6.1.16. Gorsedh Kernow challenges ‘gre an maters’ – the status quo

Gorsedh Kernow has entered the new year with a renewed sense of confidence and enthusiasm as it looks to challenge “gre an maters yn Kernow” – the current state of affairs in Cornwall.

“The College of Bards has enjoyed a very fruitful year with our “Do Something for Cornwall” challenge, launched last year on St Piran’s Day to complement our long established ceremonial events for which we are best known and loved,” said Grand Bard of Cornwall Merv Davey.

Bards and supporters of Gorsedh Kernow were involved in all sorts of events, some of which grabbed the headlines alongside more modest endeavours, with music, song, dance, art and theatre as a constant cultural presence. Increasingly however, individuals and organisations are looking to Gorsedh Kernow for support and are responding to positive action by bards to help maintain and grow all aspects of precious Cornish culture.

“Stability is a very desirable thing” said Grand Bard Merv Davey, “but we don’t want to be preserved in aspic or closed to new ideas.”

“Since achieving Minority Status there has been a growing sense of urgency to get things going and see tangible results from our efforts, not only among my fellow bards but among friends and supporters of Gorsedh Kernow and all those who love Cornwall.”

Such a result was achieved recently when Bude-based bard Jonathan Ball MBE, co-founder of the Eden Project, architect and now internationally elected Councillor for the Royal Institute of British Architects received confirmation that RIBA had revised its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy to recognise Cornish ethnicity.

“There was no mention of Cornwall on RIBA’s equality, ethnicity & diversity form despite there being mention of all the other Celtic nations,” said Jonathan Ball, “but I am delighted to confirm that the new President and Board of RIBA have reconsidered and agreed to include Cornwall as a Celtic nation in all their policy documents, with immediate effect.”

Frank discussions are being encouraged with cultural organisations such as English Heritage who are seeking to establish better relations with bards and draw on the vast treasure trove of knowledge and expertise for which Gorsedh Kernow is justifiably proud.

There is also a growing awareness of the need to make fuller use of social media and for much more local mainstream media coverage.

“Just recently one of our bards, Denzil Monk, a professional film maker, has launched a campaign to persuade the BBC to add a new channel, BBC Kernow, to their proposed new charter,” said the Grand Bard, “and the Council and membership of Gorsedh Kernow is delighted to lend support to this exciting prosposal and urges others to do so. We think it would sit very well alongside our friends at BBC Radio Cornwall and the excellent Radyo an Gernewegva online Cornish language radio programme.”

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