not far from rhondda, 2021
poem in audio soundscape, audio, and text
When I was approached to make work for In The Frame: International Women’s Day I felt honoured but also wondered whether it was my place. As a man, what do I have to add to the conversation? And should I be taking up this space? I knew that if I was going to contribute something here it was going to have to be the start of a wider conversation.
I spoke to two women from Hereford about their experiences; one in their twenties and one in their seventies. Over the phone both participants talked about how far we haven’t come, what it is like to be a woman, mens’ behaviour and what International Women’s Day means today. A theme emerged of how men change spaces for women; be that a threat or welcome challenge, which led me to use Naomi Williams’ image. Both participants hoped that these conversations could continue over a cup of tea and that they should happen more often in real life if we are to make progress.
I cannot speak for these women, or any women, but what I have done is try to highlight the contrasts of our experiences and put a spotlight on women’s everyday resilience. The result is a poem woven together from both conversations over a fictitious cup of tea, exploring how far we haven’t come.
1990s Chris is a queer working class writer from Hereford.
Audio: Not far from rhondda is a poem inspired by conversations with two Herefordian women about how far we haven’t come.