“[O]f all European societies, Britain has perhaps gone the furthest in accommodating her ethnic minorities… where ‘diversity’ was extolled as a virtue long before this happened elsewhere” – Christian Joppke, 2009
Cardiff is home of one of the oldest multi-cultural communities in Britain, its population continuing to expand organically from the growth of the coal industry, as well as post-war immigration during the 19th and 20th centuries to present day, with an estimated population of 357,200. 90% of the growth in the country is due to migration. In 2011, there were 45,967 foreign-born residents, which accounts for 13.3% of the local resident population. Foreign residents are born in Poland, India, Germany, China, Jamaica, Bangladesh, Pakistan, South Africa and include the biggest Somali community in the UK. Despite its broad ethnic diversity, results in the 2011 census show that within Cardiff more people report a British, Welsh or English national identity.
Today the Welsh capital city attracts foreign students who attend university, immigrants that are hoping for a better future in Wales, as well as a new start to people seeking asylum.
I was always impressed with the cultural diversity you find in Cardiff. I come from a small village of just five-hundred people, where nobody came from a different cultural background other than White-German. Living two minutes away from Cardiff’s renowned City Road could not be any more fascinating to me, as it’s like standing on the doorstep to ten different countries at once.
My work explores and celebrates Cardiff’s many nationalities, which reach from closer by European countries to Africa, Asia and South America. People I spoke to shared personal insights into their lives and how they perceive living in Cardiff, relative to each persons’ different background. I have found that Cardiff is a prioritised city to live in for most, compared to other cities in the UK. The people interviewed mention the Welsh capital for being extraordinary welcoming, it’s people very friendly and many of them consider Cardiff their home.