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Manon Steffan Ros

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Manon Steffan Ros is a writer, columnist and screenwriter who primarily works through the medium of Welsh. She was born and raised in Rhiwlas, Dyffryn Ogwen, but now lives in Tywyn, Meirionnydd. For this residency she creatively explored the relationship between her village and the predicted future shoreline.

Manon caried out a series of creative works including music, film, poetry and sound exploring what is lost in coastal communities as the sea rises. By looking at this from the perspective of her own child, she explored the sense of regret and guilt about knowing the problems that will be handed down by us to the future generations.

What she learnt

The stories of our communities are not the great deeds recorded by history but the small gestures and memories that make us feel connected to our home, our families, and our neighbours. Looking at this enquiry through the eyes of her child has made nature feel very personal to Manon, and the consequence of what is happening within the natural world personal to her life. There is a power in saying sorry to our children for what we continue to do to their home.

What we can learn from this

We need to reach out to communities that are under threat from sea-level rise and help them document their lives so that they can keep the stories of their communities alive. This could be a national archive of coastal communities, containing audio and visual logs and helping people come to terms with the changes that are to come. Related to this, we should explore an outlet for people to apologies to future generations for the actions that they are undertaking today that is damaging the world of tomorrow. This may be a series of personal testimonies that can be saved in a central repository so that they can be accessed in the future. It should consider the power of this action in the present in helping people reflect on societies current rate of consumption and take affirmative action to live more sustainably.