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Going Underground: Dylan Foster Evans puts Welsh-language Cardiff on the map

28 June 2017

An underground map to be published today (28 June) will show Cardiff as never seen before offering unique views on the capital’s past and present.

The map is the brainchild of Dylan Foster Evans from the School of Welsh and I Loves the ’Diff designer Christian Amodeo. Acting on an idea by the Penylan, Cyncoed, Roath and Cathays fundraising committee for the 2018 National Eisteddfod, Christian and Dylan came together to form a unique partnership to imagine how Cardiff would look in Welsh on a London Underground map.

It will uncover some of Cardiff’s oldest, original Welsh names whilst also paying homage to some of the capital’s greats, from singer Geraint Jarman to paralympian Tanni Grey-Thompson. With make-believe lines linking familiar areas like Roath, Penylan and Canton, the map also includes some of Cardiff’s most famous landmarks, such as the Aneurin Bevan statue on Queen Street and The Senedd building in Cardiff Bay.

Unofficial and ‘underground’

And, in keeping with the map’s unofficial and ‘underground’ nature, Dylan Foster Evans has also taken the liberty of drawing on Cardiff’s rich history for some station names. These include the Llywelyn Bren station, named for a fourteenth-century rebel who led a revolt in Glamorgan in 1316. He was executed in Cardiff Castle and buried in Greyfriars, and 2018 (the year of the Eisteddfod) will mark 700 years since his death.

The map has also deliberately sought to showcase some of Cardiff's original Welsh names. These include Heol y Plwca (City Road), Y Cimdda (Victoria Park) and Sarn Fid Foel (North Road).

Christian Amodeo from I Loves the ’Diff was delighted to be part of the project: "When the idea of having such a map to raise money for the Eisteddfod was suggested to me, I was immediately keen. I think it’s a great idea. It’s good to know the efforts that the illustrious team has gone to has not only ensured accuracy but also added much cultural flavour. I hope to include notes on the website to explain the reasons for the names of various stops!"

And Dylan Foster Evans says that the map seeks to combine two fundamental aims: "It puts the Welsh-language names for many of Cardiff’s streets and sights literally on the map but does so in a playful way. It also tries to uncover some of the city’s hidden Welsh past and bring it to the surface. The capital has at times been slow to recognise its varied linguistic heritage and there is always a risk that some of its rich past could be forgotten. This beautiful map helps rework that history and I’m delighted that it will also be raising vital funds for the National Eisteddfod."

Find out more about the project through Dylan Foster Evans’s Welsh-language blog.

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