In 2015, Critically Speaking was the pithy title for a reviewing blog – a place for me to comment on the shows I was seeing in Wales. It was the foundation from which I was then able to write for institutions such as The Stage, WhatsOnStage, Wales Arts Review, Exeunt Magazine, Nation Cymru, Buzz Magazine and others.

In the last five years my role in Wales has changed, and so has Critically Speaking. No longer just a place for theatre reviews, the website now provides honest and bold criticism of the arts scene in Wales. I am a commentator and a critic, championing emerging work and challenging the status quo. I am a podcaster and an interviewer, provoking urgent conversation and platforming unheard voices.

In Wales organisations can’t, or don’t want to, pay critics for their work; critics don’t get commissioned and they can’t apply for funding. In the cultural ecosystem, we are alone. Like all creatives, I would like to be paid for my labour; but like all creatives from minority communities, I’m statistically less likely to be monetised for my work. This needs to change.

I believe I have an important voice in this sector. If you feel the same way, please consider supporting my work by donating just $1 a month. For less than a pound, you will be supporting honest, fearless criticism of the arts in Wales. Your donation will also allow me to commission and pay other critics from minority communities in Wales, ensuring that important conversations are led by the right voices.

To donate, just click here:

It’s time to change the narrative. Thank you.

Jafar Iqbal

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