Event / 31 Jan – 1 Feb 2020

Coal Cultures

Coal Cultures
© David Severn
Coal Cultures
© Gina Glover

Welcome Reception: Friday 31 January, 6.30pm

Presentations and talks: Saturday 1 February, 10am – 4pm

Ffotogallery, Old Sunday School, Fanny Street, Cathays, Cardiff CF24 4EH

The event is free and open for all - book now.

Coal is at the heart of the modern world. It has created unique, vibrant communities, transformed landscapes and was for several centuries the world’s most important commodity, such that it became known as King Coal.

Today coal still produces a great deal of the world’s energy, but is now seen as the major culprit in global warming, and phasing it out is at the heart of action to save the planet.

Join us on Saturday 1st February for a day of talks, screenings, reminiscences and discussion that illuminate the nature of the world created by coal and look forward to the prospect of a post-carbon world.

The day is inspired by Derrick Price’s book, Coal Cultures: Picturing Mining Landscapes and Communities, and in a short talk he will introduce some of the key themes of the day. We will also show Jeremy Deller’s 2001 re-enactment of The Battle of Orgreave made 17 years after it took place and had become an iconic moment in the miners’ strike.

There will be a chance to see a new selection of images from the Valleys Archive and other sources.

David Severn will introduce us to his work on miners of Afro Caribbean origin - a series of portraits of black British miners in Nottingham.

Also on show will be Richard Jones’s 3D installation, Coal Face, a study of the Welsh coal industry depicted in the faces of those who worked in it.

Gina Glover will discuss her project, My Anthropocene. The meaning of this concept, she notes, is a world increasingly shaped by human intervention. Her photography examines the way in which economic growth, use of fossil energy and new technologies has led to exceeding the boundaries of natural ecological sustainability, including the climate, on which we humans, as well as other species, utterly depend. She asks: how can we communicate this frightening prospect visually in a way which allows the prospect of change?

Also on show will be Pen Tennyson’s Ealing Film made in 1940, The Proud Valley. It was filmed in the South Wales coalfield and starred Paul Robeson as an African American who finds work as a miner.

This is a full, exciting programme, and an opportunity to look at exhibitions of work and discuss the issues surrounding coal and coal cultures.