Tuesday, 18 September 2012


We've been trying to make sure the stories we collect represent the Ebbw Fach fairly, with an even spread of stories from along its length. Not only that, we hoped to achieve even numbers of men and women, an even spread of young and old. Let alone representing the minority groups carefully.

So we've been puzzled to find that our storytellers are predominantly older men and younger women. We have begun seeking older women and younger men, approaching places and organisations where they might be found.

But one of the Mythbusting storytellers, a delightfully reflective university student, has pointed out that the people who are coming forward to tell stories reflect the population and culture of the Valley. There are more older people than young, and, culturally, the men act as spokespeople in that generation. Older women are more likely to hold back and just let the men talk.

Amongst younger people, if the boys are in work, they won't be free to talk to us, and if they are hanging around on the streets........And what young man is really keen to talk and chat?

That begs the question of why the girls have been free to tell us stories. In some cases employers have given us permission to talk to them, and in others the girls have been shift workers.

Stereotypes? Well, it's challenged our ways of thinking about fair representation.

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