I still can’t believe the connection and sense of belonging I’ve felt within a virtual group in recent months.
Firstly, my London-based refugee course which, owing to its pandemic-propelled relegation to Zoom, has resulted in the majority of students coming from outside the UK – the US, Europe, the Middle East, as far away as India. I adore my classes – it’s like meeting the world every Monday. Both within these and outwith on a Whatsapp group plus a reading/discussion group I’ve initiated, I’m getting to know some incredible individuals who share my passion for refugees and humanity in general.
Cut to today and an event I only stumbled across yesterday afternoon, (serendipity, without doubt)… ’Anthropologies of Care’, hosted by Gentle/Radical, a community arts organisation based in Cardiff, was a series of presentations or ‘chapters’ focused on issues relating to self-care – as both a form of individual and collective, social healing.
It was an afternoon filled with film, conversation, poetry and song. Discussion topics included the divine feminine, masculinity in relation to this, and the role of elders and intergenerational spaces. These were led by a group of inspiring individuals – activists, academics, artists, community organisers, amongst others, whose words evinced wisdom, a conscious commitment to inner and outer change, alongside connection to the Universe/Mother Earth/Higher Self…call it what you/they will.
It is as yet impossible for me to fully articulate the impact of this encounter. All I can say is that it was a deeply profound and far-reaching, at times intensely moving, experience; I came away nourished the way one is from communing with one’s tribe.
I want that nourishment to continue. How it will, I don’t yet know… For now, I shall continue to pray and read and write and draw and dream.
‘Homesickness Pt 2’ by Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou