Oh He of Little Faith
From Planet 224

What can be learnt from the success of Cardiff Without Culture?
by Greg Cullen

Rabab Ghazoul is a Cardiff-based, Iraqi-born Buddhist artist with a sideline in conflict resolution. Therefore when she screamed down the phone at me, ‘Are you fucking joking?!’ I knew I’d made the wrong call.

Cardiff Arts Cuts

Cardiff Without Culture © Craig Kirkwood

We’ve come a long way since Michael Fish pooh-poohed eyewitness reports of an incoming hurricane that would soon see a garden shed overtake traffic on a motorway. All week they’d been predicting a torrential storm on 6 Saturday, February 2016, the very day we’d planned the ‘Cardiff Without Culture’ demo to reject a proposed £700,000 cut in Cardiff Council funding for arts and culture. All week Rabab had urged us all to send positive vibes out into the universe so that it would turn out sunny. Predictably, it had rained so hard all night I’d barely slept.

G39, a factory unit in Roath, which had pootled along inconspicuously as a creative space for contemporary artists, had now become a galvanising hub for all manner of previously disconnected ‘creatives’. The demo was as meticulously planned as chaotic goodwill allows for, which invariably means it all miraculously comes together at the last minute and is absolutely amazing.

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