The Welsh language appears to be very popular these days. Particularly thanks to this year’s World Cup, where the FAW’s adoption of ‘Yma O Hyd’ has helped catapult Cymraeg to a degree of prominence hitherto unforeseen, prompting a curiosity about Welsh culture and history that reaches far beyond this country’s borders.
Category Archives: Culture
Selling Wrexham’s Welshness
After almost two years of starstruck delirium, there finally appears to be a sense of unease surrounding Wrexham AFC’s ‘Hollywood takeover’.
The toponyms of a region contain within them much more than a mere etymology: they also form a system of signs, a web of interconnected meanings through which we can chart societal processes.
Covid realism and the spectacle of death
I noted while walking the streets this Halloween that the collective totems of horror and fear no longer primarily invoke the supernatural, but adopt an altogether more corporeal form.
The reification of Welsh rugby
International rugby may soon disappear from free-to-air television. This has obviously created a degree of collective consternation about the implication for Welsh mass culture, and rugby’s apparently totemic place within it.
Chartists in the Newport Afterlife
To live and grow up in Newport is to be irrevocably intertwined with the historical forces that built this city. Symbols of the past are etched into the landscape: what we might call our ‘industrial heritage’ is all around us. But these totems are not fossilised relics, and they’re not engaged with passively: they’re the milieu of our everyday life.
Reviews: Salacia/That Lone Ship/The Last Polar Bear on Earth/The Way Out
If there’s a common thread running through Parthian’s four new collections, it is the relationship between the universal and the particular; specifically, the sense of community solidarity generated through shared surroundings and individual experiences.
From the Archive: Poetry Wales Winter 1968
It is as clear now as 50 years ago: Welsh literature of any mode will never attain any cultural capital within the wider UK. There is, however, an ironic power in this. While the fragility of a culture under perennial threat is obvious to anyone invested in it, that it holds no value for a wider hegemonic literary culture is the very element which makes it so vital.
Democratising the Welsh alternative media
Before we start, let us accept a basic truth: there is nothing inherently Welsh about the Welsh media, and there is no such thing as a Welsh public sphere. This is, evidently, a gravely unhealthy situation for the rump democracy that is the devolved Welsh state.
Netflix’s ‘Sex Education’ is an accidental elegy for post-industrial Wales
Watching Netflix’s new ‘British’ teen comedy-drama Sex Education, viewers in Wales – and especially Newport – may well be struck with a sense of melancholic uncanniness, of ‘a time that is out of joint’. For despite the shows liberatory and groundbreaking depiction of teenage sexuality, Sex Education is haunted by a Welsh culture and politics that has either died or never was, and whose presence is felt by its absence.