What’s Your Relationship With Cardiff Like?

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Ever wondered what other young people think about living in Cardiff?

As part of the Summer of Smiles, ProMo-Cymru and TheSprout teamed up to commission young people to be resident artists for the festival.

Successful young creatives were given a brief to create a piece of art that represented what it’s like to be a young person in Cardiff.

During the application process, we asked the applicants to tell us about their relationship with Cardiff. Here’s what the successful applicants had to say.

Nalani, 15

For me personally, living in Cardiff means individuality.

Cardiff is an extremely diverse and interesting city. We have the right to be whoever and whatever we want. We also have the help of other members of our society to be free, and that’s something I really admire. If problems arise, we as a family try our best to solve it.

Also, living in Cardiff means loving me. The world is changing, and with this our ability to accept people of all races, genders, and gender identities. We as a group are changing for the better, and I am confident to see our generation come to love and understand each other better.

Things like the BLM movement that has become better known this year really shows how an incredible city of people can come together to show support why it is really needed.

Saabiqah, 14

Living in Cardiff means seeing friends and family, and also being able to get amazing new opportunities like this! And for my growing self – getting to make my own choices and allowing myself to pick and choose my talents and dreams.

Cardiff is a creative place with ideas and good minds, fighting against the bad and sharing the good. That’s why I mainly enjoy living in such a city, as the crazy ideas are endless and so many people are coming up with so much new things.

Often in other places, I never seem to find people who find interest in the same things I love, but here it’s like a jackpot, and I’m super glad to be here.

Farah, 14

I was born in and have lived in Cardiff my entire life. I love this city as it carries so many memories of growing up. Although I would love to travel and explore many other places worldwide, Cardiff is my home. From Cardiff bay to Cardiff castle, every area is significant in making up this wonderful place.

There is, however, a difference in the land and the people that live on it and it is our duty – and always has been – to get Cardiff to be a place of incredibility. That journey continues.

Over the last few years I have seen a drastic increase in communities, clubs, groups that spread positivity, creating a greater reputation for our locality.

In contrast, I have also witnessed several negatively impacting actions that are found demeaning to this city and the people it affects. Protests are helping us speak out on several issues that are present within Cardiff along with so many, too many, other countries and continents.

The people that help build this city to be stronger are making and enforcing an impressive representation for all of us who live here. With consideration for all the ups and downs here, Cardiff will always have a place in my heart, no matter where I am. I am forever grateful for the opportunities and experiences it has presented to me. It has helped me, and many others, to become who I am (and we are) today.

Alicia, 18

I was born and raised in Canton, Cardiff. My high school was in Fairwater and so was my social life. Then, when moving to sixth form in Roath, my social life moved to Llanedeyrn/Pentwyn.

I have seen various sides of Cardiff and I know both the ugly and the beautiful. The Ugly being postcode wars, drug abuse, gang violence, poverty, dirt, and squalor. The beautiful being unity in the communities, many parks, and nature.

Because it’s a small city, you can more easily see people’s stories develop from a distance as because of Cardiff’s size, you often see people again and again. You get to know those who linger in the city centre, for good or for bad.

There are also romantic areas in Cardiff such as the Castle and the arcades. I see many long time Cardiff family business such as The Lazarou Brothers and Barker’s Coffee. My family are immigrants to Cardiff and I have always mixed with people from many backgrounds.

Cardiff is made up of very different areas. Some are very multicultural such as Butetown and Grangetown, some in between such as Canton and some predominantly white. It is clear that Cardiff is segregated. But I also feel that Cardiff has given me the ability to acknowledge that I can protest, and have and use my voice.

Faaris, 14

I think Cardiff is an inclusive city towards the people living here. It’s inclusive towards LGBTQ+, ethnically diverse, multicultural, disability friendly, has a strong cultural heritage, and so much more. It’s tolerant and it’s amazing to grow up here.

There is so much to do, whether indoors or outdoors and there are friendly people everywhere who actually seem to have time for you. Cardiff is also special as it provides a great mix of indoor and outdoor attractions and activities for all ages. It’s like living in a holiday destination for kids!

I find that living in Cardiff is like living in one massive family. I have an Asian ethnic heritage and feel totally enveloped by the greater community and it makes me want to achieve great things for the people around me.

It’s amazing how we can simply all be friendly, kind and helpful to one another, no matter where we originally come from. I was born in London but have lived in Cardiff since I was two. I feel privileged to be able to grow up in Cardiff and in Wales as a whole.

Rosie, 17

Cardiff to me is an invigorating stirring pot of inspirational artists and art collections, a prolific music scene, and mesmerising displays of history and Welsh culture. The diverse cultural perspectives within the city inspire various outlooks, ideas, and ultimately a richer life experience. Cardiff being home to various members of different sexualities, ethnicities, and religions allows our city to thrive and celebrate our differences, but ultimately our similarities as well.

Cardiff was of course is home to Roald Dahl, a huge inspiration of mine who had a lot of influence on my artistic style and ideas. His depiction of the obscure and playful in his writing and his almost surrealist characters definitely helped me create the scenes that feature in my own artwork.

Cardiff Castle will always be my favourite feature of this city, the patchwork of varying eras of history into one; the Romans, Normans, Lords of Glamorgan, Butes, all left their mark on the castle, followed by the conversion of the walls into an air raid shelter during World War 2. The knowledge that so many different people walked the halls and lived in the rooms before us will always amaze me and cultivate my imagination. Every part of the castle is a journey through time, and I will continue to draw in aspects of this into my artwork in the future.

Cardiff to me is a home to diversity and heritage, art and history, and inspired people.

Eshaan, 17

Just before the end of 2014, I stepped foot inside this wondrous capital city. Since, then, I have made countless friends and met fascinating people.

Bordered in the west by the A4232, the north by the mountains and valleys, the east by the richly historical Docks, the south by a glimmering azure blue body of water – Cardiff sits majestically in the centre.

Every road, every street, and every marvellous tourist attraction is teeming with multicultural communities that connect with each other cohesively. Friends are here for each other, for life, to support each other – irrespective of the consequences of the magnitude of our barriers and sorrows – every step of the way. This is a testament of strength through unity – enabled by the bonding of the warm-hearted youth of Cardiff, their voice, and their instrumental ideas.

Currently, Cardiff is experiencing rigorous urban development, with a continuous series of reconstruction and rebuilding – fixated on instituting a more eco-friendly, modern, and innovative capital city for future generations to thrive in. Although I won’t be able to experience these new horizons being established because I will go to university next year, I am proud to have been a part in this amazing journey!

Related Information

To find out more about our resident artists for the Summer of Smiles, click here.

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