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Birds and the wires: People attending the Big Democracy event were invited to write their feelings about the way the government treats disabled people on paper and hang them on a network of overhead wires, so their shadow on the wall would build up into a large grouping similar to that of the birds flocking in the film loop projected onto the wall. The message: Together we are stronger.

Birds and the wires: People attending the Big Democracy event were invited to write their feelings about the way the government treats disabled people on paper and hang them on a network of overhead wires, so their shadow on the wall would build up into a large grouping similar to that of the birds flocking in the film loop projected onto the wall. The message: Together we are stronger.

You may have noticed that Vox Political was uncharacteristically quiet over the weekend. This is because I was co-running the Radnor Fringe Festival in Llandrindod Wells from Friday to Sunday, and helping tidy up afterwards on Monday (June 19-22).

The festival’s mixture of musical acts and community events was extremely – almost overwhelmingly – popular and the reaction has been universally positive. Not only that, but one of the events was worthy of an article in this blog.

It was a performance and debate event that asked: “Are disabled people an easy target for cuts?”

That’s right – it could have been devised specifically to cater for This Blog and This Writer.

The idea was chosen in an online vote as part of a three-year project exploring how art and creativity can help communities re-engage with the democratic process. Disabled artists and performers from National Theatre Wales collaborated with Llandrindod-based arts organisation Celf o Gwmpas performed prepared pieces, then encouraged members of the public to take part in collaborative creative/discussion workshops.

The tone was strongly anti-cuts, anti-government, and in favour of people speaking out about the effect that government policy is having on them.

The free event attracted many more people than the organisers expected, including This Writer and Mrs Mike – and was also attended by a recording team from BBC Radio 3, meaning at least some of our many contributions to the evening will have been captured for posterity and may be used in a radio programme to be broadcast today (Tuesday).

BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking programme, broadcast at 10pm (and subsequently available on iPlayer) will be about “Political and Bardic Traditions in Wales”, and will feature “a report on the brand new instalment of the National Theatre of Wales Big Democracy Project, a kind of interactive community theatre”.

So tune in this evening at 10pm – or catch up on iPlayer – and you may hear this writer’s dulcet Bristolian tones deploring the drawbacks of Iain Duncan Smith’s anti-democratic benefit nightmare.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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