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Hi! I'm Helia. Blog boss at We Are Cardiff, I mostly love culture, travel, reading, writing, and riding my bike. Cardiff, Wales, and the world!

Did you miss us in the Guardian last week?

Fear not! You can read the article online here
Patrick Barkham – Local bloggers: voices from the global village (Guardian G2, Tuesday 20 March)

Also, did we mention we’re making a film of We Are Cardiff? We’re crowdfunding it, so we need YOU to donate some pennies! Visit our Indiegogo campaign where you can invest in the film in exchange for great rewards like getting your name in the credits, posters and free t-shirts
We Are Cardiff documentary film fundraising page

Also, why not join our We Are Cardiff page on Facebook

or follow @WeAreCardiff on Twitter

And of course we’re still looking for residents of Cardiff to feature on this blog! So if you’re interested, ping us an email at


we are cardiff – in the guardian!


we couldn’t be happier today – our lovely little project is featured in the guardian! and well done to photographer simon ayre, whose lovely picture of zoe howerska adorns the cover of g2.

what are you waiting for? go buy a copy! now!!

Help us make We Are Cardiff: the documentary!

Very very exciting news… we have decided to move our project on to the next level, and make We Are Cardiff: Portrait of a City!

It’s a documentary about our fair city. Basically think about how great our website is – and then imagine how amazing it would be on screen!

We’re trying to raise the sum of $4500 – please help us by donating anything you can afford to our IndieGogo campaign!

Here’s some background to the film, and to the whole project.

Our Story

Two years ago, a group of friends got annoyed with all the negative stuff they kept reading about Cardiff in the national newspapers (like it’s the capital of drunk and debauched Britannia, etc etc).

So they created a website called We Are Cardiff, designed to give a more authentic account of the lives of ordinary people who live in our ordinary little city.

We’ve always said we wanted to give a balanced version of the kind of city we live, in rather than the one dimension (drunks/chavs/benefit scroungers/hen parties) you get from most national media.

But if you look at the We Are Cardiff website, you’ll see we’ve still not really achieved that. We have a collection of lovely stories from lovely people, but there are parts of the city that we don’t have any stories from, and countless minorities and community groups who deserve to be featured.

We haven’t had any funding and have been running the project in our spare time, just because we felt like it should be done. But because of the limited time and resource, we haven’t managed to be as comprehensive in our city coverage as we wanted.

So what better way to get the balance right than in a film? “We Are Cardiff: Portrait of A City”?

We feel passionately that we live in a great city that has a lot to offer, and has some really amazing people living in it. We want to document that – as a snapshot of a place in time.We aren’t film makers. (not at all). We have our strengths – mine is writing, Adam’s is designing, and Simon’s is all things web. We’ll be planning the film, interviewing our people, and doing any graphic design and web building ourselves (as those are things that we can do).

BUT we need to rope in the talents of film types to help us film the interviews and sequences for the film, and edit the whole thing together so it looks good and is a joy to watch. Hiring equipment and doing post-production work all cost money, and we have no skills to do that stuff.

So we’re looking for a little cash to help us get this thing shot, edited together, looking lovely, and ready to view! DONATE TO OUR CAMPAIGN HERE

Once the film has been created, it will be put online on a website where it can be streamed live and watched by anyone, anywhere, anytime, though we’re also planning to have a screening and launch party in Cardiff before the film goes online. We want to have the film completed by the end of 2012.

If You Are Cardiff – if you live here, or love the place, or are just interested in helping some struggling artists try and put something that might be quite lovely together about this wonderful capital of Wales – then we need your help!

In return, we can offer a variety of exciting bits and pieces in reward for your support. And our gratitude. Our eternal gratitude.

Other Ways You Can Help

If you can’t afford to spare any cash (we understand, times are hard) – please support us by posting links to our IndieGoGo campaign on Facebook or Twitter or anywhere else online (and please tell people in the real world too!).

Also please join our Facebook group for the campaign.

Also if you can donate any time or skills to the project (anything technical OR perhaps you could suggest potential people for us to feature) we really need that too!

We Are Cardiff – Big Little City interactive wall responses

Between April 14 – July 22 2011, We Are Cardiff took part in the BigLittleCity project at The Cardiff Story – the new museum dedicated to the capital of Wales. As well as displaying stories and photographs from the project, we had an interactive story wall, where visitors to the exhibition were invited to write their Cardiff story on cards and put them up for others to read.

Click on the image below to visit the Issuu website and read the booklet. There are some wonderful stories on its scribbled pages!

Vote for We Are Cardiff in the 2011 Wales Blog Awards!

You heard us. You’ve enjoyed reading the stories on the site. If you’d be so kind, we’d very much like you to vote for us in the People’s Choice bit of the Wales Blog Awards 2011. You’ve got until October 21st to do it. If you REALLY want us to win, why not vote, clear the cookies from your browser, then vote again?? Ok, it’s not really in the spirit of the thing, I suppose….!

Anyway. We’ve made it through to the final for best community blog, and we also want to congratulate the other two blogs that made it through to the final of that category: – by The Photon – by Non Liquet

(they make for very interesting reading – I especially enjoyed the lively comments on the Ruthun blog)

So, make sure you vote for us. But don’t worry if we don’t win, we’re not sore losers. We’ll be carrying on much as normal. So stay tuned!

We Are Cardiff – a sexy statistical birthday update

I don’t like to spend too much of my time harping on about statistics. Really! However, in the case of the We Are Cardiff site, they’ve proven to be fairly amusing. And in the interests of a fully comprehensive first-year round up, I’m going to share some with you. Read on!

The basics:

The We Are Cardiff blog has had 24,851 views (to the second I’m writing this, which is undoubtedly already out of date) since it launched about a year ago.

There were 431 views on our busiest day, Friday 27 May 2011 (which was the day we published Bethan Elfyn’s story and also the day we inherited the Guardian Cardiff twitter feed).


People have found the We Are Cardiff site by searching the following terms.

They range from the expected sort of thing…

–      how the british look upon a person from cardiff

–      pubs on swansea road hirwaun aberdare

–      random noise in splott

–      whats its like to live in splott

–      dr who’s telephone box

–      is cardiff going to have a bad winter?

–      where does cardiff bay remind you off

–      what is splott like?

–      im proud of my city

–      llandaff good place to live?


to the more bizarre inquiry…

–      pink ballet net sitting down

–      what is the hooting noise coming from my chimney?

–      look at you now floyd

–      and i in english

–      safer cardiff locksmiths funding crisis

–      wenvoe postman

–      how do you pronounce tempus fugit

–      dzin teenage girls clothing to the skin as a avatar

–      maschine can you use it with turntables

–      what does we at your neck like a violin mean

–      fat violin player



Some people obviously think We Are Cardiff is some sort of online sex shop/dating service/interactive online map of crack dens:

–      mixed race girls splott

–      crack den cardiff

–      impregnating my mother

–      story stiff corset dependent boy

–      busty grandmothers with big boobs

–      squash players do it against the wall t shirt

–      bad girls in cardiff

–      busty amateur shirt

–      what not to tell hr

–      big tits cardiff area

–      gossip girl cardiff wordpress

–      tits in cardiff

–      huge tits in blue t shirt

–      craigslist cardiff ely sex


Some poor souls end up on the site looking for something spiritual that, you suspect, the internet can never offer:

–      lost but never alone

–      no dancing no huggin

–      this cold gotten into my bones

–      the cold feeling that you experience after leaving a swimming pool on a hot, dry, summer day

–      museum of broken relationships



And finally, and my personal favourite, the one that speaks to the very essence of what we’re trying to do with the project:

–      what’s it like to live cardiff like?


Helia Phoenix is a digital mystic who spends her days searching through statistics for the meaning of life. Follow her on Twitter or check her Tumblr.

Invitation: Big Little City closing party, Friday 22 July 2011

We Are Cardiff has been taking part in Big Little City in the Cardiff Story Museum. We’ve been happy and proud to have been a part of this wonderful project, and want to send big ups to organisers Dan Green and Marc Heaton.

Big Little City will be drawing to a close next week, and to celebrate the project, there will be a closing party taking place at the Cardiff Story museum.

We’d love for you to join us there, between 5.30pm – 8.30pm on Friday 22 July

Info from BLC:

It’s been an amazing journey and we really want to go out with a bang. We have entertainment in the shape of Elemental ForceSUP and their youth development project Get Fresh and we may have some more special guests on the night too. Entry is free to all – so please forward this to anyone you think may be interested.

You can RSVP at the Facebook event page by clicking here.

Find out more and get involved at

Dan & Marc

Remember to tag all your BigLittleCity tweets and blog posts #blcity

One year of We Are Cardiff!

Today, We Are Cardiff celebrates its first birthday! We’d like to extend thanks to everyone who has taken part in the project – telling their Cardiff story, taking photographs for the project, visiting the website to read the stories, coming along to see our exhibition at Big Little City

We’re overwhelmed with how successful the project has been, and we hope you’ve enjoyed it so far. There’s a lot still to come from the residents of Cardiff, so stay tuned!

What to do now?

See our first ever We Are Cardiff story – published exactly a year ago – from Neil Cocker: “Cardiff is a city in flux. And has been since the day I got here”

Want to see what our most read story has been? Find it here

Look through the archives by neighbourhood:

Visit our sister sites:

San Francisco, California: ilivehere:SF

Sydney, Australia: We Live Here: Sydney

Portland, Oregon: I Live Here:PDX

Ottowa, Canada: Hello Ottawa

Seattle, Washington: I Live Here:Seattle

Bemidji, Minnesota: This is my town: Bemidji

And if you haven’t shared your Cardiff story yet, now’s the perfect time! Get in touch with us on Our only criteria is that you’re a Cardiff resident – with something you want to say about your city!

We Are Cardiff at Big Little City – Launch of Phase Three, 22 June 2011

The rather wonderful Big Little City project that has been underway at the Cardiff Story Museum is having its Phase Three Launch party on Wednesday 22 June 2011, from 5-7pm. We’ll be there – with a refreshed We Are Cardiff display – and hope you can make it too!

We Are Cardiff – interactive exhibition opening soon for BigLittleCity

Excuse the lack of a We Are Cardiff story today … the hackflash minions (who run this website) are hard at work setting up the first ever We Are Cardiff retrospective!

It’s forming part of the BigLittleCity project at The Cardiff Story – the new museum dedicated to the capital of Wales.

We will be displaying photography and stories from We Are Cardiff so far, and inviting you to write your own Cardiff stories to add to our Story Wall in the gallery. We’ll be changing the display every couple of weeks, so make sure you stop by often to see what’s new!

BigLittleCity will be having its grand opening on Thursday 14 April, 5pm til late! After that We Are Cardiff will be exhibiting and inviting you to interact until 22 July!

BigLittleCity is a celebration of Cardiff and Cardiff’s creative talent for photography, art, film, writing, music and performance, animation, illustration, painting and graffiti. BigLittleCity is about the city and the experience of its residents and as such we are extremely focused on collaboration. The team has been invited to stage a four-month exhibition to help launch Cardiff’s prestigious new people’s museum The Cardiff Story at the Old Library building, The Hayes, in the heart of our city. Opening in March 2011, the BigLittleCity exhibition will showcase everything that is special about the Welsh capital and is set to attract tens of thousands of people. More here: BigLittleCity

So where is it?
The Cardiff Story is a new city museum for the capital of Wales, situated in The Hayes (between House of Fraser and St David’s Hall). More here The Cardiff Story

Come along and say hi! We’d love to see you there