INSPIRED BY REFUGEES & THOSE SEEKING ASYLUM

Refugees and people seeking asylum inspire many people, including all of us at Home4U. For Refugee Week 2021, we are taking the opportunity to showcase art, photography, poetry and stories inspired by refugees and people seeking asylum. 

Through visual and poetic art, we learn new perspectives and stories. Home4U will continue to share the work of artists that is inspired by people who are forced to leave their home. By sharing poems and art on this page, we hope that we will reach new audiences to raise awareness about the challenging experiences of refugees and people seeking asylum.

Refugee.jpg

Leaving trails around the world - crossing borders and crossing oceans.
Left to exist outside the world - drowned by borders and drowned by oceans.
Painting by Keira, our Management Assistant

shutterstock_313292219.jpg

REFUGEES
*READ TOP-BOTTOM THEN BOTTOM-UP*


They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or I
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
Welcome here
We should make them 
Go back to where they came from
They cannot
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Build a wall and keep them out
It is not okay to say
These people are just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid and think that
The world can be looked at another way 

(now read from bottom up)
Brian Bilston


 

‘Thou shalt not oppress a stranger’

[Exodus 23:9]

 

And all they did was come to us for help.

 

And ‘us’? What did we do? This rich, advanced

And proud country, this land we call our home?

A land whose proud, defiant history

Has welcomed strangers, given sanctuary:

What did we do?

We spoke of ‘swarms’ and seemed at ease with shame.

 

And us? What are we all afraid of?

 

And in a game of journalistic hopscotch,

The hacks move seamlessly from word to word:

At first ‘asylum seekers’ and ‘refugees’ –

Is that a hint of sympathy perhaps? –

then moving swiftly on through ‘clandestines’,

they land, slap-bang, on ‘economic

migrant’ in this virtuoso display …

now ‘terrorist’ ’s just one short hop away!

 

But if we all were simply ‘people’,

Who then would be, or even could be ‘other’?

 

I have spent time in tiny rooms with them.

With fears and hopes, with tears and snot; hand-shakes

and hugs; anger, laughter, panic and prayers;

with all these things and so much more. I have

listened and looked with humble gratitude.

And I have learned to learn.

 

Of what is it that we are so afraid?

 

And there are neither oceans wide enough

Nor any metal fences high enough –

For all their dreams will still be dreamed, and hopes

will still be hoped: they want the same as us.

That’s all. It’s not a lot to ask. Is it?

What is it that has made us so afraid?

 

And all they did was come to us for help.

Written by a friend of Home4U, Stuart Winstanley.

THE STARFISH STORY

 

A man was walking along a deserted beach at sunset.  

As he walked he could see a young boy in the distance, as he drew nearer he noticed that the boy kept bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things into the ocean.

As the man approached even closer, he was able to see that the boy was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time he was throwing them back into the water. The man asked the boy what he was doing, the boy replied," I am throwing these washed up starfish back into the ocean, or else they will die through lack of oxygen. "But", said the man, "You can't possibly save them all, there are thousands on this beach, and this must be happening on hundreds of beaches along the coast. You can't possibly make a difference." The boy smiled, bent down and picked up another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied

"It made a difference to that one"    

Written by Lauren Eisley, inspired by volunteers and supporters.

shutterstock_1517817908.jpg

We Cannot Walk Alone by Mohammed Alkhateeb, a Syrian Refugee residing in Lebanon. A friend of ShareDydd.

We can't walk alone..
Were we wrong
Did we do something wrong?
I don't know, maybe the heart
He's the one who misspelled it
He has put on our shoulders the rank of a refugee

what did you want
To exchange my house for that tent
And I don't have to leave my book to read that newspaper
Who lists the names of the dead and the dead
The struggle is not our fault
I had a house and a flower
Pamper me and pamper me
I put water on her every day and tell her about my big dreams
I had a girlfriend that I pray for every dawn
And in every sunset
I write poetry and poems for him and tell her
I'm waiting for tomorrow
to be what i dreamed of
poet, writer, doctor
I will be that person
who dreamed of
I had family, brothers and friends
I had... I had...
And I didn't replace tears in the place of dreams
And I didn't replace the voices of my loved ones for an echo
I did not leave my church, my mosque, or my temples
And I've never looked at anyone like that
black or white
I didn't make the mistake of getting the rank of Lage
Do not leave me alone
To face the raging wind barefoot
Don't leave me alone
I will not leave Jesus on the cross alone. I will be behind and in front of him, for I am one of his faithful followers
Nor did I leave Muhammad the Prophet alone in the cave
I did not leave any prophet alone
This land is for all of us and in the end we will all return to God
Do not leave me alone .
We can't walk alone
I also didn't replace my eye light
to be blind and helpless
Bring your hand, people of the earth!
We have no stamina
We face all the sorrows alone, we cry and scream alone
We made no mistake in obtaining the rank of refugee
make no mistake
Give us your hand and do not leave us a void or an offering to the unknown
We can't walk alone
We lost all steps and lost our way طريق
And we had that tent left to share all the memories
Let's tell our children do you know what a refugee means?
What are refugee rights?
......
After all the disappointment inside me
They took everything from me.
every day
I try to stand up and lean on the tent pole, you let me down
And fall on my head like all my dreams fell
People look at us as if we were an epidemic, maybe like the plague or cholera
We were not ashamed of being granted refugee status
We made no mistake until we got the tent and the asylum
Don't leave us alone in the wind
We can't walk alone
Our forces collapsed, they destroyed all our dreams, and they took the future from us
They left us a past
Take from us the most valuable thing we have
They left us empty and unknown
Don't give up on us...
We can't walk alone

IMG_1265.jpg

By Keira, to capture that women are not one homogenous group. Individuality and intersectionality must be understood to realise the experiences of women.

shutterstock_1292673922.jpg

MAKE A CONTRIBUTION
If you would like to contribute a piece of art or writing that is inspired by refugees or volunteers, please email keira.mcnulty@home4ucardiff.org with your attachment and a bit about yourself!