In the West, the proverb see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil means to turn a blind eye to something that is legally or morally wrong.
The above is part of a response to a call l took part in 2017 for TedXSkoll.
The piece l wrote in 2017 was entitled Speak no EVIL. The phrase Speak no Evil came to me a number of times during my conversations with Heaven. We explored, what society expects of us as women, as migrants, white woman, black woman. What should or shouldn’t be said. The choices between confirming to/aligning with boxes and categories. The need to constantly navigate expectations as opposed to the true nature of who we are as humans.
To maintain what we consider true and morally correct in this skewered society we are living in. We have to be Resilient, to resist the norm, sometimes challenge status quo.
Life events are fickle, sticky. Life requires an intense manoeuvring of our peanut brain, body and dainty feet. We are unique beings, with so much to deposit into mother earth. However, we are born into systems that are literally playing Sumo wrestling, to catch us head first as we pop out of our mothers womb.
Geographical location of birth, corrupt governments, politics and all its dressing, deep rooted historical oppressive systems, saving the Other, family expectations, school life, college university, professions, ranks in pay, titles or the lack of it. The list is endless. When l close my eyes, I see all these in form of multiple lanky arms reaching from all directions (360 degree view) clambering for a piece of that baby, that boy, girl, woman, that human.
As a result of the above being deployed into human lives, we end up with
The elephant within
The elephant without
The elephant in the room…
Fellow Humans we are facing a layered Elephant story…
As we individually manoeuvre life in our safe or unsafe spaces, there is a clear call on our lives to be resilient. Whether that call finds you in a comfy or uncomfortable position is another story. I consider myself blessed in many ways. My parents, especially my father, encouraged me to be Me.
He raised me in a way that made me understand l was enough. Yes life happened, pulling left, right and centre (it still does). Fortunately, the seed my father planted inside of me sustained/s me no matter how many times l fall. One of the fruits that seed produced is the resilience spirit l carry, it continually pushes me past Racism (Institutionalised , systematic, day to day), gender based discrimination, past hard knocks, abuse, past the negative chatter in my brain.
Resilience is a must have, l often use this phrase in my work.
The interesting thing about resilience is it’s a must have despite race or creed.
A fact proven during this collaboration over and over again. The conversations and work produced – particularly around the themes of Boxed and Cracked – are only part testimony to the depth and breadth exploration we unravelled to do with resilience . In summary in order for us to face, deal with, topple, pinch the elephants in the room, we need to be resilient.
The elephant within without
The elephant in the room
The migration elephant
The gratitude elephant
The watered-down elephant
The what are you on about elephant
The validity, validation
Micro aggression elephant the elephant in the room
2 in 1
1 in 2
3 in 4
In other words aluta continua the struggle continues
The fight to BE carries on
The need for dappled light moments are essential
There it the relationship elephant
The single person, mother, divorcee migrant, blackness elephant
Continue to be manoeuvred therefore, the call to resilience becomes even louder
The overlooked, no need for explanations elephants
The shame, elephant, the saving my face elephant
As a woman l should l should not come across like seem that
It comes in different shapes and sizes, meanings and connotations.
An elephant all the same.
Sad thing is the system, society conditions OUR minds, the victims mind to doubt
to hesitate, second guess, undermine,
Model/Artist: Laura Nyahuye
Wordsmith: Laura Nyahuye
Designer maker: Laura Nyahuye
Photographer: John Whitmore