And what does it say about us,
That we turn
Turn a funeral into a festival, a spectacle,
Because mourning feels too heavy, dark spots
On our already dark skins.
We cast off headscarves in fear, force ourselves
To watch as others claim them,
A misplaced notion of
Do not show how this hurts.
We are the ‘good ones’,
Who always forgive
Our murderers and our saviours,
Sometimes both the same.
Do not let them see any moment
Of weakness, of anger, of emotion. Instead,
We school our sorrow and our rage
Into something more…
Something that would make them say
“See, these are the good ones.”
“They are one of us.
They are us.”
The names of the dead are lost, whispers
In the chatter around politicianscelebrityactivists,
Vying to outdo one another
In this new exercise of publicity.
Is this what it means, to be “one of us”?
To have our pain leave our lips and float away,
Unheard, instantly lost and forgotten,
Forgotten, like the reason
People have gathered in the streets:
Supporting you in this difficult time
Thoughts and prayers for your community
Aren’t you glad you are here, where it’s safe?
They are here
Not to bear witness, but to be witnessed,
To take up even more space
And our grief,
And our rage,
May not be seen or heard
Unless we fit the bill,
Unless our bodies and our stories
Are displaced, replaced,
By this single one:
This is not us
This is not us
This is not us
But it is.
- 102: GAMESUBMIT with J Maxwell and R Green 101: NO THEME 10COMING SOON with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones