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Her childhood is a blur, a rootless flower, a roofless house, a thunderstorm, a collection of wistful memories her heart wants to forget but can't She has an imaginary friend She calls him Silence But- Where was he when pieces of the sky were falling? when people yelled "don't let them in"? She wanted to fill her empty stomach, a place to rest, a hand to hold The moon shines shyly The days grow cold Her lungs are full of air Her feelings buried in her throat Her heart is clumsy This world is sick and sold Her mother tongue limps Trips on its barefoot And stands up Stands still Voiceless
[Luísa Tibana, The School of the New York Times, New York City, Summer 2018]
Piece inspired on the exhibition “Blind as the Mother Tongue” by Hiwa K, displayed at the New Museum in June 2018.
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Today is World Refugee Day! ♡
We have all been through a lot of uncertainty these past few months. We have been worried about the future, worried about ourselves and our loved ones. Many of us are waiting for news from ICUs, and mourning the ones we have lost. Just because there are people suffering much more than we are, it does not mean that our feelings are not valid. But now, more than ever, we need to think about them. Refugees around the world live in uncertainty and fear, and their living situation has been a lot worsen during these difficult times.
There is so much we can do to help. At the end of this post you will find a list with a few resources to help us do our part on making this world a better place for everyone. The pandemic has revealed, in an aggressive and terrifying way, the fragility of our health systems, governments and our own selves. Let’s do what we can to come out of it better, more empathetic than ever. On my list I have included resources to support refugees, as well as other extremely important causes. None of those people are voiceless, the role of the projects and organisations (listed below) is making sure they are being heard.
On my list you will find resources to help the people in Yemen. The country is suffering the worst humanitarian crisis in the last 100 years. They are dealing with the global pandemic of COVID-19, an epidemic of cholera, a war and famine, all at once.
Furthermore, I have also included resources to help the favelas and other vulnerable communities in Brazil. Yesterday, Brazil hit 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. I could go on, and on, about all the political scandals that have happened this week alone, and how indifferent the federal government has been since the beginning of the pandemic, but my focus here is on the people. Among such chaos, the favelas and the indigenous communities are by far the most affected and the most ignored. Brazil has got to a point where, in some places, there are not even enough caskets for people to be buried.
To make matters worse, during the pandemic cases of domestic violence have risen drastically all over the world. Around the globe people were urged to stay at home to protect themselves from the virus. But what do you do when home is not a safe place? An awful number of women around the world have had to quarantine with abusive partners, and have suffered daily from psychological torture, and in some cases even physical violence.
Moreover, we cannot forget that the world is still dealing with issues with historical roots. Racism still plays a shameful role in our societies, and it leads to the serious problem of police brutality. Hence, I have included on my list resources to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement. To all Black people reading this, I know that as much as I try putting myself in your shoes, I will never understand how it feels to be in your skin. However, I stand with this cause, I stand with you all. You deserve all the love and support. Your lives, your voices and your stories matter so much. For you who want to educate yourself on the topic, you should definitely take a look on the works of Rudy Francisco, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, James Baldwin, Ariana Brown and many other brilliant Black writers.
Last, but certainly not least, in celebration of Pride Month, I have also included resources to support the LGBTQIA+ community. It is absurd, to say the least, that people are discriminated, and even targets of violence just because of who they are and who they love. To all the LGBTQIA+ community, I know this world has been specially cruel to you at times, I can only imagine how awful it must have felt. All I want to say is that you matter, and that I hope you feel loved and supported every single day. Happy Pride, you wonderful people! You deserve the world.
If you have got to this point, thank you so much, it means a lot to me. I, too, have felt voiceless many times. I hope you liked my poem, but most importantly I hope you contribute to one of these causes, whether it is through donations, by signing petitions, staying informed, or even by sharing this link (or one of the links below). Thank you all so much for taking some time to read this. Educate yourself and be kind. We are all in this together. I hope you and your loved ones are well and safe. I am sending you all so much love. Take care! xx
More information (and other ways you can help):