Faith Rhiannon Clarke interviews Satish Sekar, Bianca Ali and Roxanna Dehaghani to bring together perspectives on historically rooted racism in the criminal justice system, vulnerability and mental health in custody, and why ‘Kill the Bill’ protests are mobilising people throughout society.Read more
In a series that proposes how society could change for the better in response to Covid-19, headteacher Rajvi Glasbrook Griffiths reflects on what has been learnt under lockdown about how to instil a distinct and pluralistic sense of Welsh identity, how to re-conceive of ‘wellbeing’ in relation to achievement, and a new way of understanding equality.Read more
Vilma Almendra and Heidi Van Grieken, two women Indigenous leaders from Colombia, share with Robin Llewellyn their ideas for the ways in which Welsh activists could learn from Indigenous movements how to re-imagine a non-capitalist, non-patriarchical society that no longer despoils the earth.Read more
Anthropologist Jonathan Evershed describes how his life has been defined by Irish Sea crossings. He draws on the deep history of connections between Wales and Ireland to detail what’s at stake with post-Brexit border changes, and how a renewed, progressive Pan-Celticism could benefit both nations.Read more
Wales’ first New Town Cwmbrân has a long and often tragic bond with the British armed forces. As the Tories seek to bolster the union, Richard John Parfitt reflects on the complexities of his hometown, and the politics behind Boris Johnson’s visit to Cwmbrân’s RAF-run vaccination centre.Read more
Our Welsh Keywords series offers contemporary perspectives on the meaning of words in Welsh, inspired by Raymond Williams’ Keywords. In this issue, Andrew Green explains why he will often go to any length to avoid this term, and its English equivalent ‘heritage’. As institutions like the National Library face chronic underfunding, how to protect Welsh cultural memory in the face of austerity and philistinism?Read more
Collage artist Llinos Anwyl investigates the online subculture of ‘cottagecore’, which has become popularised during the pandemic, and argues that the class dynamics of this aesthetic threaten to exacerbate gentrification in her home village of Moelfre and beyond.Read more
Shelagh Hourahane reviews the BBC’s ambitious new TV series spanning thousands of years of Welsh art.Read more
A few weeks ago one of the Friday night satirical news radio programmes did a skit about Johnson’s ‘road-map’ out of lockdown. It’s not a map, they pointed out – it’s just a timetable. Cue a whole string of sat-nav jokes. They are quite right, of course: a road-map out of any awful situation sounds bolder, braver, more leader-like (although does anyone remember the ‘road-map’ to peace in the Middle East?). Timetables are for school-kids; or used to be.
There is, though, something irresistible about conceptualisations of time as travel. Actual and metaphorical journeys tangle again and again in this crop of reviews. They drive (literally) a cluster of road-trip thrillers and a propel a racy, plot-twisting Georgian novel; they haunt poems of flight and exile, of opportunities lost; they shape the troubled personal journeys of two queer autobiographies and flicker through two thoughtful essay collections. Time freezes paths taken, decisions made: historians here pick over the traces scored in our (and other) landscapes by a few bloody months in the Civil War and the nineteenth-century boom in copper. And yes, there is a even a ‘road-map’ to the future – a short, stimulating exploration of ways that may or may not be taken on the journey towards a new Wales.
Mary-Ann Constantine’s academic work explores the cultural history of Romantic-era Wales. She has also published two collections of short stories and a novel, Star‐Shot (2015).