Portraits of Pride: Proud Audio Visual Trail
Another Pride Month has been and gone, marked by the annual Pride Cymru event where the LGBTQIA+ community and fellow allies line the streets of Cardiff to celebrate and honour their community. The Pride festival covers two stages over two days, varying from big names to local talent. Throughout the month, Cardiff hosted an abundance of events to share people’s stories far and wide to help people come together in love and friendship. One event in the month that stood out was the audio-visual trail ‘Proud’ designed to focus on the importance of representation, self-acceptance, and being proud of one’s identity.
‘Proud’ was brought to Cardiff as a collaborative effort commissioned by ‘FOR Cardiff’ and curated by ‘Heard Storytelling’. ‘FOR Cardiff’ works hard to deliver improvements for businesses in the city centre, as well as the wider community. Their core pillars are to enhance, deliver, and represent, and their aim is to nurture an environment that locals are proud of. ‘Heard Storytelling’ specialises in creating empowering opportunities through building fun and safe places.
This collaborative collection exhibited eight living portraits throughout the city’s shopping streets. The visual train drew the attention of shoppers, diners and art enthusiasts alike. By scanning QR codes, the public could listen to different perspectives, offering insight into their personal journey to self-acceptance. The personal and candid journeys encompassed a diverse range of experiences, ranging from the streets of Pakistan, clubs of Cardiff, hospital waiting rooms, to the funfairs of Barry Island. Stories included award-winning author and founder of Drag Queen Story Hour UK, Aida H Dee, along with partner Theo, all wanting to share their stories to tell people it’s okay to be different and help give others a voice.
Other touching stories told tales of friendships, overcoming struggles, and transformations. Organisers are delighted to bring such touching stories to the city, especially during Pride Month, bringing together lived experiences into an immersive experience for everyone to enjoy. Participants feel hopeful they can inspire others out there to feel comfortable to be themselves.
In light of these candid narratives, we are reminded of the highs and lows people face on the journey to self-acceptance with the storytellers left feeling immensely proud, influencing others to start their self-acceptance journey.