I am oh so glad to have seen you… Having you there as a familiar face and within the frame of what we were trying to convey went a long way to make me rekindle the joy that used to guide my journey through the local social justice community. You see, I had to step away for awhile from our common friends and allies in order to redefine myself and to take a critical look at my own principles. I needed to do that, sure. But I regret that by doing so I also distanced myself from local people like you with a much broader understanding of what community engagement and the arts can do towards helping us children of the Global South traverse while healing through a sea of well meaning people that, to no fault of their birth and cultural upbringing circumstances, they can’t quite see what is like to live the nuances of non european patriarchy, caste, religious and linguistic minority status, gender(S), the culture of submission given to us since birth, statelessness, legal limbo and all other things that makes us targets but also make us stronger once we learn how to try to live with it and even thrive as survivors. And in my case at least, what is like to try and gently live despite carrying the burden of survivor guilt as well.
I truly and humbly appreciate that you have shared with me this labor of self love of yours, it’s one of the most touching things I’ve ever had the honor to be entrusted with.
image by @iheartbeuys