Socialist Worker

Helen Griffin, 1958-2018

by Martin Chapman
Issue No. 2611

Helen Griffin supporting Stand Up To Racism

Helen Griffin supporting Stand Up To Racism

The Swansea left has been left devastated by the passing of writer and actor Helen Griffin last week.

Her work challenged prejudice and injustice in a sensitive and often humorous way and importantly she matched her carefully crafted words with political activism.

A good example of her work was the film Little White Lies, which was loosely based on two events in South Wales.

These were the development of a racist gang around a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and the murder of shopkeeper Mohan Singh Kullar.

It won lots of awards but never got a full distribution, perhaps because it called out the British National Party for stirring up racist violence.

Helen also appeared in the film Twin Town and Doctor Who.

In 2017 Helen took part in the launch of Stand Up To Racism in Swansea by speaking at a special showing of her film. But her activism was not just confined to challenging racism.

Helen was also the spokesperson for Swansea Coalition Against War. She stood as a candidate in the European elections for the anti-war Respect Party.

In 2006 Helen was arrested for daubing red paint on the National Museum of Wales as a protest against Israel’s war in Lebanon.

The last time I saw Helen she was reading Dylan Thomas at a Momentum Christmas dinner.

The Swansea left will miss Helen, but her memory will be carried into every future campaign for peace and justice.

Article information

Tue 3 Jul 2018, 15:49 BST
Issue No. 2611
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