I had the opportunity to listen to Sarah Kay's wonderful poem about Noor Ibrahim. I have been to District 6 when just a remnant of the Indian neighborhood remained. Her story about the museum reminded me of the small museum that used to be in St. Paul's church in NY near the World Trade Center that briefly commemorated the rescue efforts. I could not bear to be inside for long and went outside, leaned against the iron fence and nearly collapsed crying. How could such terrible things like the bombing of the WTC or destruction of District 6 occur due to political orthodoxy? As you might guess from my last name, I am Jewish; I walked into a church; District 6 was mixed. Her poem brought that same grief and tears into my eyes. It was the same grief I felt during the wars in the former Yugoslavia when mixed communities were slaughtered or chased at gunpoint into ethnic enclave. I remembered, then, not the violence of apartheid but its terrible wastefulness and loss of human contact. I wanted to buy a 'black' record and it could only be purchased in a 'black' designated district where I could go. It was just a record but also a sign of how total the violence forced against daily life, like the public bath that no longer existed after the destruction of District 6. Thank you four presenting her work, listening to the Tshotshaloza song and the chance to re-experience my connecting grief about our world. May we live together in peace.
More information about text formats