Poetry and movement film on Wales’s involvement in slave trade

Published: 24 August 2020
Reporter: Vera Liber

Ed Myhill and Marvin Thompson Credit: NDCWales / Literature Wales

The next short poetry and movement film from National Dance Company Wales and Literature Wales, Plethu/Weave, focuses on Wales’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade for the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, held annually on Sunday 23 August.

Triptych, released on 3 September, uses poet Marvin Thompson’s words with a new soundscape and movement by dancer Ed Myhill to convey the injustice, the communities and the people affected.

Thompson said, “this poem is a response to a plaque in Brecon that commemorated a slave trader. Ed Myhill took the first section of ‘Triptych,’ an open message to Brecon Town Council, and remixed it over a soundscape that he composed. The film incorporates images of cornfields, the sea and the movement of our bodies to amplify themes of ecological destruction and enslavement.”

Lleucu Siencyn, CEO of Literature Wales, said, “literature and the arts can guide us towards a better understanding of difficult and important issues. Through poetry and dance, Marvin Thompson and Ed Myhill openly and honestly examine Wales’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade, and Literature Wales is very proud to support this work in partnership with NDCWales. The Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is an occasion where everyone around the world—including the citizens of Wales—should pause to reflect the atrocities of the past.”

Triptych will be available to watch on the NDCWales and Literature Wales social media channels from 3 September for 12 months.