A Sense of Community
We live in Llangwm, Pembrokeshire, a village clustered around an inlet of the Cleddau Estuary. You don’t go through Llangwm to get anywhere else, lending it a sense of confident isolation. Within living memory strangers could expect to have stones thrown at them; the Llangwms didn’t like outsiders. Thankfully times have changed. During 2019 I decided to undertake a photographic project that I had been meaning to do for a number of years; a year in the life of the village.
A Pandemic Jolt
The portrait I captured appears rather strange now in these uncertain times of self-isolation and government advice to stay at home. Covid19 has changed the world, as you might expect with a pandemic on the loose. The social gatherings I photographed are suspended, events postponed or cancelled. The rugby season was aborted early, the cricket season will begin late, if at all. The school is closed. There is no singing emanating from the church or chapels on a Sunday morning. Normal daily life has become more solitary, more wary perhaps. Maybe the old Llangwms will feel justified in stoning strangers once again!
My motivation for undertaking the project were many and varied but primarily I wanted to produce a documentary record of the inhabitants of this little village so that future generations could look at the photographs and put a face to a name. Life and society are constantly evolving; our ways of working and living are in many ways very different to our ancestors. But one thing remains, hopefully; that sense of community and the feeling of being bound to one another on a journey.
The twelve months I spent photographing the people of Llangwm were joyful. I am priveleged to have had the opportunity to do it and I am grateful to all of the incredible people I encountered – some were friends, others friendly acquaintances. To view more images from the project click here