Today I visited the Old Library in Cardiff; I went to the Old Library with Susie to find more places for the Peace Trail. We went to the Cardiff Story to research the possible places and people which could be included on the Peace Trail. There was a lot in the Cardiff Story about people who have migrated to Cardiff from different parts of the world; it would be good to include something on this. It would be nice to mention how people have integrated and become part of Cardiff’s culture. What surprised me about this visit was finding out that Cardiff was the first part of the British Isles to publish an Arab Newspaper! I would have imagined that London would have been the first place to do this, however because Cardiff received a large number of Yemeni and Somali immigrants in the 1900 this actually makes a lot of sense. Generally, Cardiff is not known for its hostility towards other cultures but when looking through the history of Cardiff you can’t ignore the amount of race-hate crimes which have occurred, perhaps a mention of them in the Peace Trail wouldn’t be a bad idea, this would allow people to reflect on living together peacefully and how they treat others.
When researching at the Old Library I came across SWICA, an organisation in Wales, based in Chapter, it uses art to celebrate cultural diversity. One of the best examples of SWICA in action is at MAS, a festival which originally comes from Trinidad and happens annually in Cardiff. Learning about SWICA helped me to think about the influence which art has on peace, I then found about Margaret and Gwendoline Davies. The Davies sisters were philanthropists and donated a large part of their art collection to the Museum. The Arts can help people to question their perceptions of issues like peace, so the Davies sisters could possibly help to challenge people’s perceptions of peace or the art could simply bring peace to others.
Whenever I am in the city centre I walk past the statues that most of us don’t pay any attention to. Before researching this I was a little unaware of the importance of some of these statues and who and what they stood for. For example, John Batchelor was a liberal politician, known as the “friend of freedom”, he campaigned for the freedom of slaves and tried to help the disadvantaged, before doing this research I was unaware that he was standing in The Hayes. He is an important figure for peace and I was surprised how little research that I could find about him.
I learnt about Nelson Mandela coming to Cardiff in 1999, where he attended a banquet at Cardiff Castle. I was also impressed by the welsh response to try and stop the apartheid movement in South Africa and try to create peace. Nelson Mandela is such an inspiring person, I think it would be great to include Cardiff Castle and talk about him on the Peace Trail.
I have been finishing printing the debating certificates and later this evening I will be helping out at the Syria: An Internal and International Catastrophe event. I am looking forward to seeing how events like this operate. It is crucial that more is done to help the people of Syria and I am looking forward to listening to the discussion and the guest speaker’s opinions on how the conflict should be resolved.
This week has flown by, I can’t believe tomorrow is my last day!