The title of this book and exhibition “Dragons Warriors Dreigiau Rhyfelwyr” is taken from Welsh actor Michael Sheen’s passionate speech in the opening ceremony “Our men’s and women’s teams are known as the dragons and the warriors. But you are all warriors. And now warriors become dragons. I urge you this week to spread your dragon wings wide. To take off into our Welsh skies. And proudly to fly. Dragons and warriors all. Welcome to Wales.”
After gaining press right of entry to the matches during the Homeless World Cup in Cardiff, I
wondered how I could best use the images to create a lasting legacy of the event. The notion of exhibiting the photographs grew stronger and gained traction from smaller venues culminating with a much larger exhibit at Cynon Valley Museum, Aberdare. I realised this photo-book would be a commemoration of the 17th edition of the Homeless World Cup and would serve as a permanent reminder of that event reflecting what had appeared on the walls of various establishments.
More than 500 players representing over 50 countries travelled to Cardiff to attend the weeklong free festival of football which took place in Cardiff’s iconic Bute Park, right in the heart of the Welsh Capital. The images contained within aim to reflect at its core and represent a cross section of homeless people in South Wales. How they are all, despite
their differences, trying to overcome the isolation from the rest of society, and how taking part in the Homeless World Cup gives them a sense of empowerment and the knowledge that they are part of something bigger than themselves.
According to Cardiff Council, in April 2019 there were 638 households in temporary
accommodation and 70 rough sleepers. As you browse the pictures, I hope that you will not view the guy or girl on the street in a stereotypical way, as people in doorways asking for money, but simply as people who have no home to go to. Please appreciate that there is a story to be told about each one of them as to why they are where they are and to understand that there are ways people can change their situation for the better given the right support.
The Cardiff 2019 Homeless World Cup bid was led by Welsh actor and activist Michael Sheen. The event was delivered by the Homeless World Cup Foundation in coordination with Cardiff City Council, Cardiff University, Cardiff City FC Foundation, FA Wales, Pobl Group, Office of Michael Sheen, Working Word, PYST, Bevan Foundation and Street Football Wales. The Cardiff event will deliver a long-lasting legacy aimed at tackling homelessness in Cardiff, as well as more widely across Wales.
Definition of homelessness - Cymorth Cymru, the umbrella body for providers of homelessness, housing related support and social care services in Wales says that homelessness can be defined as not having a home, or when people are living in unsafe, unsuitable or insecure housing. This can include: People sleeping rough; People in hostels,
shelters and temporary accommodation; People staying with friends or family (e.g. sofa surfing); People in insecure housing (e.g. with little or no legal rights); People in unsuitable or inadequate housing (e.g. poor quality or overcrowding); People at risk of violence or abuse in their home.
The themes and inspirations drawn upon are homelessness, football, social inclusion,
community, and empowerment.
Based on recent statistics released by Welsh Government: Over 20,000 house-holds are
homeless or at risk of homelessness each year in Wales. (During 2017/18); Over 2000 house-holds are in temporary accommodation across Wales – 800 of these are families. (As at 31 March 2017); Over 150 people are sleeping rough across Wales on a single night. (As at 8/9th November 2018)