WHAT PEOPLE SAY

Inspired and inspiring, this book pulls the reader into the lives of people who share a history and identity, which provides them with meaning and a sense of belonging. Through their diverse life stories history unfolds as lived experience – unique and complex, shared and different, shaped by tradition, community and place. The beauty and power of Glenn Jordan’s portrait photographs give a truly magical quality to this important oral history.
– Barbara Adam, Professor Emerita, Cardiff University

These portraits of some of Wales’ Jewish community I found particularly moving, not least since many of the conversations speak of historical suffering on mainland Europe which none of us can forget. Each one also provides us with a progressive, open way of defining identity – as Jewish, British, English, Welsh and other identities flow across each other in these pages, fixed briefly for us to understand that this is what being human is all about.
Glenn Jordan’s method of allowing the subjects of his photography to look in such an apparently relaxed way at the camera and speak clearly for themselves is the result of a deeply sympathetic professional practice. His inspirational series of books and exhibitions of individuals from different communities have become a celebration of the real diversity of living in Wales. This is so necessary at a time when ‘we’ have been gradually redefining ourselves politically and culturally – a process in which Butetown History & Arts Centre has had a key role.

– Daffyd Elis Thomas, Presiding Officer, National Assembly for Wales, 1999-2011

The range of stories is impressive and the photographs are wonderfully eloquent; it is impossible to decide whether the stories or the photographs are the more compelling. However, together they create a unique map of another small part of our world. We need more such maps. It gives particular pleasure to see this fine work appearing in the context of a further expansion of Butetown History & Arts Centre’s innovative transcultural, diasporic dialogue.
– Stuart Hall, Emeritus Professor, Open University, UK

Hineni is a wonderful and strikingly original contribution to many different paths of curiosity and investigation. This is what cultural studies can look like as it speaks across the academy and into broader publics. As one follows its trajectories – intellectual and affective, visual and textual, social and biographical – one gets a palpable sense of Jewish lives in Wales. One grasps the historical realities of diaspora and the importance of documenting the stories of ordinary people, where every life is unique and even extraordinary. Hineni contributes to many fields – diaspora studies, Jewish studies, memory studies, visual studies, life-history studies and more.
– Lawrence Grossberg, Distinguished Professor, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill