Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Aspirations of a new life in Cardiff

An exhibition examining what it is like to settle in a new city will be launched in Cardiff on September 11 and will open to the public the following day.

The British Council’s OPENCities Photographic Exhibition will be staged at the Old Library in The Hayes and will give a first-hand glimpse of the experience of living in a new city.

The British Council commissioned UK photographer and writer Len Grant – a specialist in regeneration and urban issues, to curate the vibrant and candid look at city living.

The exhibition will tour eight major European cities in 2009 and 2010 including Belfast, Bilbao,
Cardiff, Dublin, Madrid, Sofia, Dusseldorf and Vienna. Talented young photographers from all eight countries have been commissioned to examine their city and to bring us their personal view of the human stories there.

Five of the photographers are new migrants and have worked from personal experience. The photographers all enjoyed complete freedom of expression and this is reflected in the thought-provoking images they have produced for the exhibition.

Cardiff contribution to the project comes from locally born and bred Gareth Phillips. Gareth’s project followed pupils from St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Canton.

St Mary’s was chosen for the project because it has a large number of pupils from migrant families. The school has welcomed children from five continents and 16 languages are spoken.

Gareth said, ”I asked new migrants to
Cardiff about their aspirations for their children and what they see when they look out of the window. I wanted to include some aspect of openness so decided to place the subjects in front of a window in their house, with the one flash to create a spotlight and a shadow behind them. The shadow to me is a representation of whom they once were and where they once lived.”

The exhibition will be opened in
Cardiff by the Lord Mayor Cllr Brian Griffiths and Leader of Cardiff Council Cllr Rodney Berman, and will include a premiere of the OPENCities film, which followed Gareth as he undertook his photography project.

As part of the OPENCities exhibition launch in
Cardiff a panel discussion, chaired by Noreen Bray, will ask members of the city’s business, education, cultural and sporting communities, including the chief executive of the city’s biggest manufacturing employer Memory Lane Cakes, and a player from Cardiff City Football Club, what they think makes Cardiff a welcoming city to live, work and play, and what we can all do to make Cardiff a more open city.

Council Leader Cllr Rodney Berman said, “
Cardiff has a strong and proud tradition of welcoming economic migrants. As a city it has grown considerably over the past 200 years, with the endeavour and innovation of migrants contributing significantly to its success. By attracting people from across the globe we have not only created a prosperous capital, but also a lively and energetic city with its own distinct Cardiff character.

“We continue to welcome economic migrants who are contributing as much to our city today as those who arrived over 200 years ago. Through our participation in the OPENCities project,
Cardiff will help to cement its reputation as a cosmopolitan city with an international outlook and a place where people want to come to live and work.”

OPENCities will also run a series of educational and cultural events to capture the spirit of a diverse
Cardiff. One of these events will be the OPENCities Soundtrack radio competition which will run during the exhibition and will aim to find outstanding new and original songs and instrumental tracks which reflect and enhance the moods and messages of the images in the exhibition.

The competitions will be open to musicians and singers of all ages and styles. Solo singers, rock bands, rap artists, choirs, individual musicians and instrumental groups will all be welcome.

The exhibition is open from the public from the 12th September to 13th October, and visitors will be asked to say what they think makes
Cardiff an open city, and what can be done to make the city even more open.

Director of the British Council Wales Dr Kevin Higgins said, “We want the people of
Cardiff, and visitors to the city, to tell us what they think makes Cardiff an open city, and what we can all do to make Cardiff a more attractive place to live and work”


Post a Comment

| Home | Main Site | About Us | Contact Us | Follow us on Twitter | Join us on Facebook |