It’s been a strange time emerging from studying at UCL. I’ve felt a bit lost. But then good fortune comes and reminds me that everything will move into place with time and hard work. I’ve had my work commissioned by St Paul’s Cathedral and it is currently displayed alongside the work of fantastic poets. Focusing on magnifying our perception of Florence Nightingale, my poem took me a journey of fascinating research. I even dug into 19th Century medical books! To be able to share a poem about a woman who always imagined something better for the world has brought me so much joy. Imagination is everything. It is being able to think ahead with positivity. At the heart of everything, I am a writer. It can be scary pursuing a career that’s based so much on chance but it all feels so worthwhile when you find yourself becoming acknowledged by good people who you respect. It is this recognition that encourages me, even more, to be my best self and keep making the right moves.
Playing small gigs in intimate venues and homes, on the 20th September 2017, 300 gigs were put on around the world in support of refugees and their right to have a home. Sofar Sounds and Amnesty International collaborated to bring together over 1000 world class artists such as Gregory Isaacs and the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians, all in solidarity with refugees.
Being part of the Sofar Sounds London team, I got a chance to experience the run up to the event and the passion of which volunteers got together to help curate something special. Meaningful events such as this have a direct impact in engaging the wider public. Homelessness is a violation of our human rights and with every show put on around the world, this sentiment was reinforced by all the MCs introducing their acts, all the acts and all the attendees. Everyone was in agreement: it has to stop and it will.
The word ‘welcome’ symbolises more than a distant form of empathy and concern for the refugee crisis, ‘welcome’ in the context of “Give a Home” meant welcome to our homes. Welcoming someone into your own home is a gesture not just of kindness but of bravery. That despite the ensuing troubles we face internationally with violations against human rights, our inner self, that which we do not need to share, is now a place of safety — not just for ourselves, but for those in need. To welcome someone into your home, you open the doors for them into your life and into an environment that to some extent shelters and nurtures your sense of identity because the home holds private hints about your inner self. It goes beyond a community gesture to one that is personal. What thus fuels the power of this movement is the creation of a community of personal gestures that form one-to-one direct relationships with those in need, and those who wish to help.
Without wishing to romanticize the reality that many people attending these concerts may have had entertainment at the forefront of their minds, and indeed the chance to see musicians of a certain celebrity perform in an intimate setting, it is still a valid point that the theme of home as a home that is yours to offer develops an attitude towards homelessness that has much positive potential.
Something I have always respected about the work that Amnesty International is that it is not simply a platform for laissez-faire contributions but also one that builds an ongoing connection with the public to create an understanding about situations of conflict and alternative ways in which they can help. I personally am striving for this in the volunteer work that I do, to help people access the many different ways in which they can help and through my writing, I hope to build the personal connections we make with our charitable efforts.
Make the first steps and donate to Amnesty here:
After just watching the Orphan Black finale it made me think of identity. Original! But as any clone story would tell you, being original is something that means something different to everyone. How can we be different in a way that stays true? We can try and try to break ourselves down into a microcosm. We can try to dissect our ways and lay them bare like a filthy mess but no matter how hard we may try to bury our hopes with ugly truths we are still beautiful.
When I look at myself in the mirror sometimes I just want to pull off my skin and forget all of the memories that I carry with me. I think that’s something we all do. We can imagine our bad thoughts like pebbles that we drop behind us and they never seem to move from their trail. The past, the things that traumatised you and the people who still hurt you…they have no power over you.
We carry our thoughts as though they are pearls in a bowl full of water and sometimes the water might over flow. When we lose the treasures that matter to us – those light filled thoughts that spell the truth we should be reading to ourselves – sometimes we think that the good has scattered too far away to ever gather again. But it’s never too late. Everything good will return to you. Your knowledge about yourself is the most powerful gift you can give to yourself. The experiences and memories that make you want to tip the bowl, the ones that make our hands shake and waver, they can be overcome.
Tell yourself the truths that you need to hear to keep going and keep changing. When you look back at who you’ve become after everything you’ve been through you will see that evolution is what we survive, and you have grown good, grown better.
Had an unusual time at Citadel Festival this year and wrote about my time there in London Student. Another review to come soon. Follow the link below for more!
A throwback to my review of Alex Ohm’s stunning debut EP for FMS Magazine. A humble and talented man who’s passionate about achieving his musical dreams. He’s had a long career in music but this is his first solo outing!
‘There was an energy felt amongst the crowds of people that evoked a dream-like sense of wandering in us all.’
Follow the link for my review of Art Night 2017 in The Cusp Magazine. A night of fluttering from exhibition to exhibition with a free spirit and an open mind.