University’s Welsh-language ambitions shared at Eisteddfod AmGen 2021

Cardiff University’s vision of a positive and inclusive Welsh-language culture for its staff and students will provide the backdrop for its contribution to Eisteddfod AmGen 2021.

Academi Gymraeg Prifysgol Caerdydd, a new institute, which connects those involved with the Welsh language - whether students, staff or external stakeholders - will be established as part of Cardiff University’s activity during Wales’ national festival.

It will be a key driver in achieving and implementing the ambitions of the University’s Welsh-language strategy, Yr Alwad/Embrace It , which builds on existing initiatives, networks and activities, drawing them together into a clear and defined cultural and community agenda.

The strategy sets out ambitions to increase the number of students on its Welsh-medium and bilingual programmes, expand and enhance Welsh-medium teaching, develop a Cynnig Caerdydd for prospective students and a Campws Cymraeg for those already studying and working at the University.

A public-facing Welsh-language research community is also planned to help shape policy and research agendas within Wales and beyond.

Professor Damian Walford Davies, Cardiff University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for the Welsh language, said:

Dr Huw Williams, Dean for the Welsh Language at Cardiff University, added: "We want to provide a basis in the University for developing a community that encourages participation regardless of your grasp of the language, just like the Eisteddfod has done over the years.

As part of the University’s programme of events at Eisteddfod AmGen 2021, Catrin Jones, Yr Academi Gymraeg’s new Manager, will discuss an upcoming project with Joseph Gnagbo, who came to Wales as an asylum seeker from the Ivory Coast. Joseph, who learnt Welsh for free as part of a Cardiff University initiative, will lead Welsh-language lessons through Arabic at the Grangetown Pavilion - a community centre established with the support of Cardiff University’s engagement project, the Grangetown Community Gateway.

Catrin, who has been working on the project in her previous role with First Campus, said: "I’m really excited about managing the University’s Welsh Language Academy, and it’s great to be able to talk with Joseph about this project at AmGen. It’s an example of the kind of community-orientated, multilingual activity that we want to make part of our work around the Welsh language.

A new film, created to capture the spirit of Welsh language life at Cardiff University and across the city, will also be released during the Eisteddfod AmGen.

[Bywyd Caerdydd, Bywyd Cymraeg]

The film features a poem written by poet and staff member Osian Rhys Jones, who won the National Eisteddfod Chair in 2017 for his poem Hero, and is performed by Annell Dyfri, a student at the University’s School of Welsh and President-elect of UMCC, the Welsh language Students’ Union.

Annell, who also appears in the film, said:

With the Ceredigion National Eisteddfod postponed again this year, organisers have built on the success of last year’s AmGen, the Welsh word for ’alternative’, developing a programme of events, activities and competitions which will run across their online platforms from Saturday 31 July - Sunday 8 August 2021.

The longstanding digital news service led by student reporters from Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture in partnership with the Eisteddfod, S4C, ITV Cymru and BBC Cymru also returns for another year.

The Llais heb Faes project - renamed for the virtual festival - involves eight journalism students, supported by their lecturers and experienced BBC staffers Andrew Weeks and Gwenfair Griffith, and covers the major stories across a week of AmGen streams, sharing videos, polls, quizzes and more on Twitter.

Rhiannon Jones, who graduated last week with a degree in Welsh and Journalism, said: "I’ve been lucky enough to take part in the Llais y Maes and the Llais heb Faes projects in the past. The team and the project, like any other newsroom, have adapted quickly due to restrictions and Llais heb Faes have definitely made the most of these changes.

Eisteddfod AmGen 2021 will be an opportunity for Cardiff University to showcase its Welsh-language research and engagement communities, with a number of its experts among those delivering virtual talks on topics ranging from politics and public health to linguistics and libraries this year:

  • Welsh Parliamentary Election 2021 - 11:30 on Tuesday 3 August 2021
    Professor Richard Wyn Jones and Dr Jac Larner, Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University
  • The Forgotten Author - 16:00 on Wednesday 4 August 2021
    Dr Marion Loeffler, School of History, Archaeology and Religion
  • The Nation’s First Library? - 11:30 on Thursday 5 August 2021
    Sara Huws, Special Collections and Archives at Cardiff University
  • Translation, adaptation and displacement: the relationship between Welsh and English place names in Cardiff - 16:00 on Thursday 5 August 2021
    Dr Dylan Foster Evans, Head of the School of Welsh at Cardiff University
    Mental health: past and future treatments - 11:30 on Friday 6 August 2021
    Professor Simon Ward, Sr Cymru Professor in Translational Drug Discovery and Director of the Medicines Discovery Institute at Cardiff University

Find out more about the Eisteddfod AmGen 2021.

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