At the beginning of Pride month (February 2022), a conference on ‘Y Ddraig Amryliw (the Multicoloured Dragon): Wales and LGBTQ+’ will be held to discuss aspects of the LGBTQ+ community in contemporary Wales and its representation in Welsh culture.
The conference will be held online on 3 February 2022. It is organized by Bangor University with the Coleg Cymraeg’s support and is open to the public.
The Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and is holding a series of events and celebrations during the year to mark the occasion. It has also just appointed a Diversity, Equality and Anti-Racism Co-ordinator, a new post within the Coleg, to look at all aspects of diversity and equality, including the involvement of the LGBTQ+ community in Welsh-medium and bilingual post-compulsory education.
The conference in February will feature contributions from scholars from different fields and show how widespread the discussion and recognition of LGBTQ+ people has been in Welsh life, not just today, but also in history.
Dr Gareth Evans-Jones, lecturer in Religion and History at Bangor University, and organizer of the event, said:
"The idea that the experiences of LGBTQ+ people are hidden in the history of Wales and the Welsh language is commonplace, but this conference seeks to remedy that. Without diminishing the experience of victimization suffered by many, we can also acknowledge and even celebrate the contribution and diversity of those people to Welsh life, its literature, its culture, and its history. That is what we hope to do in holding this conference – remember the past, acknowledge the present, and celebrate a colourful future in which Wales will play a part."
Gwenllïan Owen, Academic Manager at the Coleg Cymraeg, said:
"The Coleg is delighted to sponsor this important conference during a year of celebrations for the Coleg's tenth anniversary. The fact that issues relating to all aspects of Welsh life, history and culture are discussed and studied through the medium of Welsh is crucial and is, in fact, one of the Coleg's major achievements over the first decade.
"The contribution of the LGBTQ+ community to Welsh life deserves attention and we are really looking forward to hearing what the contributors have to share. Everyone is welcome to take part so I would encourage anyone who is interested to register.”
The conference will be free to attend and will be held online from 9.15am to 2.45pm on Thursday 3 February 2022. The speakers will be:
- Iestyn Wyn – Stonewall Cymru: 'Stonewall Cymru: The journey to equality’
- Norena Shopland – Independent Historian: ‘LGBTQ+ History Training, and why we need it’
- Dr Rhian Hodges – Bangor University: 'The LGBTQ+ Community, Sociology and Contemporary Wales'
- Dr Siwan M. Rosser – Cardiff University: 'The Multicoloured Lives of our Children's Books'
- Dr Gareth Llŷr Evans – Aberystwyth University: 'The Theatre of Aled Jones Williams and the queer art of failure'
Dr Rhian Hodges from the School of History, Law and Social Sciences at Bangor University will give a talk on 'The LGBTQ+ Community, Sociology and Contemporary Wales', with the aim of exploring what life is like for this particular community in modern Wales. Several important questions concerning rights and representation are considered, and insightful comments given on the relationship between the LGBTQ+ community and the Wales of 2022.
Dr Siwan M. Rosser, from the School of Welsh at Cardiff University, will be exploring the 'Multicoloured Lives of our Children's Books'. A distinguished authority in the field, Dr Rosser will share a considered insight into Welsh literature and explore the LGBTQ+ aspects that exist, or indeed that are lacking, in those books that are part of the literary fabric of Wales. Fascinating comments are made about the history of children's literature in Wales and the challenges, opportunities and, perhaps, duties facing contemporary Welsh writers to be more representative.
The event is one of a variety of conferences and workshops organized this year with support from the Coleg Cymraeg. Other events include a Conference on Marketing in Welsh to be held on 23 June and a Science Conference to be held in the summer.
You can register to attend the conference on the Porth Adnoddau website.