In the early 2000s, Ken Griffiths undertook three expeditions to Chubut in Patagonia, accompanied on those journeys by his friend Norman Thomas di Giovanni, a writer, one-time resident of Argentina, and translator of their most famous writer, Jorge Luis Borges. From the outset, Griffiths and di Giovanni were moved by the quest by the Welsh for a home where they could preserve their culture and their language. Nearly defeated in the first year by hardship and starvation, they succeeded through inexhaustible determination and their enlightened treatment of the native Indians, the Tehuelche, who made annual migrations to the area. Spearheading a route to the Andes and forming a new colony there, the journey of these ordinary Welsh settlers is now part of the mythic lore of Argentina.
Griffith's photographs and di Giovanni's words featured in Patagonia, came out of trips they made in different seasons of the year, retracing the routes of the Welsh early pioneers, as well from studying scores of early photographs by John Murray Thomas, one of the colony's founding fathers. The exhibition also features a soundscape by Simon Fraser, the location sound recordist for the feature film Patagonia, made from field recordings of natural and man-made sounds.
Ffotogallery, Turner House, Plymouth Rd, Penarth, CF64 3DH
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