Addressing Imperial Nostalgia and Commemorations of the 1924 British Empire Exhibition.

Decolonising Wembley’ is a campaign aimed at challenging the celebration of British imperialism and the legacy of the 1924 British Empire Exhibition. The campaign understands the act of naming a street or building after an event, person, or building as an act of celebration that honors and memorialises the Exhibitions legacy. Thereby preserving and romanticising a contested narrative in Wembley’s history for generations to come. 

This is a serious cause of concern, especially as the London Borough of Brent is home to one of Britain’s most diverse communities – and British imperialism, as well as its legacy, 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.”

The campaign seeks 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.

Tracker last updated Friday 11th August 2023

The campaign 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 ‘Decolonising Wembley’ campaign is an important initiative that seeks to challenge the celebration of empire and to promote a more critical understanding of the past.

Read the open letter and sign the petition:

More information can be found on: ︎ @decolonising.wembley

Email for collaboration: ✉ Email

An urbanist who ‘decolonizes’ London. Until the ‘history of domination’ embedded in place names is unraveled”, IDEAS FOR GOOD JAPAN (2023) —