Planet 222

Fighting the Extreme Centre

Ian Rappel interviews the writer Tariq Ali, who has been a pioneering figure in the international Left since the Vietnam War. He argues the case for radical independence for Wales in the struggle against austerity and war, and why the Left should vote to leave the EU.

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Our ‘Welsh Keywords’ series debates contemporary angles on words in Welsh, inspired by Raymond Williams’ Keywords. In this issue, Tony Bianchi takes an irreverent look at cwtsh, and its use in everything from nick-nacks and dating agencies to children’s hospices and support groups. Is the concept both a kitsch commodity and a sign of a caring community?

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A series of pieces responding to the Wales Coast Path which go astray from the usual tourism script. In this issue, James Stewart takes us into deep time and deep waters, discovering stars, seals and U-boats on the scramble from Strumble Head to Fishguard.

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Having been exiled to Missouri, historian Adam Coward contrasts political culture in the US and Wales, finding more to be hopeful of on the Welsh side of the ocean as the Presidential and Assembly election campaigns get underway.

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Rachel Trezise reclaims her grandfather's Treorchy chicken run from bramble and long-gone landowners, remembering happy childhood mornings letting out the hens at first light, only for a vicious turf war to break out, before finally discovering joy at becoming an ‘egg woman’…

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Three stragglers, sleepless after a party, on top of a mountain in mid Wales. They see a shape in the sky. They come down off the mountain. The novel is called Broken Ghost, and this is an extract.

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Rhian Davies explores how the Gregynog Festival of classical music places Wales in a wider European tradition. In the centenary year of the Easter Rising she gives the historical narrative behind this year's Festival: the myriad connections between Wales and Ireland via ancient harp pins, Saint Melangell and the ‘University of Revolution’ at Fron-goch.

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Playwright Greg Cullen encounters Jeremy Corbyn, and summons the ghosts of Nye Bevan and Jennie Lee at the 2016 Trade Union Pride demonstration in Cardiff. He remembers the generations of working people who taught us that collective action can transform our lives.

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Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan is impressed by the scale and ambition of the MOMA Machynlleth exhibition 'Romanticism in the Welsh Landscape', which brings under one roof indigenous and incomer artists, and work across several centuries - from Richard Wilson and JMW Turner to Iwan Bala and Helen Sear.

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Charmian Savill reviews the recent Ivor Davies retrospective ‘Silent Explosion’, and a new performance Smash It Up which is inspired by the destruction of the Newport Chartist mural, and reflects on how auto-destructive art can paradoxically protect threatened cultures through acts of wrecking and obliterating.

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Andrew Green on A William Condry Reader

Gerald Morgan reviews Dyddiau Olaf Owain Glyndŵr

Meic Birtwistle looks at Losing Israel by Jasmine Donahaye

Ros Hudis reviews House of Small Absences

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