Best Interviews of 2020: Every year Wales Arts Review talks to some of the leading lights in the country’s art and culture, and here is just a small selection of some of those illuminating conversations of 2020.
As part of Wales Climate Week 2020, creatives and academics came together via zoom to discuss ‘the role of storytellers in shaping the narrative and communal imagination towards action and engagement with the climate crisis’. Holly McElroy interviews panellist Liz Jenson, author and founder of Extinction Rebellion Writers Rebel.
Professor Adeline Johns-Putra is one of the world’s leading researchers into the relationship between literature and the environment. She was one of the earliest scholars to research the phenomenon of climate change fiction when, in 2009, she became a co-investigator on the ESF-funded project ‘From Climate to Landscape: Imagining the Future’ at the University of Exeter, an interdisciplinary project that brought together ecologists, geographers and literary scholars. Gary Raymond caught up with her via Zoom from her home in Honk Kong where she is Professor of Literature at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou, China, and Honorary Professor at the University of Hong Kong.
Dr Deepti Gurdasani, a senior lecturer in clinical epidemiology at Queen Mary University in London, has in recent months become a vocal critic of the UK Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the Welsh Government moves toward the Green phase of its plan to ease out of lockdown, she talked with Kevin McGrath about her concerns that Wales is set to return to pre-lockdown levels of COVID transmission
Josie Cray talks to Josh Hicks and Ioan Morris about the comic art scene in Wales and what inspired them to co-found the Cardiff Comic Carnival in 2019.
Ben Woolhead talks to playwright Gary Owen about adapting his work in the light of COVID-19 and bringing his own parents to the stage through his two new short plays Mum & Dad brought out digitally via the Sherman Theatre.
The pandemic has led musicians major and minor to be resourceful – and reflective. Celebrated Welsh concert pianist Llŷr Williams tells Nigel Jarrett about digital streaming, Beethoven and Schubert, whizz-kid prodigies, and the joys of walking the wild places of Britain.
Photographer Jon Pountney was in conversation with ffotogallery’s Mathew Talfan ahead of his exhibition, Waiting for the Light, at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff. Ben Woolhead was there for Wales Arts Review.
This year Wales Arts Review interviewed a series of well-renowned authors and asked them a range of questions about their favourite books, ideal reading experiences and writers they personally admire. Interviewees included Niall Griffiths, Deryn Rees-Jones, Carys Davies, Glen James Brown, Richard Owain Roberts, Liz Hyder, Deborah Kay Davies, and Kate Hamer.
Also part of our best interview of 2020, we launched a new Q&A series delving into leading Welsh musicians’ listening habits and musical passions. Interviewees included Tomos Williams, Al Lewis, Martyn Joseph, and Cath Holland.