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Enthusiasm: A Migration Story Spanning Merthyr Tydfil and Ukraine; The 1860s To The Present Day- A One Day Arts Event Uniting Musicians, Members Of The Community, Archivists + Historians | July 1st 2017

June 4, 2017

Still from Dzhiga Vertov’s Enthusiasm: The Donbass Symphony (1931) (from the collection of the Austrian Film Museum. Frame enlargement Georg Wasner)


A project by Victoria Donovan and Stefhan Caddick.

July 1st 2017- Discover Enthusiasm.

Save the date for a special day set to unite musicians, members of the Merthyr and South Wales community, archivists and historians.

Enthusiasm is a migration story spanning Merthyr Tydfil and Ukraine; the 1860s to the present day. This innovative, interdisciplinary one-day arts event brings together musicians, members of the community, archivists and historians to take a radical look at a little-known historical episode that links Merthyr and the South Wales Valleys to the Donbas in Ukraine and asks how the legacy of this past continues to resonate in our social, cultural and political landscape today.

Saturday 1st July 2017, 12-10pm

Venue: Redhouse, Old Town Hall, High Street, Merthyr CF47 8AE

In 1869, Welsh industrialist John Hughes founded the mining town of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine, initiating a wave of migration from South Wales to Eastern Europe. 1917 and the approaching Russian Revolution saw the hasty exit of the industrialists who had followed Hughes, fearful of the revolutionary ferment. 100 years later, in the present day, Ukraine and the Donbas are once again at the centre of a violent conflict that has led to the internal displacement of over a million people.

Enthusiasm will bring to life some of the elements of this fascinating and timely story, via film, music, image, food and discussion.

Enthusiasm includes:

  • Talk and reading by Dr Victoria Donovan (Lecturer in Russian, University of St Andrews)
  • Performance of a selection of migrant letters by local and diasporan voices.
  • Exhibition of historic photographs of Donetsk from the Glamorgan Archives and contemporary images by Ukrainian photographer Alexander Chekmenev
  • A programme of workshops and activities
  • Screening: Enthusiasm: The Donbass Symphony (1931) by Ukrainian revolutionary film makerDzhiga Vertov with a new original score performed live by composer Simon Gore.

Sound, film and image credits:
Enthusiasm Trailer  features a short excerpt from a new, live soundtrack by composer Simon Gore and clips from Dzhiga Vertov’s 1931 film ‘Enthusiasm: The Donbass Symphony’ (courtesy Austrian Film Museum). The full, hour long performance will be premiered at Enthusiasm in Merthyr Tydfil on 1st July 2017.

Our artist Simon Gore, an incredible multi instrumentalist who we are forever delighted to be associated with, has been commissioned by artist Stefhan Caddick and Dr.Victoria Donovan. Simon is set to write and record an original re-scoring of Dzhiga Vertov’s 1930 masterpiece film which will be performed live at the event by Simon and several talented musicians from across the UK joining him to captivate the audience.


This awe inspiring occasion is set to enthrall, we urge you to attend this meticulous and mesmerising event/experience.



Text taken from Stefan Caddick


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