Excerpts from Planet 211
Children’s Wellbeing in Wales: an ethos under attack
Education psychology expert Carl Emery warns that Welsh values which were protected in the early years of devolution are now threatened by neoliberalising shifts in Westminster and Welsh Government policy
Rugby on Rollerskates with a Human Ball
Author Rachel Trezise celebrates the arrival of roller derby in the Valleys. She explores the roots of the game in 1930s USA and and gives a picture of the challenge and bliss of playing with the ‘Rhondda Renegades’. ‘Very few things come close to the burst of elation you feel when you skate through and free of the pack.’
Welsh Keywords: Gwerin
In this issue’s ‘Welsh Keywords’ article, Peter Lord looks at the contemporary class politics of the word ‘gwerin’, which can neither be translated as ‘proletariat’ nor ‘folk’. ‘The story of the empowerment of the gwerin was, in fact, the foundation myth of a middle-class Wales.’
Solidarity from the Sheepfold
Teleri Williams marks the 40th anniversary of the successful fight against the expansion of an army training camp in the agricultural Larzac region of France, and argues that Wales could learn a lot from this struggle in the light of continued militarisation at Aberporth and beyond.
Woollying the Boundaries
Ffion Jones evokes the atmosphere at a Dolgellau ram sale and describes human/animal relationships on her family farm: ‘Brought into the world among countless other beings during the lambing season of 1985 I feel like a misplaced human in an ovine world.’
Writing in Wire
Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch draws on her time as poet-in-residence at the National Wool Museum to reflect on the role of textile mills in Welsh history. This feature includes exclusive previews of two poems from her forthcoming volume.
Who Defines Disability?
Adam Johannes on the influence of a research centre at Cardiff University and an ‘outlaw’ insurance giant on devastating changes to welfare provision for the sick and disabled.
Translating the World into Welsh
Ned Thomas on the role of Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol in enabling the dissemination of international texts from literature, the arts, philosophy and politics which have been translated into Welsh.
A Long Way Short of a People’s University
Gareth Rees and Chris Taylor detail the challenges of widening access to higher education in Wales and raise the question of whether the Welsh Government’s policy of providing a subsidy for all Welsh students is justified as three-quarters of university entrants are from middle-class backgrounds.
Self-Portrait, in Dad’s Jacket
Novelist Jeremy Hughes looks back on the life of his father, a steel-worker from Ebbw Vale, “How on earth could a boy who produced such beautiful handwriting end up humping steel?”
Mike Parker on politics
Rhian E. Jones on music
Ellen Bell on art
Ieuan Churchill reviews Feral
Helen Pendry reviews Great Big Shining Star
John Barnie reviews R.S. Thomas Uncollected Poems
Chris William reviews Claiming the Streets: Processions and Urban Culture in South Wales