Having a home and being connected with people is very important to ‘who we are’. With recent news of 71 migrants dying on an Austrian motorway, 200 refugees drowning off of the coast of Libya and the horrific situation off of the coast of Greece, it is again, time to think about global responsibility and inclusion. Interestingly at this time there is even a renewed conversation about building a wall between Canada and the United States. So much of our global context is based on fear, judgement and exclusion. All human beings require the basic needs that come with belonging. It is time for belonging to be a focus.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Even in our Rumble House community, we are thinking about what it means to belong. We gather in this tiny venue, and share a powerful sense of being a part of something. We accept one another, laugh with one another and talk about extraordinary things. When one of our community is in pain, we support and uplift. It is interesting that art is our connective tissue.
Take down the walls.
That is, after all, the whole point.
You do not know what will happen if you take down the walls; you cannot see through to the other side, don’t know whether it will bring freedom or ruin, resolution or chaos. It might be paradise or destruction.
Take down the walls.
Otherwise you must live closely, in fear, building barricades against the unknown, saying prayers against the darkness, speaking verse of terror and tightness.
Otherwise you may never know hell; but you will not find heaven, either. You will not know fresh air and flying.
All of you, wherever you are: in your spiny cities, or your one bump towns. Find it, the hard stuff, the links of metal and chink, the fragments of stone filling you stomach.
And pull, and pull, and pull.
I will make a pact with you: I will do it if you will do it, always and forever.
Take down the walls.”
I painted from a little reference.
I’m very-much interested in research and the production of a body of work based on the historical plight of British Home Children. My readers may or may not think that this is a part of history to reflect upon…it doesn’t matter. It is relevant because it is a part of MY story. I am a descendant and find this story on my family line, along with so many other diverse stories, an important one. From the Library and Archives of Canada….this.
“Between 1869 and the late 1930s, over 100,000 juvenile migrants were sent to Canada from Great Britain during the child emigration movement. Motivated by social and economic forces, churches and philanthropic organizations sent orphaned, abandoned and pauper children to Canada. Many believed that these children would have a better chance for a healthy, moral life in rural Canada, where families welcomed them as a source of cheap farm labour and domestic help.
After arriving by ship, the children were sent to distributing homes, such as Fairknowe in Brockville, and then sent on to farmers in the area. Although many of the children were poorly treated and abused, others experienced a better life here than if they had remained in the urban slums of England. Many served with the Canadian and British Forces during both World Wars.”
As we enjoy our sense of community and security, we need to remember that we are blessed. We must remember that colonization impacted the homes of others and be respectful of that impact always. We must remember that our security has been built upon the backs of hard workers and indentured workers, as well as slaves and upon the opportunities that were and are afforded us as a part of democracy. These gifts must never be taken for granted.
Here are some photographs of an awesome community of artists who are doing a great job supporting one another through various life journeys.