The Space In-Between

Diaspora: the dispersion or spread of any people from their original homeland

The African diaspora identity is one of contradiction.

Our bodies tell the stories of our ancestors. Though we may sometimes feel we walk on foreign land, the Earth beneath our feet reminds us that nature brings us home wherever we are.

Our eyes are laced in collective memories of trauma and bondage. Pains of erasure, as we reconcile the broken pieces of a history we do not know. With this pain we carry the guilt of attachments formed to our adopted lands.

Our hearts are torn. For those who only have memories of their adopted lands, this now is home. And like a child seeking security, love, and acceptance, we spend generations yearning for this attachment to be reciprocated.

For those who have the opportunity to visit Africa, there is a feeling of peace, loss and confusion that cannot be articulated. The joy of being surrounded by your reflection, and simultaneously feeling a foreigner in the land. It is not so much that you speak in the language of your adopted land, but that you also bring with you all that it carries. But if this fractured state is the closest you have felt to finding ‘home’, then you embrace the confusion and try to hold on to the fragments of peace it allows, for as long as you can.

Our souls are severed, torn between two lands; and we carry these conflicts within, released only through art.

Images- capturing what our hearts long to see and what our eyes cannot understand.

Sounds- reaching places words cannot, forcing you to feel what you cannot say.

And poetry… poetry releases language from the tether of its terms—not to destroy, but to reveal the wounds therein.

Our diaspora identity is fraught, often hyphenated, sometimes hidden behind shadows of adopted nationalism… but we remain torn.

Not every movement is by choice, but there is purpose to every place we find ourselves.

Home may be where we are, it may be where we were… or it may just exist in-between.

2 comments

  1. Really moving piece of writing Muna. The complexity of our existence and the contradictions is something that weighs on you heavily if you are not aware. I have learnt to recognise how I exist in this land and the fact that they do not wish me to own it but always want me to see myself as an outsider. But even when you go “home” to Africa and the Caribbean are you truly accepted or are you once again looked upon as a foreigner. A sojourner ?seeking the truth.
    Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Like

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