Excerpts from Planet 213
Plummeting and Soaring: Newport and Merthyr Tydfil

Hugh Adams contrasts arts provision in Newport and Merthyr, arguing that the former is in severe decline while the latter is now flourishing, and describes the profound effects local government policy is having on the culture, economy and morale of these communities.
The Poet, the Donkey and the Quandary

Siôn Tomos Owen, the winner of the Young Writers’ Prize, describes how his passion for politics was shaped by the course of the global recession and his experience of unemployment.
On the Money

David Greenslade, the winner of our General Prize, looks at the insight currency design gives us into the relationship between the global economy and national identity. Could Wales’s ailing economy be aided by the development of its own currency iconography? He comes up with an intriguing suggestion...
One Wales, Two Versions

Helle Michelsen gives a Scandinavian perspective on ‘Welsh noir’, and explores common taboos around the Welsh language which surround the Y Gwyll/Hinterland phenomenon.
Federalism: A Very British Compromise

Alex Salmond’s biographer David Torrance reviews The Reformed Union: the UK as Federation by Welsh Conservative AM David Melding and asks whether federalism can offer a ‘grand bargain’ between often-hostile factions.
The Mona Complex

In this quarter’s ‘Retracing Wales’ our series giving creative responses to the Wales Coast Path, novelist Tristan Hughes remembers dodging bullets on the Anglesey coast, and wonders whether some places are best left secret.
The World Turned Inside Out

Peter Stevenson tells the harrowing folktales of the Ceredigion lead mines, seamed with poverty, murder and racial tension. These are accompanied by images of art by Alison Lochhead, who transforms spoil from the local mines into extraordinary sculptures and prints.
An Open Wound: From the Big Hole to the Marikana Massacre

Ismail Lagardien stands at the edge of the largest open pit mine dug by human hands and reflects on a political economy of human misery within South African mining, from the colonial period to the present.
Mining Museums: The Spoils of Exploitation

Gareth Hoskins visits mining museums in Wales, the USA and South Africa, and argues that industrial heritage sites such as that at Blaenavon can conceal or even justify continuing inequality and ecological disaster.
UNESCO: A Social Philosophy for the 21st Century?

John W. Morgan argues that in an era marked by armed conflict and fundamentalist ideologies UNESCO can be a vehicle for a ‘re-Enlightenment’ of the world.
Focus section

Mike Parker... on politics

Branwen Davies... on theatre

Rachel Trezise... on music
Reviews section

Helen Pendry reviews Florilingua

Heather Williams reviews Paris

Shelagh Hourahane reviews Relationships with Pictures

Tim Holmes reviews Beyond Consumer Capitalism + more