Cornish: UK

Cornwall – or Kernow as it is called in the Cornish language – is in the far south-west of the UK. Although politically part of England, culturally it has remained distinct, with its Celtic origins and links with Welsh and Breton.

Kernewek, the Cornish language, had waned by the late-eighteenth century, but since the 1900s it has undergone a revival, alongside Cornish cultural traditions. Cornish identity was recognised by the UK government in 2014 under the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCPNM).

Although Cornwall houses many industries which those outside of it are often unaware of, tourism brings around £2billion to the region each year. This a double-edged sword for cultural identity. It’s probably most famous for its beaches and specific attractions such as the Eden Project or the Minack Theatre. But across Cornwall there is a rich tangible cultural heritage, including the UNESCO Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.

Its intangible cultural heritage is equally rich, but far less visible in the national imaginary. Ask people what they think of when they think of Cornwall and they are likely to speak of pirates, quaint seaside villages, or rugged mining communities. Although these things can be found, the ways it’s imagined comes from a romanticised tourist gaze, more a picture postcard than a place where people live and work, and traditions thrive.

In the Kernow part of the Re:voice project, we’ve chosen as our case studies some traditional events rooted in particular towns, in which locals and visitors meet in various ways. Mayday in Padstow, Golowan in Penzance, and the Mining and Pasty Festival in Redruth are all examples of Cornwall’s intangible cultural heritage. We’ve been talking to people attending these events to find out what they think about the various groups who take part.

As well as interviews, we’ll be producing a range of creative outputs that explore the ideas of the research. These include a documentary film, sound installation, and a theatre performance. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed for details.


Yma Kernow – dell yw henwys y’n yeth Kernewek – yn pella soth west an RU. Kynth yw hi rann Pow Sows yn politek, hy gonisogeth re besyas diblans, Keltek hy devedhyansow ha dhedhi mellow dhe Gembrek ha dhe Vretonek.

Kernewek, yeth Kernow, re wanhasa erbynn diwedh an etegves kansbledhen, mes a-dhia an bledhynnyow 1900 dasserghi a wrug, war-barth ha hengovyow gonisogethel Kernow. Honanieth kernewek a veu aswonys gans governans an RU yn 2014 yn-dann an Akordyans Framweyth rag Difresyans a Vinorytys Kenedhlek (AFDVK).

Kynth yw Kernow tre dhe lies diwysyans anaswonys dhe seul a drig a-ves dhedhi, tornyaseth a dhre ogas dhe £2 bilvil dhe’n ranndir pub bledhen. Hemm yw kledha dewvin rag honanieth wonisogethel. Dres lycklod, hi yw aswonys yn brassa rann rag hy threthow ha tennvosow arbennik kepar hag Edenva po an Wariva Veynek. Mes a-dreus Kernow y kevir ertach gonisogethel tavadow rych, ow komprehendya Tyller Ertach an Bys Balweyth Kernewek UNESCO.

Maga rych ynwedh yw hy ertach gonisogethel antavadow, mes le hewel yn feur y’n awen genedhlek. Mar kovynnir orth tus pandr’a dhismygons hag i ow tybi a Gernow ha, heb mar, i a wra meneges morladron, hen wigow trethvor teg, po kemenethow balweyth garow. Kyn hyllir kavos an taklow ma, an fordhow mayth yw hi dismygys a dheu a wolok romansek tornyasek, moy karten bost liwys ages tyller may ma tus ow triga hag owth oberi ynno, ha hengovyow ow spedya.

Yn rann Kernow an ragdres Re:voice, ni re dhewisas avel studhyansow kas nebes hwarvosow hengovek gwreydhys yn trevow arbennik, le may omvet tus leel gans vysytyoryon y’n fordhow divers. Kala’ Me yn Lannwedhenek, Golowan yn Pennsans, ha’n Gool Balweyth ha Pastiow yn Resrudh yw oll ensamplow a ertach gonisogethel antavadow Kernow. Ni re beu ow kewsel dhe dus re dheuth dhe’n hwarvosow ma rag dismygi aga breus a’n bagasow divers a gemmer rann ynna.

Keffrys ha keswelyow, ni a vynn askorra lies eghen a eskorransow awenek owth eksamnya tybyansow an hwithrans. Y’ga mysk y fydh fylm dogvennek, ynstallyans son, ha performans gwariva. Gwithewgh war agan fros Twitter rag manylyon.

Re:voice publication, Critical Heritages of Europe
Re:voice publication, Critical Heritages of Europe
Chartour An Govskrifva Klewwelyek Kernow | Cornish Audiovisual Archive Charter
Chartour An Govskrifva Klewwelyek Kernow | Cornish Audiovisual Archive Charter
Re:voice show nominated for Cornwall Heritage Awards
Re:voice show nominated for Cornwall Heritage Awards
Re:voice – A Participatory Theatre Performance
Re:voice is a new participatory theatre performance created as a part of the Re:voice project's work in Cornwall and will be taking place at Tate St Ives at the end of April.
“Torches aloft” to Glastonbury: negotiating norms in the discursive construction of marginalised intangible cultural heritage in Cornwall, UK
Conference paper delivered at the Association of Critical Heritage Studies conference by Dr Laura Hodsdon, Santiago, Chile, 4-7 December 2022
A Serpent’s Dance by Lucy Frears
An immersive soundscape recorded and designed by Lucy Frears with an accompanying film comprising archival footage and photos from Penzance's Golowan and Montol festivals.