the mid wales Borth and Tal y Bont case study has gone through a few name transitions , which reflects the process of really thinking through what (and where) we are going to look at, and why. this is a process that started off with me and Sara when we were first part of the grant application, and has grown to include the rest of the team (Andy, Shelagh and Tom) and now our advisory group, which met for the first time on friday and was very helpful.
our case study focus continues to be on the key population centres of Borth and Tal y Bont, for a number of reasons, some thematic, some practical (on which more in due course). Over the course of the Summer the core team thought that having "fuzzy boundaries" around this patch facilitated and reflected the 'stretch and flow ' of connectivities (human and non human) which we hoped to trace. hence we came up with the name 'Tair Afon' (three rivers) which reflected the fact that there are 3 rivers running through in this wider geographical patch in one section of the Dyfi estuary system,
The practicalities of what we need to do in work package 2 in particular, namely a major 'mapping exercise', has meant that for practical reasons primarily, Tom as the core researcher needed to narrow down the focus again. we know that however narrow our initial focus, that things will (do) 'stretch and flow' through time and space, very fast, and we still want to engage with/ trace these connections. So we still want to attract people in from a wider constituency and dont want to put boundaries around this, but needed to focus back down to our original 2 key places, Borth and Tal y Bont.
we realised as well, that the name 'tair afon' actually didnt invoke the sea at all, and the sea is pretty important!!!!!!
so we were stuggling with names, becuase just saying 'borth and tal y bont' is not only clunky it does tend to preclude the potential involvement of people /stuff outside those places....
so we threw the name issue out to our advisory board, and hywel griffiths who has expertise in welsh cultural history, among many other things, suggested the name "Cymerau", which is welsh for confluence. we like it for a number of reasons which are hopefully self explanatory , including the subliminal invocation of 'connected communities' .
all of this naming and delineating is quite challenging for me, becuase i (like many in the wider project !) have a critical take on the issue of 'place shaping' and 'spatial governance from above' . on which subject , perhaps a post /forum thread sometime. but you know, you dont make an omelette without breaking eggs... talking of which its definitely lunchtime....
To read more by Alex visit her page on Hydrocitizens.