Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I'r Gad

I'r Gad is a splendid collection of photographic images that records in book form half-a-century's worth of Welsh-language protest. There's all kinds of confrontation here from the Welsh Language Society's first demo on Trefechan bridge, Aberystwyth, in 1963 to court cases, prison releases, graffiti attacks, occupations, and the smashing up of English-language road signs. Some of the images are quite familiar - particularly those taken by snapper Raymond Daniel - but also included are previously unseen shots from collections at the National Library of Wales and Bangor University. One entirely frivolous aspect of the book that I enjoyed was its sartorial dimension. Spot the duffle coats and jazzy beards at early '60s sit-ins; watch out for placard waving hippies; there are people in tank tops being hauled off by the cops in the '70s; and post-punk badge wearers looking like human message boards. If, like me, you enjoy seeing the Welsh in full-on cultural revolt then you will love I'r Gad.

*I'r Gad is published by Y Lolfa at £19.95.