Using the power of AR to champion lesser known black history through prominent statues. Turning augmented reality into black reality.

The Challenge

Position Snap as a leader in AR and highlight its AR’s ability to be a powerful medium for storytelling, advocacy and representation

Increase awareness and educate the general public and Gen Z on (often hidden) Black British history in the public realm

Drive quality media coverage, which discusses Snap’s thoughtful and creative approach to a complex and important topic

The Approach

After the Black Lives Matter protests around the world and UK cities, celebratory statues immortalising key figures in history were being scrutinised for their ties to a colonial past. The wider issue is that while these debates continue, the statues remain standing – often without their full historical context. While other significant black figures from history haven’t been recognised at all. ​

This injustice is at the heart of the campaign’s strategy; to use Snapchat’s augmented reality lenses to bring new context and black stories to life, revealing the hidden black history that’s all around us.   

The Solution

To ensure Snapchat approached this topic in a thoughtful and measured way, a panel of experts chaired by the British Cultural Archives was formed in order to select appropriate statues and stories for contextualisation. This panel include individuals from Slavery Remembrance, Black History Walks, Mary Seacole Trust and one of the authors of 100 Great Black Britons.​

On 11 February 2022, Tukwini Mandela revealed Hidden Black Stories, a suite of new AR experiences as part of Snap’s ongoing commitment to lend its platform to underrepresented communities and showcase the power of AR as an advocacy tool. ​The biggest was a Local Lens built around Trafalgar Square, which tells the stories of different Black individuals in the spheres of art, sport, politics and the armed services. ​

Pieces of coverage
Pieces of broadcast coverage including Good Morning Britain, Sky News & Women's Hour
Online coverage views
Social reach

“We are delighted with the success of the Hidden Black Stories campaign. Working with Snapchat to shine a light on these under-appreciated histories has brought wide-reaching coverage across a variety of media platforms, and generated valuable awareness of the Black Cultural Archives. As a result of this initiative, engagement on our website was 58% higher than our average, therefore encouraging audiences to learn more about Black British history – and appreciate why Black history is British history.”

Lisa Anderson, BCA


Snapchat Hidden Black Stories

Using the power of AR to champion lesser known black history through prominent statues. Turning augmented reality into black reality.

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