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Port Talbot

Severin Pomsel

The monumental steel works of the Welsh city of Port Talbot is a mark of last century’s booming industry. Employer of 18.000 steel workers in its heyday, the industry started to decline in the 1960s. In 1967, the Labour government merged 14 private companies to form British Steel. After privatization, further mergers and sale to the Indian Tata Steel company in 2007, Port Talbot’s steelworks may be the largest in Britain, but employs only 4.000.

In his documentary film, Severin Pomsel looks beyond the seemingly gloomy mood emanating from Port Talbot’s steelworks in the context of a fading industry, Brexit and imminent unemployment. Four protagonists tell tales of this local community, whose fellows mutually assist each other in coping with fears for their existence and autonomy, meeting to engage in social and cultural activities.

The Taibach Rugby Football Club consists mainly of steel workers, and the “Panto,” the jocular Christmas time pantomime show, in which quite a few “men of steel” dress up as women, is an annual regional hit.

Steel works – Port Talbot. Severin Pomsel, 2019
Taibach Rugby Club Practice – Port Talbot. Severin Pomsel, 2019
Make Up for the Panto – Port Talbot. Severin Pomsel, 2019
John Newman as Tiger King – Port Talbot. Severin Pomsel, 2019
We’re Still Here: Poster of the show by the National Theater of Wales – Port Talbot. Severin Pomsel, 2019

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