Stelle (Stars)

This and the following poem describe a trivial yet emotionally charged object: the thermo-blanket distributed to migrants in emergency situations. Is the thermo-blanket a sign of our welcome or the symptom of a tendency to cover and make ourselves blind to what is difficult to see? Through the simple yet powerful image of the blanket, these poems play with light and darkness, with the backlash of hopes, broken dreams and reality. What if we looked under and beyond the blanket and what if, instead of looking, we were able to see the eyes, and see the other, and ourselves as a reflection of these?

Giulia’s poetic response to these questions reflect the refugee Hosts project’s broader interest in creative approaches which you can read more about here (on creative writing and refugee studies), here (on translation and displacement) and here (on representations of displacement). Refugee Hosts will be exploring these questions further through a series of creative writing workshops with local communities in the Middle East, and through the poetry and translation of our Writer in Residence, Yousif M. Qasmiyeh, whose poetry you can read and listen to here.

Stelle, by Giulia Balestra, REFUNITE 

This and the following poem describe a trivial yet emotionally charged object: the thermo-blanket distributed to migrants in emergency situations. Is the thermo-blanket a sign of our welcome or the symptom of a tendency to cover and make ourselves blind to what is difficult to see? Through the simple yet powerful image of the blanket, these poems play with light and darkness, with the backlash of hopes, broken dreams and reality. What if we looked under and beyond the blanket and what if, instead of looking, we were able to see the eyes, and see the other, and ourselves as a reflection of these?

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 10.25.01

Read Giulia’s first poem, Paese (Country), and her reflections on translation and displacement here

Featured Image: Day turns to night in Baddawi refugee camp, Lebanon (c) E. Fiddian-Qasmiyeh. You can view Elena’s photo essay on night time in refugee camps here

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