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In 2018, The Welfare Ystradgynlais’ community arts team worked with Ysgol Maesydderwen, Ysgol Dyffryn Y Glowyr and Syrian families who have settled in Ystradgynlais to tell stories of refugees past and present. Award winning animation company Winding Snake Productions worked with the community to produce the two animated films. The films share stories about how people fleeing conflict have been made welcome in Ystradgynlais, and how the town has provided them with a place of sanctuary.


Cynefin is a short film made by the schools about Polish artist Josef Herman and voiced by Hollywood star Michael Sheen. The talented pupils came up with the idea, wrote the script and created the characters and backdrops, they tried out stop-motion animation and also created the films score with BAFTA Award Winning Composer Tic Ashfield.


Uncle Ahmad’s Canaries was created at The Welfare Ystradgynlais with Syrian families living in the area, and is based on their stories of moving to Wales and making their home in the Valleys. The families were also involved in creating the animation which is a poignant story of hope and survival. It can be viewed here: https://www.peoplescollection.wales/items/993881


You can also watch a behind-the-scenes 'making of' video here: https://www.peoplescollection.wales/items/1003361


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