Window to My World A Celebration of World Poetry Day 2021
22 March 2021 - To celebrate World Poetry Day 2021, the Trinity Centre for Post-Conflict Justice in association with the Trinity Long Room Hub has released a series of videos showcasing poetry from refugees, asylum seekers and exiled poets in Ireland.
‘Window to My World: Poetry, Resistance and Justice’ takes its inspiration from Jamilada Rafigue’s poem of the same name, dedicated to the millions of children around the world who do not have access to education. Jamalida was born in a refugee camp in Bangladesh before being moved to Ireland with her family. Her poem is just one of a series in this initiative that brings together poets from different conflict zones in the world who now live in Ireland. Also included in this series are a number of Irish poets who have written about the conflict on the island of Ireland.
The videos were released by Trinity’s Centre for Post-Conflict Justice yesterday, Sunday 21st of March 2021, marking UNESCO World Poetry Day. The poems also highlight the lived experiences of Direct Provision in Ireland. In the ‘The Story of an Asylum Seeker’, Damian Trasha, originally from Albania, writes: “It was not a choice it was an escape/ I’m sorry for showing up in your state/ Please don’t judge! Don’t discriminate!/ I’m already punished by my fate.”
Other poets from Nigeria, Sri Lanka, India, and South Africa tell the story of conflict, of hope and of survival. Aswathy Plackal is a nurse who has been living in Ireland for the last twelve years. She says her poem ‘Dear Salma’ reflects on the abuse and struggles that face all women every day, despite their location.
On #WorldPoetryDay2021 take a moment to listen to this poem by 12 yr old Rohingya refugee Jamalida, born in Bangladesh & raised in Ireland.— Louise Donovan (@LouiseDonovan16) March 22, 2021
"They say education is future, yet they deny my future...They say a book is a the window to the world, yet they deny a window to my world" https://t.co/R6gk9VxeiA
‘Let me Sleep’ is the title of a poem from Christiana Obaro who says the poem describes a time in her life when she was living “each day as it came, afraid of the next”. “Living in fear”, she said writing was her escape.
The Centre for Post-Conflict Justice at Trinity College Dublin fosters interdisciplinary research that explores how societies come to terms with episodes of extreme violence in war, civil war, and periods of prolonged civil and political unrest.
The Centre focuses on themes of Justice, Transition, Governance and Memory and Reconciliation and draws from field and archival work in the Balkans, Eastern and Central Europe, Central America, Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, as well as the experience of the Peace Process in Ireland, North and South.
Commenting on ‘Window to My World’, Professor Jude Lal Fernando, Director of the Centre for Post-Conflict Justice said: “These poems are creative embodiments of resistance to war and displacement that has been unfolding in different parts of the world. These poets are not mere helpless victims. They invite all of us to share the stories of our distinct historical struggles with each other so that we can mutually empower one another and build horizontal solidarity across the borders.”
Professor Eve Patten, Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub congratulated the poets on their contributions. “We are honoured to support this initiative from the Centre for Post Conflict Justice, and to help showcase these extraordinary poems on World Poetry Day. The poets represented in the series are truly inspiring and their stories deserve our attention.”
To listen to all of the poems, click here.