Humans of the Royal Welsh Show, which achieved unprecedented success and interest at the 2015 Royal Welsh Show, is being relaunched for this year’s show.
The project, which is the work of Greg Thomas, a PhD student in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University, aims to photograph and gather stories from the people who attend the Show. It aspires to tell tales of the ordinary and the extraordinary, and chart the stories of the visitors, exhibitors, and volunteers who come together with such enthusiasm to ensure the continuing success of the event.
“I want to be able to use the latest in social media technology to give people a glimpse behind the scenes of the Royal Welsh Show, and show people all around the world the hard work that goes into ensuring that the Royal Welsh is the greatest show on Earth.”Greg Thomas
Last year Humans of the Royal Welsh Show captured the stories of 62 volunteers, staff and visitors at the Royal Welsh Show. The project was viewed by 197,990 people from 84 different countries, and it is hoped that this success can be repeated.
Throughout this year’s Show (18th – 21st July 2016), Greg will be back with his camera and dictaphone, roaming the showground looking for stories to tell. These stories are not only told to the public via Twitter (@HumansOfTheRWS) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/humansoftheroyalwelshshow), but will also inform Greg’s PhD research and the future of the rural events industry.
This year’s project will also involve Greg speaking with key figures and broadcasting live from the Showground using Facebook Live. Speaking of this new addition to the project Greg said: “I want to be able to use the latest in social media technology to give people a glimpse behind the scenes of the Royal Welsh Show, and show people all around the world the hard work that goes into ensuring that the Royal Welsh is the greatest show on Earth.”
Humans of the Royal Welsh Show forms part of Greg Thomas’ Agricultural Shows: Driving and Displaying Rural Change PhD research in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University. This research aims to establish the role of agricultural shows in Wales today. It is hoped that the work will establish the benefits that agricultural shows bring to rural areas, their wider role in rural change, the way agricultural shows bring together town and country and also their role in facilitating relations between farmers and the Welsh Government.
Greg adds: “The Royal Welsh Show is the largest, and in my view the best, cultural event in Wales. My research has shown that the Show attracts visitors from every Welsh county, both rural and urban, bringing together the whole nation in a celebration of our rural heritage.
“The Royal Welsh is about more than farming, it has a much wider resonance - it is something that the whole nation can relate to. It is not only the main event for agriculture in Wales, it is the largest event for food in Wales, and one of the largest gatherings of people in Wales. The Humans project aims to tell the stories of just some of these people”.
Greg is currently seeking people to feature in the project, and is interested in hearing from people who attend the Show, those for whom the Royal Welsh Show has special meaning, or anyone who has a story to tell about the Show. If you would like to participate in Humans of the Royal Welsh Show, then please get in touch with Greg.
For further information about the PhD project, to contribute, or to contact Greg, full contact details can be found at www.showingagriculture.co.uk.