Tag Archives: people

Rhithganfyddiad: the art and poetry project that maps Cardiff like never before

We spotted these gorgeous illustrations of Cardiff a few months back and decided to investigate who was behind them and their accompanying poetry: meet Efa Lois and Morgan Owen! 

Gwelsom ni’r darluniadau hyfryd hyn hyn o Gaerdydd rhai misoedd yn ôl a phenderfynu ymchwilio i bwy oedd wedi’u creu yn ogystal â’r barddoniaeth sy’n cydfynd â hwy. Dyma gyflwyno Efa Lois a Morgan Owen!

Rhithganfyddiad is a collaborative project between Morgan Owen, a young poet and MA student at Cardiff University, and Efa Lois, an illustrator and Architectural Assistant currently based in Cardiff. They told us:

“We started Rhithganfyddiad because we wanted to document the city as it currently is. Cities are constantly evolving, especially Cardiff, and we hoped to capture what the city is currently like, whilst reflecting on its past.

The end result is a poem and an illustration – a chronicle of each place.”

Mae Rhithganfyddiad yn brosiect ar y cyd rhwng Morgan Owen, bardd ifanc a myfyriwr MA ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd, ac Efa Lois, sy’n arlunydd ac yn Gynorthwyydd Pensaernïol. Dywedodd Morgan ac Efa wrthom:

“Dechreuodd Rhithganfyddiad am ein bod am adlewyrchu’r ddinas fel y mae hi ar hyn o bryd. Mae dinasoedd yn datblygu drwy’r amser, yn enwedig Caerdydd, ac rydym am ddal naws y ddinas fel ag y mae hi, tra’n ystyried ei gorffennol.  Cynnyrch ein hymwneud â’r gwahanol ardaloedd yr ydym yn ymweld â nhw yw cerdd a darlun.”

They are gradually filling in their map of Cardiff with their gorgeous work – we can’t wait to see the full set!

Maent yn raddol yn llenwi eu map o Gaerdydd gyda’u gwaith hyfryd – ‘da ni’n methu ag aros i weld y casgliad yn ei gyfanrwydd!

Here’s a selection of their images and poetry- you can see more of their work on their website, or in store at Cant a Mil Vintage on Whitchurch Road. You can also buy prints online.

Dyma ddetholiad o’u darluniadau a’u barddoniaeth – gallwch weld mwy o’u gwaith ar eu gwefan, neu yn siop Cant a Mil Vintage ar Heol yr Eglwys Newydd. Gallwch hefyd brynu printiau arlein.

Heol y Gadeirlan | Cathedral Road

Mae’r hewl hon yn bont annisgwyl
o’r canol i’r cyrion,
un stryd sy’n rhychwantu
dinas benbwygilydd.

O unpen i’r llall mae bywyd
yn arafu a’r ddinas
yn ymbentrefoli
nes dy fod mewn byr o dro

yn bell bell o’r dwndwr
heb ymgydnabod â’r rhyngdir.

Plasnewydd

Cydgymysgwn – nid goddef
ond parchu gwead
ein cydblethiad;
ymhyfrydwn yn y cymhlethdod
cain lle gwêl
y culion ddryswch.

Treganna | CantonMewn dinas o’r iawn ryw mae’r
strydoedd yn gyfrodedd
heb arwain at unlle’n benodol.
Dryswch dymunol yw ei nod amgen,
ei chyfiawnhad a’i gogoniant.
Mae’r hewlydd oll yn rhan o’r cyfanwaith,
a phob un, eto i gyd, yn torsythu
yn ei hannibyniaeth.
Y daith ei hun yw’r unig resymeg.
Wrth hyntio’n ymwybodol o’r cymysgedd
awn i wledydd dirifedi
heb adael am eiliad ein dinas ni.

Cathays

Ni fu realiti erioed mor hurt
â tharfu ar y cyfeddach
a’r delfrydu, ac amheuthun 
yw tario yn y tir neb 
rhwng rhyddid a chyfrifoldeb.

Dychweli’n ddoethach
yn ddieithryn. Fe weli,
a thithau’n lwcus, fod bellach
sylwedd am yr hen haniaethau
a’r breuddwydion liw dydd.

Fe weli, a thithau’n eithriad,
nad ildiaist i’r sadrwydd
mae’r lle hwn yn brotest yn ei erbyn.

Heol y Fuwch Goch | Womanby St

Fin nos yn feddw nadredda
gwyntoedd ffrwythlonder a phydredd
i gyfeiliant diotwyr a gwylanod.
Yn ddeuparth bywyd ac unparth marwolaeth,  
cerdda ffantasmagoria y strydoedd
sydd bob un yn arwain at ruddin y gân
a’r golau. Annedd frwysg rhwng gwyll
a gwawr yw’r noswaith lân sy’n darfod yn yr oriau mân.

Llandaf | Llandaff

Yng ngogysgod y ddinas
mae hendref greiriog
sy’n edliw i’r concrit
ei lesgedd.

Ar ei ynys grebachlyd
mae’n mesur y llanw
di-drai sy’n difa
gwreiddiau.

Lle cedwid gynt rin
rhyw genedl a gwagle
i freuddwydio ceir heddiw
grawcwellt yn ymborth.

Eilbeth yw iaith a llên
a myfyrdodau
lle mae arian
yn llywio meddyliau.

Deled y byd i weld
tomen o garegos
pan nad yw llwydni
Llanbobman yn ddigon.

Y Sblot | Splott

Dur yw iaith absenoldeb;
dur sy’n rhydu yn y dociau dof
yw pont dwy genhedlaeth;
dur sy’n fy nghludo i gartref
na ddychwelaf iddo eto.

Dau le a unwyd gan un enw
a dynghedwyd i gyd-ddioddef –
dau le sy’n gorwedd
dan lwch hen luniau
sy’n stwyrian wedi sôn am Ddowlais.

Dowlais yw enw colled
yn y blaendir a’r ddinas
fel ei gilydd lle mae’r dur
yn rhydu o hyd.

Mynydd Bychan | The Heath

Nid angof fydd y fan hon
sydd rhwng dau le o hyd –
tramwyfa aml daith,
ond cyrchfan anfynych.

Pan fo’r cyrion yn crwydro a’r ddinas
yn glastwreiddio’i chalon,
rhinwedd yw rhyngedd
y lle sy’n aros yn yr unfan.

Illustrations/Darluniadau: Efa Loi, poetry/barddoniaeth: Morgan Owen

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“No one wants to leave their life” – interview with Refugee Words

We spotted the #wearehumanjustlikeyou video on Twitter the other day, and wanted to find out more about the story and people behind it. We interviewed Kate Whiting of Refugee Words, a new project designed to encourage more people to see refugees as human, just like us. 

Right now, there are 21 Syrian refugees living in Cardiff, relocated under the UK Government’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS). Another 1,372 people in the city (of many nationalities, not just Syrian) are living in limbo, awaiting the outcomes of their asylum applications, which could take years. They usually can’t work during this time, and they can’t claim mainstream benefits, instead living off the £36.95 a week given to them by the Home Office.

These are the people lucky enough to make it to the UK. The ones who couldn’t make it across the channel are living in camps such as Dunkirk – they include unaccompanied children, families, older and vulnerable people, and they are just like us. 

We chatted to Kate of the Refugee Words team to find out more about their time in the camp.

What’s your story? 

There are two of us that make up the Refugee Words Team. I’m Kate, I’m from Norfolk. I met my Welsh boyfriend (from just outside Cardiff) while living in London. I guess you could say that I moved to Cardiff for love! I’d spent a fair bit of time in Wales before though, and have now got stuck right in. Dwi’n dysgu Cymraeg!

Our other member, Jess, is actually from Cardiff originally, but we met in Brighton, where we were both studying to become actors. We are hoping to continue the Refugee Words project in order that we can make a theatre piece using the words collected.

How did you end up in the camp?

A friend of mine suggested it after a discussion we’d had about wanting to do something about the general state of the world. Seeing as the refugee crisis is the biggest of our life times, we started there. We had also thought of doing some theatre workshops at the women’s centre, but when we arrived we quickly realised that it was last thing they would have wanted.

There were lots of people coming in and out wanting to do things with the women, to greater and lesser success, but all they really wanted was for us to lend a hand in a practical sense and speak with them. We distracted the kids by playing games with them.

We did hair, make-up, got our eyebrows (and upper lip – shhhhh) tweezed, and most importantly took a shopping list from the women so that we could go to the local supermarket and spend the generous donations family and friends had given us on EXACTLY what they wanted. No one had thought to buy wax, as it’s not ‘essential’, but these women just wanted to feel human again. They are collecting knickers as hand-outs, they just want a bit of dignity and choice back.

What motivated you to make the film?

We decided to collect the ‘stories’ of the people in the Dunkirk camp on our second visit. When we talked about our time volunteering in Dunkirk, it quickly became apparent that people just aren’t aware of it. Everyone knows about Calais, but Dunkirk has gone practically unnoticed. So much so that the unaccompanied minors in Dunkirk were not even included in the measly number eventually brought over under the Dubs amendment.

At the time we didn’t know what we would do with the words/stories, we just knew that we wanted the British public to hear them and that it had to be something immediate. In the end it was Jess’s idea to make a film, we originally had in mind that we would do it with famous faces to increase the exposure, but it’s not so easy convincing known faces to do a film for a couple of unknown women in Cardiff!

How did you make the film? Did you conduct the interviews with refugees? How did you get people to participate in the film? What were the challenges?

I sent a sort of introduction to what we were doing, to be translated. It was translated in to Sorani Kurdish, which is what most of the camp’s residents, at that time, spoke. I also translated it into Arabic on google translate. I didn’t bargain for the fact that in copying it over onto word the font would change and become unrecognisable!! Most speak Arabic as well as their first language, so I knew that we’d reach more of the residents and not just the Kurdish ones, but sadly when we showed them the paper cut outs with the Arabic translation, there were lots of very confused faces!!

Luckily the Kurdish one did the trick, it basically said that we are theatre makers and interested in getting the story of their lives across to the British public, especially those who are unaware of their situation. We said that we hoped to put pressure on the government. For those that agreed, we gave them a dictaphone and invited them to tell their story into it in their native language. We stood away from them to give them the space they needed. There were many tears. We then got these translated back into English when we got home.

In terms of actually getting people involved in the film when we got home, that’s a whole other story! I’ll try to keep it brief! We made a flyer inviting people to film themselves (on their smart phones) saying the words we had collected as if they were their own. We put the flyer up on social media and sent emails, and 70+ people responded. Including Guardian journalists Owen Jones, Gary Younge, and Nisreen Malik. We feel so lucky to have so many people involved. We then edited all the films together for maximum impact. Sadly we couldn’t include everyone’s videos in the final edit, but we hope to continue the project and release a longer version of the video in the near future. 

What do you hope is the effect of the film?

We hope that the effect is to humanise the camp’s residents. To make British people, particularly those who wouldn’t usually think about the refugee crisis, realise that this could be them. These people are just like us. In the words of the residents “we are all human”, “all humans deserve a life”, “we are human, just like you”. 

Our biggest hope is that if we can get this film seen by lots of people, they will join us by putting pressure on the UK Government to rethink their current position on allowing refugees to enter the UK. 

Please like and share across social media sites with our hashtag #wearehumanjustlikeyou

And visit our website for further information refugeewords.org

Get involved, get informed

To volunteer your time or skills to refugees and asylum seekers in Cardiff, get in touch with the Oasis Centre, Asylum Justice, the Trinity Centre, Oxfam Cymru or Welsh Refugee Council.

More information about volunteering your time or donating money, goods or food is available on the HelpRefugees website.

The National Assembly for Wales’s cross-party equality committee is currently undertaking an inquiry into the support for refugees and asylum seekers in Wales. It will be publishing its findings and recommendations next month. You can see all the written and oral evidence here.

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Mark, Odd Jobs Cardiff: “I’m fed up with people being ripped off”

We don’t usually promote businesses on We Are Cardiff. But Mark (aka @oddjobscardiff) is our exception.

Processed with Snapseed.

Mark pitches himself as an ‘honest man for hire’, and both of us at We Are Cardiff have been super impressed with him and his work. In a Facebook post, he describes his frustration at seeing people being ripped off for odd jobs, and vowed to provide a better service to the people of Cardiff:

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He provides window cleaning, gardening, gutter cleaning, hedge trimming, airport pickups, power washing, house painting, home security… basically anything!

Mark’s unique business operates on a pay what you want policy – ie. you give him whatever you feel is appropriate. He doesn’t quote for jobs, and he’s really honest about payment. He spent 4 hours clearing my garden and trimming a huge hedge – when I tried to pay him he gave me half of the money back ‘because it was too much’!

Alongside his great attitude to business, he’s reliable, punctual, fast, clean, works in any weather, very scrupulous and thorough in his work. Check out his Twitter account for examples of great before and after photos.

If you want to hire Mark, get in touch with him on Twitter or phone him on 07801 432 863 – you won’t be disappointed!