It isn’t the most obvious career choice for a Welsh person; taking a job as a Creative Video Editor at English Heritage. The Welsh are a proud people and, as we like to remind every tourist that visits, very distinct from the English *points wearily to the East*. Among other things, we’ll likely never share your attachment to umbrellas; your frivolous inclusion of the letters j, k, q, v, w, x and z in your alphabet, or your second-rate cheese on toast (big up the rarebit). So why did I decide to apply for the job?
Heritage has always been a big part of my life, being from a mixed family. I was born in Egypt and have spent most of my life in Wales. As I’m from two quite proud cultures that do a lot to promote their history, I’ve been fortunate enough to explore my connection to two beautiful countries …and England, where I lived during my teenage years. But joking aside, the West Midlands, where I lived, has some rich history, including one of my favourite English Heritage sites, Kenilworth Castle. Supporting young people to have the same connections to their heritage that I’ve enjoyed and appreciated was one of the main reasons why I wanted to work for English Heritage on their new youth engagement programme, Shout Out Loud.
Am I also secretly using this as an opportunity to spread propaganda about Welsh Cakes? Am I going to exclusively use the smooth crooning of Tom Jones in all the videos I edit? Have I quietly funnelled most of my pay to bolstering the Welsh heritage sector by visiting Conwy Castle fifteen times this week?
What’s that? Conwy Castle is an English Castle? Mam bach!
It turns out Wales is full of English stuff and England is full of Egyptian stuff and Egypt is full of more Egyptian stuff (and, if we’re being honest, if we took out all the Egyptian stuff, wouldn’t it all just be pottery?) My point is that heritage can be found everywhere, and my heritage is in more than one place. It’s in museums in London and on hills in Wales and in ruins along the Nile.
Shout Out Loud, really spoke to me for that very reason. They’re handing over the reins to young people who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to meaningfully unlock their heritage and share their untold stories. It’s incredibly exciting, and is going to be so much fun to document and share that in my role as Creative Video Editor. There’s really no telling what we’ll all find together, and where this exploration of English heritage will take us. People from every part of the world have left their mark on England (and it’s probably for the better. Because if we left it up to the English, they’d probably just keep putting stones in circles.)
My manager says that I’m still below the character count.
That should do it.