This case study will focus on three generations of residents living in the County Borough of Merthyr Tydfil, including what was one of the largest public housing estates in Western Europe: Gurnos/Galon Uchaf.
The older residents in the study will have moved into the area when the first housing was built. The estate now has a population of approximately 8,500, with large numbers of empty properties.
The fortunes of the area have declined with the surrounding economy. It now has the highest ‘real’ unemployment rate in the UK and associated problems of poverty, educational failure and crime. Some areas of North Merthyr experience very poor health – low life expectancy, high levels of limiting long-term illness and incapacity and poor mental health.
In addition to the negative statistical representations, the area is laden with a reputation carried well beyond the immediate locality through the negative accounts that are told and re-told about the people and the place. The case study will build on previous work in this locality by exploring existing cultural representations, and will work with the emerging interest in, and use of, digital media projects. Local people will work with academics and creative artists to provide alternative accounts of local health and well-being which challenge the limited and largely negative images which currently shape public health policy and practice.
The project aims to foster positive relationships within communities which in turn may foster mutual solidarity helping overcome stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination. There is considerable potential for developing methodologies and research tools within new knowledge spaces which connect communities, researchers and policy makers.
Representing Communities is drawing to a close and here in the North Merthyr case study...
As part of our activities for work package two of Representing North Merthyr, we have...