Transmission in Motion


16 December 2020
15:00 - 17:00
Microsoft Teams

Transmission in Motion Seminar (2020-2021): “The Cardiff Race Riots (1919): retraced, redrawn” – Mike Pearson (Aberystwyth University, UK)

In June 1919, Cardiff was the scene of four days and nights of violent mayhem that left three dead, many in hospital, and buildings wrecked and burnt, as local troublemakers, ex-servicemen and Colonial soldiers clashed with Yemeni, Somali and Caribbean seamen in front of vast crowds of on-lookers, of Cardiff citizens. This presentation describes and discusses the research project undertaken with National Theatre Wales: to create a narrative of events, for which no full account survives; to locate and map the sequence of incidents in a cityscape long changed; to recover from anonymity and to conjure up individual rioters and their quarry; and to recapture a moment in a city’s history for which there are no memorials. Resulting in a series live and mediated performances: Things Come Apart (2018); Wild Scenes at Cardiff (2019); and Cardiff 1919: Riots Redrawn (2020).

The session will be moderated by Maaike Bleeker.


To prepare for this seminar, please look into the Cardiff 1919: Riots Redrawn audio-work.

Mike Pearson is Professor Emeritus of Performance Studies at Aberystwyth University. He was a member of RAT Theatre (1972-73), Cardiff Laboratory Theatre (1973-80) and Brith Gof (1981-97). He currently creates theatre as a solo artist; with senior performers group Good News From The Future; and for National Theatre Wales, including The Persians (2010), Coriolan/us (2012), Iliad (2015) and The Storm Cycle (2018). He is the co-author with Michael Shanks of Theatre/Archaeology (2001) and author of In Comes I: Performance, Memory and Landscape (2006), Site-specific Performance (2010), Mickery Theater: An Imperfect Archaeology (2011) and Marking Time: Performance, Archaeology and the City (2013).

* Image credits: Marc Douet