A project by Victoria Donovan and Stefhan Caddick
Enthusiasm is a migration story spanning Merthyr Tydfil and Ukraine; the 1860s to the present day. This innovative, interdisciplinary one-day arts event brings together musicians, members of the community, archivists and historians to take a radical look at a little-known historical episode that links Merthyr and the South Wales Valleys to the Donbas in Ukraine and asks how the legacy of this past continues to resonate in our social, cultural and political landscape today.
In 1869, Welsh industrialist John Hughes founded the mining town of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine, initiating a wave of migration from South Wales to Eastern Europe. 1917 and the approaching Russian Revolution saw the hasty exit of the industrialists who had followed Hughes, fearful of the revolutionary ferment. 100 years later, in the present day, Ukraine and the Donbas are once again at the centre of a violent conflict that has led to the internal displacement of over a million people.
Enthusiasm will bring to life some of the elements of this fascinating and timely story, via film, music, image, food and discussion.
Come and join us!
• Talk and reading by Dr Victoria Donovan (Lecturer in Russian, University of St Andrews)
• Performance of a selection of migrant letters by local and diasporan voices.
• Exhibition of historic photographs of Donetsk from the Glamorgan Archives and contemporary images by Ukrainian photographer Alexander Chekmenev
• A programme of workshops and activities
• Screening: Enthusiasm: The Donbass Symphony (1931) by Ukrainian revolutionary film maker Dziga Vertov with a new original score performed live by composer Simon Gore.
Image from the collection of the Austrian Film Museum
Frame enlargement Georg Wasner