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Perspectives on Aberfan

4 August 2016

Aberfan Disaster - Copyright Required
© I.C. Rapoport

Fifty years after the Aberfan disaster, in which 116 children and 28 adults died, Cardiff University is bringing together survivors, journalists and academics to explore how people affected and the media have told the story of the tragedy.

A one-day conference, hosted by the University’s School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, will look at the sensitive issues of media coverage and trauma, against the backdrop of the effect these had - and continue to have - on the village of Aberfan.

Questions of how such a catastrophe was and is covered and remembered, the trauma and the importance of remembering such events, and how the media and community affected can move on, will be addressed by speakers including I C (Chuck) Rapoport, a renowned photojournalist who photographed Aberfan for Life magazine; and Gaynor Madgwick, a survivor of the disaster.

Also speaking are Vincent Kane, a former BBC journalist who reported on the disaster and Louise Walsh, a writer, who has uncovered important archive documents about the media’s misreporting of Aberfan.

James Stewart of the School is organising the event: “Aberfan is still a very sensitive subject, but we feel it is right to examine the ways in which the disaster has been remembered and how the community has been reported and misrepresented. Many of those taking part in the event have been closely involved in the story and will have valuable insights to share.”

Aberfan – Remembering, Forgetting and Moving On: A discussion takes place on Thursday 8 September 2016. It is held in the Bute Building and runs from 9am-6pm. Tickets are free but must be reserved here.

The event is supported by National Union of Journalists, South East Wales Branch.