In her final creation for this months residency, Nicky Arscott presents her fabulous collaboration with Eric Ngalle Charles. Throughout 2017 these artists, including Nicky Arscott will take a leading creative role in what Wales Arts Review publishes, centring their skills on a challenging project over the course of a month. We were inundated with applications, receiving hundreds of emails about the positions, and it was no easy task whittling down all that talent to this final eleven. Our team of six editors debated long into the night, and in the end, we decided on a collection of people who we most want to work with, and whose work excites us. We think you will be excited by them too.
Nicky Arscott and Eric Ngalle Charles
Eric Ngalle Charles is a writer, poet and playwright, originally from Cameroon and now settled in Wales. This year Ngalle was one of the Hay 30 new generation thinkers at the Hay festival, where he performed his play, My Mouth Brought Me Here, which explores themes of migration, language, freedom of expression and dictatorship. He runs Black Entertainment Wales, an arts organisation that provides a platform for artists in the BMEs communities to showcase their work.
I met Ngalle earlier this year when he ran a writer’s workshop, and we have since read our poetry together at Chapter in Cardiff. We agreed that I would make a comic based on one of the poems I heard him perform. I really wanted to do it justice, and I ended up starting again several times over. I felt like I didn’t really know what I was doing until I asked Ngalle who it was that was ‘wailing’. He replied, ‘I heard their wailings first as rumours. It is what remains when “two elephants fight, the grass suffers” essentially the wailings comes from victims of circumstances.’ Understanding this allowed me to see Ngalle’s poem as not only the experience of one, but of many, and I think that is what makes it so powerful.