This summer, a graphic novel will enable you to step back into a dark period of history in Cardiff, and trace events through real locations.
Kyle Legall, a Welsh artist from Butetown, Cardiff, has created an illustrated, digital graphic novel, bringing accounts of the Cardiff race riots to life.
Cardiff 1919: Riots Re-drawn is the contemporary response from Legall, looking back at the shocking moments of racial conflict. The novel conjures up the atmosphere, the people and places involved, and violent events of the time, through spoken word and illustrations.
Cardiff 1919: Riots-Redrawn comes at a time when demonstrations and protests by millions around the world are taking place; calling for change against racial injustice. Over one hundred years prior, the same racial injustices were highlighted on a smaller scale; bringing demonstrations, and unrest to the streets of Cardiff.
On 11th June 1919, Cardiff was plunged into four days and nights of violent mayhem that left three dead, and buildings wrecked and burnt, in what the Western Mail called ‘An amazing orgy of pistol firing, window smashing, and skirmishes between white men and coloured men’.
101 years on, Legall, a multi-disciplinary artist and Welsh animator, has illustrated the events of the riots. The events have been pieced together from the reports in local newspapers, and follow the dynamic ebb and flow of the rioting.
The graphic novel can be explored from home but can also be experienced on location, in places where events took place. Cardiff 1919: Riots Re-drawn takes audiences to the spot, or as close to the original sites as possible. It tells the story of the people, places and incidents involved in a shocking moment of racial disharmony, in a cityscape now completely changed.
This moment of trauma has left an indelible mark on the Butetown community, and Legall’s illustrations draw from the accounts and stories passed down the generations. Combined with a soundscape by Chris Jenkins and voice overs by Ali Goolyad and Mike Pearson, this vivid, visual day by day account follows the dynamic ebb and flow of the riots. It aims to immerse you in the visceral madness that took place on the Welsh capital city’s streets 101 years ago.
Please note: Cardiff 1919: Riots Re-Drawn contains images and descriptions of extreme violence and contains language, including racial slurs, drawn from historical documents and accounts which may be offensive to a modern audience.
When: From 30th July 2020
Where: Online and on location in Cardiff
More info: cardiff1919.wales