Working with academic researchers at the University of South Wales and the University of Birmingham in conjunction with Storyworks UK and community partners in the Valleys through 2016, Stories of Change Cardiff have collated oral histories and stories, written poetry and prose, together with other audio and visual material, expressing South Wales Valleys' relationship to energy and the politics of the power generation.
Keen to create a legacy with this material by capturing and reflecting back those stories to the people who gave their time, ideas and emotion, the project culminated in a performance commissioned by Louise Osbourn using verbatim material and interpretation of the responses. It was presented in Ynysybwyl around a fire pit on the top of an old coal tip.
The event stimulated a great deal of discussion and debate and it was decided that these voices ought to be heard by the people at the seat of power in Wales - the Senedd.
The Stories of Change exhibition and performance took place in the Neuadd of the Senedd in April 2017, giving voice to people in the South Wales valleys who have been exploring their changing relationships with energy over the decades.
“That triple nexus of culture, energy and power has been right at the core of our history for certainly the last century, and here we are at the centre of power...”
Assembly Member Adam Price AM was happy to support, give the opening address and contribute an interview*.
Storyworks were commissioned to create a new exhibition presenting the research and Louise Osborn re-worked the performance material into a 20 minute piece with actors Sam Bees, Anwen Carlisle and Nathan Sussex. 180 local authority officers and politicians, arts and cultural organisations and individuals, policy makers, local businesses, education specialists. press and media were invited.
Social media posts in lead up to event invited questions surrounding the theme “Art & Climate Change”.
What people said...
“Excellent. Captures experiences of real people in a powerful way.”
“Very moving as well as informative.”