On Wednesday, Laila led our group in a creative workshop on the role of art and artists in activism. We also visited a building that was destroyed in the war but in which Most Mira hopes to build a future youth centre.
Laila inspired us to write about the conflict, memorials we had seen, and the potential for a different future.
Check out a few of our first drafts of poems from the workshop…
Reflecting on Ado’s house, Kevlijani, 22/07/15
Before the house was surrounded by trees,
Now the trees live in the house,
Going forward they will live in harmony.
By Asger, Caterina, Tara
At first a field was here
village children herded cows
one of them had built a house
and ten years later
other children tore it down.
Today Ado comes to find his house is full of birds
instead of bricks he sees blackberries as walls
he smells the scent of grass and lavender
he thinks of graffiti on his garage wall.
Tomorrow he’ll see the sun
shining through his open roof
graffiti on the walls
will be signposts
to a better future.
By Kemal, Stephan, Selma
This was the site where pillars were shatters
Where walls and windows were destroyed and a family slept in the past
This is the site
Where some one’s bedroom has no roof
Where grass levels the floor
And birds sleep in their nest
This is the site
Where murals come to life
Where windows display a peaceful life.
By Tara, Nick, Maja
Remember victims through art,
Didn’t you get that memo?
Victims remember through art.
First there was peace. It was full of trees, birds, and sounds carried around by wind.
Then people came with their guns, and the guns destroyed peace. The sound of peace was replaced by the sound of other people running away.
Then there was peace again. State sponsored peace, and new people came with an image of a new community to remember not peace but war.
Bound by distance, carved in stone,
Hope was non existent
Folly of their makers was
Ideology of sorts
The names of people lost
Sit etched in stone creating
A physical space
But this space is really reflecting
The gaping hole left in their community.
Memorials are much more about the future than the history of the past. They trigger different emotions depending on the audience of the memorial, come trigger.