continue at pace to where Laura-Kate Pontefract’s Globe Sculpture is located at New Walk. Within close proximity to the second globe on the trail by Roy Meats. (theme: The Reality of Being Enslaved) the effect of the globes is audible. Our muteness becomes even quieter and our silence even noisier.
We stare, we read, we reflect, we genuflect. One passer by looks at us quizzically and tries asking us what we’re doing and what the globes are about. We direct his stare to our orange badges but he’s in a hurry and won’t be hanging around to find out. He sees the word ‘mute’ on them and thinks that’s a reason for him not to talk to us any more so he hurries off after his walking partner. One missed understanding moment silently passes him by.
But it’s soon time for us to move on to the third Globe Sculpture up in Victoria Park. The autumn chill is finding its way into our joints and we still have a lot of walking to do.
The Mighty Creatives staff team took part in the Mighty (UN)Mute, a day-long vow of silence, on the 5th October. You can check out the campaign here and donate your hard-earned disposable income here.
Or if neither of these is possible (and heaven knows we’re all in tough financial times right now), then anything you can do to share and shout about the campaign would be equally welcome and appreciated.