Representing Butetown – 1st FB message, Feb 2015

About Me? No, I am not Mr Tommy Letton, the  fishmonger, whose good work saw the naming of a lane in his honour.  But I would like to know more about him and other people who have lived, worked and established links with Butetown over the years.

Me? I am one of five ( born 1st July 2014 with the specific aim of exploring the role the arts can play in improving health and wellbeing. My passion is rooted in exploring agency, resilience, cultural wealth, and community representations, and I have known my destiny since birth: To explore, to observe and to find ways to capture understandings, experiences and representations of Butetown. From the start I’ve  been two-faced. It’s not a bad thing, but something borne out of necessity – it’s in my blood, my DNA so to speak.

Yes, I know it’s been done before, it’s been done to death and it’s been done mostly by others, outsiders – projects like me! I like to think I am different. And so I have sought to move slowly, watching, observing and taking the lead of others so much better placed than I. I am not going in ‘all guns blazing’ but rather I want to capture what’s been done already, I want to tap into the creative energy that has fuelled the people and that place for centuries. I want to find ways to (re) present so I will be present first and foremost. Then I will ask to engage and then take it from there.

Ok, so why does that make me two-faced? Well, because one key focus will be on links that can be made between Butetown and the Caribbean. Out of a multitude of possible perspectives, this is one that most appeals. It’s not the only one, but a key one. Of course in Butetown this could mean little; if you looked up the word diversity you would see a road sign pointing to Butetown. It would be a very old, old road sign, but you get my point.

I already bear the scars of people hitting out, stating clearly, truthfully and with varying levels of exasperation that Caribbean folk have always lived all over Cardiff and SE Wales. I know, I say quietly (and then a little louder) and I will also be exploring this.

This fb space – facebook –  is for all those with an interest in Butetown, in key places and spaces in Butetown and with a love and compassion for people who live or retain strong links – literal, fleeting or imagined – with this very special place.

Wish me well and stay close please.