Heritage, identity and the creative arts in the South Wales Valleys

Marsden, Richard (2023). Heritage, identity and the creative arts in the South Wales Valleys. National Identities (Early Access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14608944.2023.2299972

Abstract

The BG REACH project used creative arts methods to support residents of a post-industrial community in the South Wales Valleys to reflect on what the heritage of their local area meant to them. Contrary to expectation, participants did not define their shared identity primarily in relation to the industrial experience. Connections with the pre-industrial past were equally powerful, as were positive views of deindustrialisation as a healing of the landscape. Moreover, the pieces produced drew extensively upon broader motifs of Welshness, suggesting that Welsh identity may not be as terminally fragmented as some scholars have argued.

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