To Dance Along the Wind: Poetry on Migration, Borders, and New Futures

Poetry workshop collective coordinated by Lily Jamaludin
Country:
Malaysia

To Dance Along the Wind is a zine of poetry developed through a writing workshop focused on migration, borders, nationalism, and imagining new futures. Over the course of several weeks in 2022, seven writers met weekly to participate in writing workshops where we reflected on how borders had shaped our lives, what it meant to write in resistance to anti-migrant racism and xenophobia, how to create communities of solidarity, what alternative futures could look like, and how we could develop our craft and practice as poets.

Some of the poems from these workshops look back to remember personal and collective histories (the construction of the Burma-Siam Railway in the early 1940s, for example, or explorations of Kayan homelands)—in doing so, they ask where we came from, and how our histories haunt or liberate us. Other poems ask where we belong, especially when the identities assigned to us deny us of belonging and recognition. Other poems turn inwards and ask how border regimes harm and reproduce themselves in us, while others ask how we might find agency, connection, and meaning in a world where border regimes seek to deny our humanity.

In their own way and voice, each poet reshapes language to dismantle words like borders, citizenship, homeland, and migration—words that govern and thrash above our lives. They demand us to recognize that behind each of these words is a human life.

“Here I am,” one poet writes, daring the reader. “Witness me.”

The work of thinking about and resisting border violence does not belong only to minorities, migrants, or activists. It belongs to all of us—and particularly those of us who are citizens. Art and writing have their own role to play. The zine closes with writing prompts and exercises that you can work on personally or in your own communities. We invite you to join us.

“Here I am,” one poet writes, daring the reader. “Witness me.”

Resources

Collaborators

Poets
Bethany Balan
Enbah Nilah
Joan Santillo Amuran
Khadra Khalif
Lily Jamaludin
Masuma Tavakoli
Shameera Nair Lim

Workshop Facilitators
Deborah Augustin
Mwaffaq Al-Hajjar
Omar Musa

Translators
Amin Kamrani
Jack Malik

Coordinator
Lily Jamaludin

Cover Art
Enbah Nilah

Lily Jamaludin is a writer, poet, and human rights campaigner. She is currently a 2022-23 Atlantic Fellow for Social and Economic Equity and previously was a campaigner with Amnesty International Malaysia. As a writer, Lily won the Mercedes-Benz Creative Excellence award in 2017 for her short play in Short+Sweet, and was featured as an Emerging Writer in the 2018 George Town Literary Festival. Her fiction and poetry can be found in anthologies by Haymarket Press, Gerakbudaya, and BukuFixi. She is currently working on her first full-length poetry collection.

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