USW to host Graveyard Voices: Podcasting the Heritage of Cathays Cemetery for national humanities festival

Prof Richard Hand

The University of South Wales is hosting Graveyard Voices: Podcasting the Heritage of Cathays Cemetery, an event in Being Human 2015, the UK’s only national festival of the humanities.

This involves producing a series of audio podcasts as part of the University of South Wales’ fruitful partnership with Cardiff Council Cemeteries, the Friends of Cathays Cemetery and the community music organisation Wonderbrass in creating live performance work for the Heritage Walks in Cardiff’s Cathays Cemetery and has been made possible by a grant from the festival organisers, the School of Advanced Study, University of London.

Now in its second year, Being Human is supported by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and the British Academy (BA) with support from the Wellcome Trust.

Following a successful application, the University of South Wales has been awarded funding to hold the event during the festival week, 12 – 22 November. Graveyard Voices: Podcasting the Heritage of Cathays Cemetery will champion the excellence of humanities research being undertaken in Wales and help to demonstrate the vitality and relevance of this today.

Forty-one grants have been awarded to universities and cultural organisations across the UK to participate in the 11 days of Being Human.

The grant will help the university bring together researchers and local communities to engage with the humanities. Graveyard Voices: Podcasting the Heritage of Cathays Cemetery will be part of an 11 day national programme of big ideas, big debates and engaging activities for all ages. The festival will inform, extend and ignite contemporary thinking and imagination around the humanities.

Richard Hand, Professor of Theatre and Media Drama at the University of South Wales said:

“This project presents a fantastic opportunity to take the University’s research expertise in community performance work and audio drama to the next level.

“As well as supporting the University’s popular dramatised Heritage Walks at the historically significant location of Cathays Cemetery in Cardiff, this project will capture the work with modern audio technology, producing a series of freely available podcasts.

“For the University and project partners Cardiff Council, the Friends of Cathays Cemetery and the music group Wonderbrass, this is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the outreach and vitality of our collaborative research in the public sphere.”

During the inaugural festival in 2014 over 60 universities and cultural organisations organised over 160 free events sharing the best and most challenging thinking in the humanities with audiences across the country.

Extending beyond face-to-face interactions in the UK, the festival crossed borders on the web, reaching more than 2.2 million across Twitter and website visitors from around the globe.

The 2015 festival programme promises to be exciting, entertaining and thought-provoking, with something for everyone in our diverse communities. 

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