BEACONS PROJECT 2021 - Significance by Briana Ciobanu

Briana Ciobanu took part in the Beacons Project at Hay Festival Winter Weekend 2021. The Beacons Project aims to encourage creativity and forge a sense of creative identity amongst young people in Wales. It offers a unique opportunity for twenty Welsh students aged 16-18 to meet and work with exceptional writers, broadcasters and journalists in a highly creative and stimulating environment during Hay Festival.


Nerve racking journey that makes your heart rapidly beat, it might just jump out any second. A combination  between excitement and anxiety.  When leaving familiar places, people, objects, thoughts behind searching for new escapades, it becomes a task that needs to be completed,that many people forget to do as they are deeply buried in day to day stumbling blocks. Forgetting that those challenges make you feel alive. Discovering again who you are, who you aspire to be,who and what truly makes you happy.

Sitting in that room full of strangers that seemed full of mystery yet at the same time cool and intelligent, strangers that looked like maybe they were better than me in every aspect. I guess that’s the thing with the unknown, you’re always scared of it, however it offers a sense of freshness. And  as we let the silence be our guide in observing each other, around the room big shiny eyes were moving like billiard balls when hit. Trying to analyse features that later on, would be depicted by truth said out loud in a circle of no judgement by mouths that have been shut since the moment they got on Earth by stereotypes and patriarchy. For the first time in my life I felt on par with everyone else. I was eager to understand, hear and communicate everything I knew with like-minded others. ‘Welcome to the first days of the rest of your lives’ said a pair of  ocean eyes that were followed by a smile as bright as the sun on an early morning in the first days of winter. Her golden curls were holding past dreams of hungry souls. Hungry for wisdom, begging for a worthwhile, significant existence.

Escapism of the reality of the world in which our lives are dictated by rules which cease idiosyncratic beings or talents. The present keeps my soul awaiting for that day where my dreams will come true, my wishful thinking of not being a bystander fulfilled.

Thanks to Welsh Government for funding the Beacons Project and to Bad Wolf and Screen Alliance Wales for their partnership in creating Jack Thorne's workshop. And finally, thanks to Booths Bookshop for allowing us to film Owen Sheers on location.