When we talk about peace
building, how and where does this take place…
In 2018 we were invited to respond to a building established with a remit for peace building in mind…
Inspired by a unique building and architectural monument – Cardiff’s Temple of Peace – ‘A New Mecca’ was a participatory project engaging communities across Cardiff in a series of artist-led workshops, talks, sung works, sharings and community creations.
Llaunched in September 2018 its first phase culminated in a performance presentation consisting of invited responses from artists/practitioners, and newly composed sung works by Helen Chadwick, to mark the 80thanniversary of the Temple’s founding in November 2018. We invited a community choir, a civil servant, a composer, an academic, a Unitarian minister, a colonial historian, an activist and others to help us create a performative work exploring the Temple’s 80-year archive.
We explored the Temple’s archive, in particular the original Order of Service marking the building’s inauguration on November 23rd 1938. Above all, we invited responses that could engage in the gaps, the gaps in the narratives around this place – the gaps that spoke to empire, colonialism, patriarchy, women’s voices, broken religion and the machinery of war.
This project took place in partnership with Being Human Festival, Wales for Peace and the Wales Centre for International Affairs, in primary collaboration with academic Emma West of Birmingham University.