Episode 5 EV4ET: Hani Abdile and Ellen van Neerven
For our fifth episode of Extraordinary Voices for Extraordinary Times, Ellen van Neerven is joined by Hani Abdile. Hani Abdile is a writer, student and spoken word poet based in the country of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, in Sydney. Hani was forced to leave her home country of Somalia and came to Australia seeking protection in 2014. During her 11 months in immigration detention, she found healing in poetry and developed a love for writing. Her first book of 43 poems, I will rise, was published by Writing Through Fences in 2016 and explores how the power of our collective voices can help shape the world to be a better place, for the next generation. Hani has performed her work around Sydney and interstate and continues to write for freedom and human rights. Hani is an honorary member of PEN International, a lead member of Writing Through Fences, and an Ambassador for the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS). She is currently studying for a degree in journalism and has received numerous awards for her community work and creative art.
Sadness and the Sea
When they tried to design my destiny
I blocked the windows.
Blocked the air.
Blocked the lights.
I locked the doors
and snuck inside darkness,
became a victim of sadness.
When I thought I had enough
They did not agree–
pushed me back into solid rock.
My world crumbled.
I forgot to smile.
My mind was cycling a thousand thoughts.
My limbs became weak and heavy.
I was shrinking in an empty space.
But one night I went into a deep sleep
and had a beautiful dream in an adventure world.
I heard a voice within silent times:
Sadness is an enemy of the soul.
It will snap the meaning of life.
Your struggle is a reminder of your weakness.
Chase what you love, don’t doubt.
I felt like a raging sea,
not just bone and blood.
It was time to rise again.
I smelt books and stories in a desert.
I found passion to paint my past.
Saw my life through another eye.
I am not a brittle stone,
I’m allowed to feel weak.
And when these moments come again
I will slip like water from their palms.
I won’t make this life a narrow road.
The sea will never kneel,
even if the wind moans forever.
Ellen van Neerven
in the Fucha
when we own our Data
you want our language
statics on home ownership
request for permission of cultural artefacts
family history information
medicinal plant uses
our kinship systems