Filed under: Poetry

Screenprinting workshop

Leave a Comment April 17, 2011

Beyond the Dark Journey book launch

Beyond the Dark Journey

Beyond the Dark Journey

On 29 November, we went to the book launch of the wonderful new Beyond The Dark Journey: Short Stories and Poems by Young Refugees In New Zealand, published by Refugees as Survivors in Wellington. It’s the sequel to Earthless Trees published in 2008.

Contributors to Beyond the Dark Journey

Contributors to Beyond the Dark Journey

Eight talented young people, originally from Sudan, Afghanistan and Burma, have written poems and stories. One of them, Abdalla Gabriel, is a key spokesperson for our exhibition at Te Papa, The Mixing Room. He gave a brilliant performance of his poem ‘Silence’. But the line that sticks in my head the most is from his story about being a young boy in a refugee camp: ‘I have worked hard to feed my thin bones’. This really evokes a profound level of desperation that I hope we never have to experience here in New Zealand.

Copies of the book can be ordered or picked up from Refugees as Survivors, Level 3, 39 Webb Street, Wellington, or download an order form from www.wnras.org.nz

All the best for your book folks.  We can’t read to wait to read it from cover to cover!  We’ve even scored their autographs!

Arohanui, The Mixing Room whanäu.

Leave a Comment December 2, 2010

Abbas’ story – The power of language

I’m Abbas Nazari, from Afghanistan. I had to leave because the American insurgence in Afghanistan made things more heated, and my family wanted a better life full of opportunities. I arrived in New Zealand in 2001, and I live in Christchurch.

Here is a poem I wrote a poetry workshop for the Mixing Room, stroies from young refugees in New Zealand exhibition at Te Papa

A childhood memory

by Abbas Nazari

I remember when I was four and I went to the markets

In Afghanistan with my parents

 I hear cars going past, I hear chickens clucking

I hear people talking, I hear music pumping from the stereo

I hear people haggling for a bargain

I am standing outside a store looking at the goods

 I can small lamb kebab, I can smell exotic spices

I can smell cheap deodorant

 My hands are digging into the big bags

Of good-looking nuts on sale

They are filling up and putting them in my pockets

 My heart is beating just like normal

It is 100% pure innocent, just sustaining my life

 My parents are talking to the store owner behind me

Cars, bikes and tuc tucs are speeding dangerously

Through the crowds of shoppers

People are sitting and drinking tea

 What are you doing? says the storeowner

A canopy covering the bags of goods held up by two poles

In the two front corners and the two back corners

Are attached to the front of the shop above the door

 I remember when I was four and I went to the markets

In Afghanistan with my parents

 Laughter

People

 I want to go to another shop now

I wish my friends were here with me

I remember when I was four and went to the markets

In Afghanistan with my parents one fine afternoon

22 Comments September 30, 2010

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The exhibition

The Mixing Room
10 April 2010–2013
Free entry
Community Gallery, Level 4
Te Papa

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The walls of the exhibition contextualises the young peoples journey from the country of origi...

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