Wales

Cardiff race riots of 1919: What would they look like today?

Yasmin Begum Image copyright Yasmin Begum
Image caption Yasmin Begum said there is no full account of the race riots

June marks 100 years since the race riots rocked Cardiff, Barry and Newport.

In 1919, ex-servicemen, local troublemakers and soldiers clashed with Yemeni, Somali and Caribbean seamen in front of large crowds.

Friends Yasmin Begum, Laolu Alatise and Mymuna Soleman are trying to paint a modern day picture, live tweeting the events from 100 years ago.

The riots began in Glasgow, before spreading and reaching Wales.

Cardiff University student Miss Begum, 25, said they want to show how shocking the riots would be now - in real time.

The character tweeting updates is supposed to be someone wandering around Cardiff, Barry and Newport in June 1919, taking in the riots around them.

The account intends to become trilingual - posting updates in English, Welsh and Somali, in a bid to make it as inclusive as possible.

Miss Begum, who is studying Islam in Britain, explained she has always been fascinated with the riots, and wanted to mark the century since they happened as there is no formal commemoration.

After posting the tweets, the group have been contacted by descendents of those who were there and want to tell their ancestors' stories - adding detail that may not have been uncovered without the posts.

Image copyright Laolu Alatise
Image caption Laolu Alatise is a Nigerian writer who is studying English Literature at Cardiff University

"I've loved it," said Miss Begum.

"I think what I'm seeing here is community engagement that money can't buy."

Using Twitter makes it "accessible for all", and is lighter than text-heavy sources like police reports, Miss Begum said.

She added that it is used a lot by younger people, and said, "It's a really innovative form of engagement".

The live tweeting is due to end on 15 June, and after that the group hope to follow up with more background to the story.

"No full account of the history of the race riots exists," she said.

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