Voiceless

Myiajima, autumn 2016
宮島 (Miyajima), 2016

–  ❊ –

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.

–  ❊ –

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

Resources:

Donations

To help refugees around the world

To provide lifesaving supplies, and support to refugees and replaced people

To protect and support children and families affected by the pandemic of COVID-19

COVID-19 emergency appeal

To provide support (including medical assistance) to children in vulnerable regions of the world

To help the kids in Yemen

To help Yemen 

Yemen food appeal

Yemen crisis appeal

To help the favelas in Rio

To help homeless people in São Paulo

To help vulnerable communities around Brazil

To support indigenous communities in Brazil

To help the Altamira people

To support the Xetá people (the donations will be used to buy food and health supplies)

George Floyd memorial fund

George Floyd’s daughter’s fund

Breonna Taylor’s fund

Destiny Harrison’s fund

Destiny’s Dream scholarship

To support communities of colour

To The Internacional Lesbian Gay Bissexual Trans and Intersex Association

To support the most persecuted LGBTQIA+ communities

To the International Railroad for Queer Refugees

To the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

To Domestic Violence NSW (New South Wales)

Petitions:

Protect refugees and asylum seekers

Stop homophobic attacks on LGBTQIA+ refugees in UN camps

Compassion and action for Yemen crisis refugees

Stop the war and end famine in Yemen

Save lives in Yemen

End hunger in Yemen

Justice for Yemen

Petitions to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement 

Justice for Breonna Taylor

Justice for George Floyd

Justice for George Floyd

Justice for Ahmaud Arbery

Justice for João Pedro

Justice for Miguel 

Protect indigenous communities in Brazil (they need more tests for COVID-19)

To protect the indigenous communities in the Amazon from COVID-19

Support the equality act

Ban LGBTQ+ conversion therapy

Reinstate the protection of transgender people in healthcare

Creation of the collective LGBTQIA+ in Brazil

Justice for Tony Mcdade

End foster care adoption discrimination

Allow gay men to donate blood

Ban conversion therapy in the United States

To protect woman and children from violent partners

Stop sexual and gender violence in Kenya

To educate youth on domestic violence

Justice for Atiyeh Chatmon

Free Liyah

To approve a temporary financial support for low income women victims of domestic violence in Brazil

More information (and other ways you can help):

For more information on refugees and other ways you can get involved

For more information on what is going on in Yemen and how you can help

For more information on violence against women and girls, and how the problem has escalated during the pandemic

For more information on the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and other ways you can support the cause

For more information on how to support the LGBTQIA+ community

To get involved in actions to make the world a fairer, better place

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