Just make one brief visit to Cardiff’s page and Wikipedia will tell you a lot about the age of our city. Look a bit harder and the timeframes become extremely clear. In infancy Cardiff was the site of a fort, where Common Era men and women spent their days fashioning and swapping coins (or so archaeologists would have us believe). The settlement then went through a somewhat troubled childhood marked by Norman occupation, before it tried to lie down and not think of England as Victorian gentlemen used it as an architectural playground.
So, with all this in mind is it ever possible to argue that the city is young? Evidently, with the question for Cardiff’s Assembly, there was a slight demand for thinking outside of the box, with guests looking beyond the fact that Cardiff’s telegram from the Queen is way past its due date and investigating the extent to which Cardiff exhibits traits traditionally associated with youth. Is it energetic? Is it developing? Does it stay awake past midnight? Cardiff ticks all the boxes and so, despite having a lifespan which precedes the year dot, it can rightfully be described as young.
If our city can escape boundaries of fact and logic to become youthful, then so can we. Youth, therefore, is clearly a state of mind, a flexible concept that need not be pinned to the quantitative measure of age.
As part of a follow-up project to the Cardiff Assembly, the lovely Melody Brain and I will be exploring the view that youth and age are far from antithetical. Like the early-Victorian buildings which have once again come to represent the height of modernity, housing trendy bars and quirky shops, we all have the power to dislocate the youth which contributes to our personalities from the reductive, and perhaps frightening, notion of linear age.
Melody and I will be looking at how the internet works to allow the youth within us all to express itself freely, and will be asking whether avatars can now express this allusive quality in a more genuine way than our bodies ever could. Whether you went to the assembly or not, your ideas and inputs are more than welcome. Young or old of body or mind, please get in touch.