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Portraits show Westminster how Swansea is a city of diversity

Portraits of visitors to Swansea Museum are now on display at the heart of the UK Parliament.


The framed images are part of a topical exhibition at the historic Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the Palace of Westminster.

Taken last year at the Swansea Council-run museum, the pictures help mark the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Race Relations Act.

Robert Francis-Davies, the council's cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: "It's great that thousands of people passing through London's corridors of power can see for themselves these tremendous Swansea images.

"As a welcoming city we celebrate inclusivity and diversity so we were delighted to play a part in the scheme that culminated in this exhibition."

Westminster Hall's First Waves exhibition was created with the help of Swansea's minority communities last summer.

Workshops exploring the impact of the Race Relations Act were hosted by London-based artist Scarlett Crawford at Swansea Museum.

Scarlett is artist in residence at the UK Houses of Parliament. She wants her residency to reflect and celebrate the growth of an inclusive democracy and to champion communities that campaigned for improvements in race legislation.

Around 30 Swansea residents took part in her First Waves initiative which was set up by the Speakers Committee for Arts in Parliament. Other locations involved included Nottingham, Liverpool, Glasgow, Leeds and Cardiff.

Race Council Cymru (RCC) worked with Swansea Council's cultural services team to ensure the city had a range of contributors to the final exhibition.

MP David Lammy welcomed contributors to Parliament at the exhibition's launch on January 15. He thanked them and Swansea Council for their work in championing diversity.

The exhibition - including words, images and sound - will remain in the Palace of Westminster until February 16 for public viewing.

The work was supported by the council-managed Fusion Swansea project and was previously exhibited at Swansea Museum in October.

RCC chief executive officer Uzo Iwobi said: "RCC is delighted to represent Wales on this UK wide initiative.

"The project has captured reflections of the journey of race equality over the past 50 years.

"Working on the First Waves project has given our diverse ethnic minority groups the opportunity to co-create some artworks to mark 50 years of the race equality journey. We are very excited to be involved."

Scarlett Crawford said: "Working in Swansea was an amazing experience where I was instantly made to feel part of a wide community of diverse people.

"The energy and enthusiasm brought by the partners and participants really gave me motivation for the whole project.

"It was inspiring meeting and working with so many people who have actively committed their lives to improving race relations. It was a pleasure creating such striking pieces of work with them."

More Art in Parliament 

Photo Yuying Cui, Swansea, 2018, by Scarlett Crawford. Copyright Scarlett Crawford

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