Pictures from the heart of Welsh life in Patagonia
A photographer who spent two and a half years taking 16,000 pictures of Welsh descendants in Patagonia has had his work published in a book.
Llanberis based Ed Gold's trilingual book Patagonia - Byd Arall / Otro Mundo / Another World, published by Gwasg Gomer,is a fascinating and culturally important photographic collection from his time living in South America - documenting the lives of the descendants of the Welsh colonists.
During his stay he lived among the local community in Gaiman and also travelled to villages with Welsh connections and photographed intriguing people in their homes, at work and in their free time.
The text in the 180-page book on the history and lives of the colonists is written in three languages, Welsh, English and Spanish.
Ed, 43, who moved to north Wales from Essex in 1999, said: "For years I had this feeling that I could find in South America something I had been yearning to photograph for years - a chance to go back in time and explore a fascinating part of Welsh history on the other side of the world."
He took his first photograph at the age of eight, and has carried a camera with him ever since. Born in London and raised in Essex and Istanbul, he moved to north Wales after falling in love with the landscape and became a full-time photographer.
"One of the main reasons for me moving to Wales was the interesting characters and inspiring landscape, which I immediately began to document with my camera. I had known of the existence of a Welsh community in Patagonia since I was quite young and, every now and then, I'd hear twinkling snippets of information about this part of Welsh history beyond Wales."
Settlers from Wales famously moved to this corner of Argentina to establish a colony in 1865, and now the fourth and fifth generations carry on the story of a unique chapter in Welsh history.
The social documentary photographer, who learnt to speak the local Castellano dialect during his trip, added: "I received unprecedented access to their community and I found myself becoming immersed into their way of life. I think it's important as a social documentarian to become part of what your recording - I can't just turn up as a tourist and expect to take these meaningful images - I have to live and breath their everyday lives."
"As well as witnessing a strong Welsh presence everywhere, with street and shop signs, flags, car stickers and people's names, I was conscious of hearing as much Welsh as in north Wales, if not more. I attended funerals where moving Welsh hymns were sung; there were micro, mini and youth eisteddfodau in Welsh as well as the main annual one. Neighbours would warmly greet one another in Welsh and use nicknames, and although Castellano is used more on the street, there is an emphasis on the children of Welsh descendants learning and practicing Welsh in the home."
A fiercely motivated photographer, Ed has travelled to far-flung countries such as Ukraine, Afghanistan and Alaska taking photographs, driven not by commercial gain, but by the desire to preserve in pictures the culture, tribes, communities, customs, traditions and minorities that fuel his passion and his creative intuition.
Ed's work can be viewed online at [...] He is sponsored by PENTAX Cameras and Snugpak Clothing and Equipment.