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Welsh body tasked with delivering post-Brexit festival confident it will leave ‘rich cultural legacy’ in Wales

16 Mar 2022 3 minute read
An artists’ impression of About Us. Picture by Unboxed (CC0 1.0)

The Welsh body tasked with delivering a so-called ‘festival of Brexit’ have said they are confident it will leave a “rich cultural and educational legacy” after MPs branded the UK-wide celebration, Unboxed, a waste of 120m.

The House of Commons culture, media and sport committee harshly criticised the Unboxed festival in a new report, saying that its aims were “vague and shape-shifting” and had been “vague and ripe for misinterpretation by the press and public at large”.

“The desire for it to seemingly cater to everyone, everywhere, is a recipe for failure,” they said.

The committee noted that Unboxed is being delivered at arm’s length across the UK, with each nation having selected a delivery body to commission work, with Creative Wales delivering the project in Wales.

But a spokesperson for Creative Wales told Nation.Cymru that they were confident that the project would leave its mark on Wales.

“We are looking forward to an exciting celebration of creativity during 2022,” they said.

“In Wales, this will be based on co-creating opportunities with the science, technology, engineering and maths sectors, involving communities right across Wales, so that it leaves a rich cultural and educational legacy for people across the country.

“It’s exciting to see some of the projects come to fruition, with the first of the UK commissions –  About Us – coming to Caernarfon later this month.

“Wales’ lead commission, Galwad – which is inspired by the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, and draws on global expertise in the climatic, technological and social conditions of the next thirty years – involves diverse communities exploring the possibilities for Wales’ future in 2052.

“The story of Galwad will unfold across TV drama, digital platforms and live events which will include communities across Wales for a week in September. This will be the finale of the whole Unboxed programme.”

‘Positive’

In 2018 Theresa May promised a national event to “showcase what makes our country great” as Britain left the EU, with the aim of recreating the celebrations of the 2012 London Olympics.

What was quickly dubbed the ‘festival of Brexit’ has since then evolved into the Unboxed festival, which began this month with a light show in Paisley which will soon visit Caernarfon.

But MPs said that it had confused even the UK Government that had commissioned it.

The MPs conclude: “The desire for it to seemingly cater to everyone, everywhere, is a recipe for failure and investing £120 million in something when the government, by their own admission, ‘did not know what it was’ is an irresponsible use of public money.”

They added that “the government is spending a lot of money on this year’s major events. Yet while individual occasions may well deliver memorable moments, we see no golden thread linking the events.”

Martin Green, chief creative officer of Unboxed, insisted the festival’s opening had received an “overwhelmingly positive public response, underpinning a commitment to bring large-scale cultural programming to places often underserved”.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said that Unboxed and other spectacles this year would be “bringing people together and leaving a strong legacy that will benefit communities for years to come”.


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Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
6 months ago

The only thing anything related to Brexit will bring Wales is further poverty.

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

Were my father alive he’d refer to the whole ‘exercise’ as,

Hel mwg i sachau

(For those unfamiliar with our native language, this translates as ‘collecting smoke in bags or sacks’).

Doubtless to there will be ‘jobs for the appropriate and usual boys and girls’ for this venture. For the average Cymro/Cymraes – very little.

It’s well said that the etymology of the English word ‘flummery’ is the Cymraeg, llymru.

Gaynor
Gaynor
6 months ago
Reply to  Welsh_Siôn

Ti yn iawn. A rhyfedd o fyd, bod sgwrs am yr union beth ar y radio heddi. Ond dyma ti wedi crisialu y ffuantrwydd ffol

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 months ago

This is the Brexit joke that just keeps on giving. Are they actually being serious lol. 🤡🇬🇧

John Davis
John Davis
6 months ago

It’s going to take place in the Sunny Uplands of Brexistan. There will be special unicorns laid on for transport. It’s going to be great, it’s going to be marvellous, it’s going to be full of empty spaces with signs saying “Something Wonderful – Coming Soon” or “Brexit Opportunities – Suggestions Welcome”. Rees-Mogg will be on the door with a notepad and pencil hoping for tips.

Erisian
Erisian
6 months ago
Reply to  John Davis

No he won’t he’ll send his nanny, or the gardeners boy.

Arwyn
Arwyn
6 months ago

Unhinged?

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
6 months ago

As we head into cricket season the word “Unboxed” has unfortunate connotations.

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
6 months ago

Surely this is some kind of a joke? As a result of voting for Brexit the UK and unfortunately Wales are a laughing stock across Europe. Such an event will only confirm our level of dimwittedness.

Cynan
Cynan
6 months ago

Well it will leave its mark on Cymru certainly. Scars tend to be like that.
Festival of Brexit. Iesu Grist!
What’s next?

  • Stand Up FOR Cancer
  • Celebration of poverty and ignorance
  • Carnival of disinformation
  • A festival of Victorian Cultural Homogenisation and Historical Revisionism
  • A Fond Retrospective of the Crimes against Humanity of the British Empire
  • Concentration Camps: A Great British Invention
Erisian
Erisian
6 months ago

Why bother? You can’t polish a turd!

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
6 months ago

Festival of Brexit?
Dim diolch!

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
6 months ago

There is nothing to celebrate about Brexit

Quornby
Quornby
6 months ago

800 redundancies at P&O. A company making a bomb elsewhere in the world. Nothing to do with Brexit of course.

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