Refugee History’s Research Assistant Hari Reed organised, with the charity IMAGINE, a reading of refugees’ poetry by Dame Harriet Walter at the Beyond Borders Festival 2017, held at Traquair House in Scotland. The festival is dedicated to facilitating dialogue and international cultural exchange through literature, arts, film and politics. It helps provide a platform for cultural leaders from around the world to exchange experiences, in an effort to promote understanding and help reduce conflict. Watch the full reading here.
I wish my daylight wouldn’t become night.
It goes and comes back, it's passing me.
Bad, bad and bad. I’m annoyed at all these bad looks, annoyed
At all these discriminations.
I'm afraid I will sink in with this badness.
I wish doubts wouldn’t come in my head.
I wish I would never lose the power of my legs.
My pen does not stop.
What am I fighting for? What do I want to change?
Something hurts my heart. I don't like the sounds of some words,
I want to delete them from all languages.
Firstly, the word refugee. There is no refuge in the places we travelled to.
Not the peace, nor the freedom we were looking for.
But who is this world for?
Who gets this world’s heritage? Is it not true
That we are all the children of this world?
I just travelled to a different side of this world.
Extract from Untitled by Babak Inaloo