Exhibition to highlight Newtown’s connections to the world

An exhibition in September will cast light on the connections that link the Mid Wales town of Newtown to the rest of the world, reporting on research conducted by members of the Centre for Welsh Politics and Society / WISERD@Aberystwyth over the last three years.
The study, as part of the GLOBAL-RURAL project, has been examining ‘everyday globalization’ in Newtown, looking at aspects including migration to and from the town, the trading relationships of the town’s businesses, social media use, awareness of global events, and international influences on food, shopping and culture, among others. The research, conducted by Dr Jesse Heley, Dr Marc Welsh, Dr Laura Jones, Dr Sam Saville and Professor Michael Woods, has involved a range of research methods including a door-to-door survey of residents, interview, archive research, a business survey, a diary project with the Women’s Institute, and work with local schools and college.
The exhibition continues the close engagement with the community and will allow local residents to find out the results of the study and provide feedback. It will focus on ‘movements’ in and out of Newtown in the past, present and future, with various interactive elements. Artist Caitlin Shepherd is working with the project team on the exhibition and particularly on ways to capture the voices of local people, including a ‘speaking booth’ at the Newtown Food Festival. The team has already presented a report on the research to Newtown Town Council.
The Newtown study forms part of the wider GLOBAL-RURAL project, funded by the European Research Council, which is exploring the impacts of globalization on rural areas around the world and the responses of rural communities. In addition to work in Wales, GLOBAL-RURAL is involving researchers in CWPS-WISERD in fieldwork in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, New Zealand and Sweden.
The exhibition will be open to the public at Newtown Market Hall from Monday 4th September to Friday 15th September.