FFAIR FFABLAU BY HUW ALDEN DAVIES
Beginning in 2017, in reaction to the concept of neoliberalism and the notion that ‘society is dead’, The Carnival Project is an ongoing Welsh collaboration that celebrates community and what can be achieved when people come together.
The carnival, a social celebration that has been part of its culture for over fifty years in the Gwendraeth Valley, was once the highlight of the summer, bringing together every corner of every community, year after year in a festival of floats and marching bands. Clad with clowns and princes, fairies and queens, the carnival was where all walks walked together, dressed to the nines in a fancy display, and although it had also become part of its way of life in the village of Tumble, by the nineteen-nineties the carnival had started to decline and in the summer of 1998, the village was to see its last parade. However, after a hiatus of almost twenty years, in the face of Brexit, Tumble once again welcomed the carnival back to its streets. And so the Carnival Project was born.
This year ten photographers including Huw Alden Davies, Peter Finnemore, Daniel Staveley, Mohamed Hassan, Alex Butler, Jason Thomas, Dorian Caba, Jasmine Guise-Eliss, Sal Nordan, and Abby Poulson will return to the street for its third and final outing. With the intention of creating a unique document that celebrates the spirit of a small community in the Gwendraeth Valley, and the return of its annual carnival after a hiatus of twenty years.
Already collaborating with the community in contributing archival documents, for the last year of the project in its current form, it will this year invite children of the community to document and submit is photographs as part of an initiative called the Ffair Ffablau Fach. This will create an opportunity for children to work towards a goal with the prospect of finding and exercising their creative side, and having their work included in a cultural and historical document.
Ffair Ffablau by The Carnival Project will be published in book format and online, and will go on show later this year in October.