In his book and exhibition “The Dynamic”, Photographer Sebastian Bruno chronicles the fate of a risk-taking newspaper in the Welsh backwater, which he worked for as a staff photographer.
“This is a community where from the 80s onwards, a process of attrition began, started very cruelly by Thatcher and her minions: telling these communities that they were worth nothing,” said Julian Meet and Tony Flatman, founders and editors of the newspaper. Working in Blaenau Gwent county, which had the highest Leave vote in Wales, they navigated the most troubling recent years in contemporary British history, marked by fake news, austerity policies and Brexit.
“All of Tony’s copy is handwritten, he doesn’t use a computer” Julian Meek, Abertillery.
“The ring of this phone was the only sound that wouldn’t make Julian jump off his chair” Tony Flatman, Abertillery
Remembrance Day, Nantyglo
Julian Meek, Editor in Chief, Abertillery
View of Abertillery from Rhiw Park Road
The Dynamic ran from 2015 to 2017 with a circulation of 5000. “it was clear that we were trying to do something different. Mad, yes, but you need madness in a place like this, otherwise, you can’t survive.” Starting with one computer and a printing contract, the two men used journalism to re-establish trust within the community. The photographs look like they’ve been taken in the 1960s. Heartfelt, surreal, and ironic, they reveal the grandeur and the challenges of Mr. Meet and Mr. Flatman’s dream.
Tony and Julian on their way to a Pub Review, Cwm
The Dynamic Office, 17 High Street, Abertillery
Julian after Pub Review, Blackwood
Sheep outside Tesco, Abertillery
Tony Flatman, Sports & Business Editor, Keeper’s Pond near Blaenavon
The exhibition "The Dynamic" is on view from April 20 to July 2 at the Martin Parr Foundation in Bristol. The homonymous book is published by ICVL Studio and available at the price of 38 Euro.