Pulse, Orlando

– In memory of all victims of terrorist attacks around the world.

Last night we dreamt of flying,
they took our wings too soon,
so we must stand defiant
and we will not be moved.

Stand in the street.
Do not move.
Do not let them move you.
Be proud.
Be unashamedly proud of yourselves.
Smile, show them you cannot be defeated,
show them we cannot be defeated.

We have spent centuries hiding.
Have you heard the stories of our past?
How we walked out of our cave,
blocked the entrance with
the bricks of Stonewall
and told them we weren’t going back?
That night we were free.

Last night we dreamt of flying,
they took our wings too soon,
so we must stand defiant
and we will not be moved.

Our cave is still blocked,
we can be free and
stop another Orlando,
stop another Samawa,
stop another attack on life,
so stand in the street.
Do not move.
Do not let them move us.

-Alex W. (First Draft)

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You, the Silence and I

I have been working on a film for the past few months that focuses on life as an abuse survivor. This film means so much to me and I am so honoured to have been able to produce it with the incredible team Jam St. Jam St. were formed as part of the Creative Breaks project hosted by Panda and Union Street media in Manchester – two incredible projects supporting artists.

I wrote a little about the film for the presentation, please see that below. Otherwise, I give you… ‘You, the Silence and I’.

 

When Amy approached me with the opportunity to make a film about something I had been writing about for most of my time as a performer I was confused. I was scared, I was intimidated but I was excited. So excited. I saw what became ‘You, the Silence and I’ as an opportunity to really give some visibility to the reality of abuse, particularly as a male abuse survivor, in the Manchester community. I knew it was going to be excruciating at times, having to confront a lot of things I had tried to ignore since I left my abuser but I thought I owed it to myself. I always say that if one abuse survivor hears my pieces and realises that they weren’t, and aren’t, ‘a fuck up’ then I have done what I aimed to do. I do not speak for all abuse survivors but I have a voice that I wanted to put to use. The opportunity to actually bring my goals to life in a completely different medium, with a group of supportive, talented and lovely creatives was something I could not turn down. I went into ‘You, the Silence and I’ expecting to learn and hoping to understand my situation better. It became much more than that.

During and after filming/creating the film I got to speak to people about my experiences and understand how I saw myself as a performer and writer. I had an interesting moment with Jo, our director, when I realised that the poem was the first time I had ever written directly to my abuser. It was cathartic getting to say to him ‘I felt screwed up for so long because of you and now I don’t and I see what was happening between us now and that is over’. I cannot thank Jam St enough for what this film has done for me. Without it, I would not have gotten to experience the creative process in a completely different way and in a team. I am lucky to say I have worked with each member of the group and I know that I will be working with them in the future. A massive thank you to Panda for giving them the opportunity to contribute to ‘Creative Breaks’ and allowing me to connect with the wider creative community in Manchester whilst really growing from the experience.

One big, final cheesy thank you to every member of Jam St for letting me come on board and be myself. Amy, Jo, Morgz, Tom and Sonia you are fantastic creatives and anyone you work with in the future is beyond lucky to have you on their team!

-Alex W.

#HumanityWashedAshore

Last night on the shore
harsh realities washed up with their sons,
some say they got lost on the way to Canada,
others say Cameron drove them there.
A Daily Mail poll reads
“SHOULD BRITAIN AGREE TO TAKE MORE REFUGEES?”
YES:NO
1:3
ALIVE:DEAD,
three quarters of a family taken whilst gasping for hope:


1:3
Father: Abdullah, servant of God;
forsaken by a godless nation
forced to suffer by politicians
who’d rather play god
than help Him save them.


3:1
Mother: Rehan, a flower;
desperate for a chance to bloom in
safe nations,
safe havens.
Places to take refuge with those who condemn:
modern day colonialists not ready to pay their
overdue overdraft
with added interest.


Son: Galip, the winner;
maybe he was trying to win the race,
someone should have told him
in England, the only race worth winning
is White.


And then there lies Aylan,
face down in the sand,
becoming a national symbol for change
because Cameron couldn’t stomach it.


3:1 NO:YES
David, the beloved,
beloved assailant of those who
made his Britain great.
How much more will he take
leaving innocents to pay the price?


He raises Aylan as a promise for change.
The Metro tells us
“as a father,
he felt deeply moved by the sight”
well David,
as a human,
I felt disgusted by your Conservative resilience.


When will you let it wear down?


-Alex W.

A Message for Russia and the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Let’s unite the world

under the greatest nation: Earth,

join hands and celebrate

the nature of our games.

“…But not you. We will harass

and bludgeon you for breathing.

Don’t think you’re free,

you’re a stain on our profile

and we’re the bleach.”

Move your fingers, they’re grimy.

Get used to that feeling Sochi,

evil doesn’t wash out easily

and your overcoat is trailing in our blood.

‘Hot. Cool. Yours.’ You said these were

“our” games, but you’re the family-cheater.

We play fair whilst you load your dice

like a bullet in a gun.

Run for your lives, they’re shooting.

Let’s unite the world

under the greatest nation: Earth,

Why don’t you celebrate

and hear the screams of your LGBT youth?

-Alex W.