Annual Raymond Williams Memorial Lecture 2017

In November 2017 Michael Sheen gave the Annual Raymond Williams Memorial Lecture organised by Learning and Work Institute Wales and Open University at RedHouse in Merthyr, Wales.

Michael wrote and presented this brilliant, powerful and often funny speech about Welsh cultural identity, its past and present, and its future. Topics covered include:

  • Who speaks for Wales?
  • Devolution
  • Brexit
  • The history of Welsh nationhood and oppression by the English
  • Owain Glyndŵr
  • The industrialisation of Wales
  • Welsh religious non-conformity
  • Welsh independence
  • The failures of Government and budget cuts
  • The lack of Wales specific media and the decline of local journalism in Wales
  • Environmental threats to Wales from Westminster
  • Brofiscin Quarry
  • Wales as a post colonial culture, and building the future.

After the speech there were audience questions, and Michael talks about acting on his values, engaging with communities, the importance of Welsh history education, the opportunities he had that kids don’t have now, the ballast of communities being women over 50, use of unused buildings for community spaces, and how to attract talent to Wales.


A PDF transcript of the speech, originally from the L&W website but no longer available there, so hosted here for accessibility purposes only:


An interview Michael did with BBC Sunday Politics Wales before the lecture: