Why Have Rural Communities Been Ignored by Politics? Natasha Carthew
For our May Book of the Month event, we are joined by author and memoirist Natasha Carthew to examine the socioeconomic inequality that is so rife in our UK holiday spots – and why these rural communities have been ignored by the political system for too long.
Natasha Carthew grew up in rural poverty in Cornwall, facing limited opportunities, isolation and a community confronting the dramatic impact of socioeconomic inequality. While her experience of Cornwall was one of isolation and poverty, she was just streets away from the holidaymakers enjoying the picture postcard version of Cornwall in their second homes. This caused the rise in property prices and squeezing out of locals from their hometowns. It’s a pattern that decades ago but is now rifer than ever.
While the architecture, amenities and infrastructure around her was shaped and defined by social inequality, the natural landscape remained consistent – and beautiful. In her memoir – the first non-fiction book Carthew has written – she describes how she returned to the Cornish landscapes she found solace in as a youngster. Undercurrent is Carthew’s reckoning, as she tries to reconcile a childhood shaped by political neglect and deprivation with a life defined by the beauty and power of nature.
She joins Naomi Miller, acting director of Bristol Ideas to discuss these knotty subjects, the ongoing rural poverty in many communities (and holiday destinations) around the UK, the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, and the role of ‘place’ in shaping who we are.
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Natasha Carthew is a working-class writer and poet from Cornwall. She is the author of ten books, including those published by Bloomsbury, Quercus and the National Trust. Her latest book Undercurrent: A Cornish Memoir of Poverty, Nature and Resilience is published by Hodder & Stoughton. She is founder of The Nature Writing Prize for Working Class Writers and Artistic Director of The Working-Class Writers Festival.
Naomi Miller, Acting Director Bristol Ideas. In 2021, Naomi worked closely with Natasha Carthew to produce the first Working Class Writers Festival. Prior to her role at Bristol Ideas, Naomi held fundraising and organisational development roles at Bristol Cathedral, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and the Fitzwilliam Museum. Naomi plays an active part in the cultural life of Bristol, co-chairing The Wardrobe Theatre, sitting on the board of Culture Destinations, and on the Chapter of Bristol Cathedral.
Natasha Carthew’s Undercurrent: A Cornish Memoir of Poverty, Nature and Resilience is published by Hodder & Stoughton and will be released in April. The book will be available to buy from Waterstones on the night.
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Pay What You Feel
This event is part of our new ticket pricing structure where we ask people to pay what they feel they can afford in accordance with their means. Read more about it here. Read on for the ticket prices for this event.
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• There are Blue Badge parking spaces on Union Street.
• There is level access to the event space.
• Events are amplified but there is no loop system.
• There are toilets for public use.
• Guide and assistance dogs are welcome.