Well it was cold and rainy but we braved it and educated the masses! Myself and Sarah Yaseen worked together for the first time producing something awesome. We were joined by Shoa, Blacktwang and Silvastone, Akala, George the Poet, Poetic Pilgrimage and Stephen Morrison Burkes.
In the Talk Tent I spoke about social justice and the arts, the wrongful incarceration of Munir Farooqi, Islamaphobia and the war on terror!
Aside from this entertainment it was wonderful to see the stalls inside the main building consisting of so many organisations committed to fighting for social justice. There was a wealth of information on trafficking of people, refugee crisis, support for asylum seekers, mental health awareness, suicide watch, mentoring for the young but I believe this empathy should start at primary and high school as mandatory education. Really informative! X
Would like to share my good news with everyone! My proposal has been accepted as a presenter to share my poetry at the Writing For Liberty Conference at the University of Lancaster next year! Chuffed to bits ! X
Loved working with the asylum seekers together women at WAST, Manchester! They produced some wonderful poetry for the roadshow they are devising and I am honoured to have helped them! Truly inspirational stories xxx
Working with women asylum seekers has taught me that when we class ourselves as strong women, we are doing so by assessing a measure of our experiences and achievements. There are some women out there whose silent warrior-like strength renders ours pale in comparison, women with narratives that leave me speechless. The feats they have had to overcome are never mentioned in the media and ignored by the government. The silent lining of the underbelly, these are women who have had to leave their children behind in other countries, women who are subjected to cruelties and denied basic human rights, women who are given the measliest of food vouchers to live on, destitute women, living on less than £35 a week, women who have been detained in Yarls Wood, women mistreated at the Dallas centre, women who are left to rely on no-one else but the wonderful organisation of WAST, without whose help, many would be sent back to the very places they have fled from.
There needs to be a greater understanding that being a refugee is not a choice and that it is only the power of human connection, not rhetoric or information, that helps understand the reality of the situation. The creative strength and power of these women humbles me. If anyone is interested, the destitute women seeking asylum and those living off an income less than the benefit rate, rely on food banks and donations to help get by. If you know of anyone who wants to help at a grassroots level and can donate imperishable food items or clothing for women and children, inbox me. The workshop with them was a wonderful experience! Watch this space for the wordsmiths to emerge 🙂