I hope you're doing well - I thought I would reach out to you, hoping that you might be able to support our campaign. I am looking to spread the word about ‘Decolonising Wembley.’
This project aims to address the imperial nostalgia among urban professionals involved in the construction of Wembley. Specifically, it involves retroactively renaming the streets and buildings that commemorate the 1924 British Empire Exhibition. We're approaching the 100-year anniversary of the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley where the famous Kings Speech took place - by addressing modern commemorations at Wembley, we hope to raise awareness about the legacy of British imperialism and encourage people to reconsider their relationship with it.
There will be a few high-profile public talks that we'll be delivering on this.
The figure below highlights the 22 known commemorations of the British Empire Exhibition.
‘Decolonising Wembley’ is a project aimed at challenging the celebration of British imperialism and the legacy of the 1924 British Empire Exhibition. The project aims to investigate the realities of British imperialism, the raison d’etre of the 1924 British Empire Exhibition, and the nomenclature of assets such as roads, buildings, open spaces, etc. at Wembley, London that commemorate and celebrate this contested event in history.
The project dissects the act of naming a street or building after an event, person, or building as an act of celebration that honours and memorializes the Exhibition’s legacy. Thereby preserving and romanticizing a contested narrative in Wembley’s history for generations to come.
Decolonising Wembley is a collaborative project that brings together academics, historians, activists, and community members – that seek to challenge the imperial nostalgia among urban professionals involved in the construction of Wembley and to promote a more critical understanding of the past. One of the key aspects of the project is the retroactive renaming of streets, open spaces and buildings that commemorate the 1924 British Empire Exhibition. This renaming process is an important step towards acknowledging the complexities of history and the impact of colonialism on the world.
The project also investigates the raison d’etre of the 1924 British Empire Exhibition and its role in promoting British imperialism. This research aims to deepen our understanding of the event and its impact, and to provide a more nuanced perspective on the legacy of British imperialism.
The launch of the Decolonising Wembley project is an important initiative that seeks to challenge the celebration of empire and to promote a more critical understanding of the past.
This is a serious cause of concern, especially as Brent is one of Britain’s most diverse boroughs – British imperialism has caused much strife and pain for our communities, Lord Woolley CBE said it best:
“For many, including me, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, to revere about the empire. It means slavery, murder, theft, barbaric cruelty and colonialism. We cannot and must not attempt to erase our history, but we can choose which parts we put on a pedestal.”
For more information about the Decolonising Wembley project, please visit our website at www.decolonisingwembley.com and visit the socials @decolonising.wembley
Urbanist // Cultural Producer // Creative Practitioner