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Aberfan: remembering, forgetting and moving on

Chuck Rapoport speaking at Cardiff University
Chuck Rapoport presented his photos taken in the aftermath of the Aberfan disaster

On the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster, the School of Journalism, Media and Culture brought people together to build a greater understanding of the effects of the disaster and its coverage.

The project brought together members of the community from Aberfan: those who had been involved in the disaster, different departments and academics from the University, and the wider media, both those involved in 1962, and media who were interested in the anniversary.

The project enabled people to speak freely and gave a safe space for many to speak for the first time. It garnered interest in many quarters and enabled people with different backgrounds to connect, exchange knowledge and to network.

Some 100 attendees took part in a conference at our School of Journalism, Media and Culture, of whom approximately 25% were either survivors, residents or former residents of Aberfan, or journalists or first responders directly involved in the disaster.

Speakers at the event included:

  • Melanie Doel: Author, 'Is it Still Raining in Aberfan? A pit and its people' (Logaston Press, 1991)
  • Jeff Edwards: Aberfan survivor and founder of the Aberfan and Merthyr Vale Youth & Community Project
  • Elwyn Evans: Former BBC television news editor
  • Professor Stephen Jukes: Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, Columbia University
  • Vincent Kane: BBC journalist
  • Gaynor Madgwick: Author, ‘Aberfan, Struggling out of the darkness: A Survivor’s story’
  • Chris Morris: Documentary film-maker
  • I C (Chuck) Rapoport: photojournalist who photographed Aberfan for Life magazine immediately after the disaster
  • Louise Walsh: Writer

A recording of the event has been placed in the National Library.

The event was coordinated by James Stewart, Dr Janet Harris and Professor Richard Sambrook from the School of Journalism, Media and Culture.

More information

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