World Refugee Day June 20

Refugee production continues to be caused by war, ethnic cleansing, class warfare, narco states, apartheid, climate change and collapsing economic conditions. In 2015, the world was horrified by the searing image of Aylan Kurdi (3 years old), drowned on a Mediterranean beach, but the commitment to stopping the creation of refugees has not been matched by the supposed outrage. Since 2015, the heartbreaking image has been imprinted in my consciousness, a call to arms that has been ignored. World governments continue to turn to violence within and without their borders on a daily basis. The return of concentration camps and the deployment of the word “migrants” are obscurantist techniques which hide the conditions of misery, misogyny, and dehumanization.

The following is a work in progress honouring fallen refugees such as Aylan Kurdi and hoping for a world in which refugees may be treated with humanity and consideration of the contexts that create them. Ultimately, I dream of a world without refugees and people fleeing conditions of inhumanity…

In Memory of Aylan Kurdi,

2012-2015

In Memory of Aylan Kurdi, Copyright 2019, Kaushalya Bannerji
In Memory of Aylan Kurdi, Copyright 2019, Kaushalya Bannerji
In Memory of Aylan Kurdi, Copyright 2019, Kaushalya Bannerji
In Memory of Aylan Kurdi, Copyright 2019, Kaushalya Bannerji

A poem by George Seferis, from Mythistorema
What are they after, our souls, travelling
on the decks of decayed ships
crowded in with sallow women and crying babies
unable to forget themselves either with the flying fish
or with the stars that the masts point our at their tips;
grated by gramophone records
committed to non-existent pilgrimages unwillingly
murmuring broken thoughts from foreign languages.
What are they after, our souls, travelling
on rotten brine-soaked timbers
from harbour to harbour?
Shifting broken stones, breathing in
the pine’s coolness with greater difficulty each day,
swimming in the waters of this sea
and of that sea,
without the sense of touch
without men
in a country that is no longer ours
nor yours.
We knew that the islands were beautiful
somewhere round about here where we grope,
slightly lower down or slightly higher up,
a tiny space.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.