Kyle Legall on the inspiration behind Cardiff 1919: Riots Redrawn25 Oct 2019
“Cardiff 1919 Race Riots was an explosive period for the people of Cardiff, but more particularly, the families that lived in Tiger Bay. The Race Riots are a lived experience within my family and is part of our folklore.
Cardiff 1919: Riots Redrawn was inspired by my time as an emerging director with NTW. I observed Mike Pearson and Mike Brooks direct Storm 2, the script of which was researched from newspaper reports from the time of the riots. Whilst listening to the actors deliver the play, I started doodling little illustrations on my copy of the script of the events and the faces, because the dialogue painted such detail in my imagination.
I was encouraged by the directors and producers of NTW to expand on my artwork, to take it to another level.
When I think of the riots, my community and family 100 years ago, having had to defend their right to be in Cardiff, have families and work for a living, fills me with disgust and then pride. The fact that after fighting in the war, the people of Tiger Bay had to fight again for their lives, families and homes. They had to fight against racism.
Being brought up in Tiger Bay, understanding our unique heritage and identity. Black and white people living in peace, this place is what the future will look like. This is what the residents of Butetown fought to protect and this was what the racist rioters wanted to destroy. Tiger Bay ultimately became a part of the makeup and fabric of Cardiff.”
More about Kyle
Kyle was NTW’s first Artist in Residence in 2015. He was an Emerging Director on Storm 2 & 3 (2018/2019) and lead artist on Wild Scenes at Cardiff (2019). He has been a member of TEAM Panel since 2018 and has worked with many different communities, artists, performers and practitioners.
Kyle is an artist whose work spans many genres from graffiti, animation, filmmaking, theatre, and design, to making his own graffiti clothing line. He has created four 2D animated short films for Channel 4 and S4C. In 2017 Kyle wrote, designed and directed RATS (Rose Against The System) at Wales Millennium Centre.