Welsh Keywords: Llais

From Planet 245

by Sara Penrhyn Jones

This is the forty-first contribution to our Welsh Keywords series – inspired by Raymond Williams’ Keywords – which offers contemporary perspectives on contested meanings of words in Welsh and how these shifting meanings continue to shape our society.

‘Williams spoke for the speechless, and found in other voices, who had not always been heard on such terms, a prior speech.’

Fred Inglis, Raymond Williams

If I strive to think of a keyword which has been a constant, if occasionally latent, presence in my life and work over two decades, then that word is llais (voice). For me, llais is a concept which is knottily complex and integral to the struggles that matter. There is a slight musical uplift within the word as it’s uttered in Welsh; a piercing, resonant note to cut through political noise. I’m visualising a long shard of glass, catching the light. If the ‘ll’ is a challenge to pronounce – good! That’s also part of the point.

Sign in to read more
Subscribe here

About the author

Sara Penrhyn Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Media at Bath Spa University, and also lectures on Aberystwyth University’s Advanced Media Production postgraduate scheme.