Home and Belonging: Waterfalls of Love & Kindness

Home and Belonging: Waterfalls of Love & Kindness

Waterfalls of Love & Kindness by 'Sam Walker'

Sam and his family fled from Sri Lanka to the UK. After the bloody civil war ended in 2009, human rights abuse continued in the form of torture and mistreatment by police and some special forces. Still today, journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers and opposition politicians face serious threats to their life and personal security, with regular cases of abduction, torture, enforced disappearance and death.

In Sam’s poem, ‘waterfalls of love and kindness’ responds to his family’s quest for freedom and humanity. He refers to those ‘who are desperately looking for mercy,’ and who, like Sam and his family, have experienced difficult lives and journeys such as fleeing their country or home in search of a new life.

Though Sam and his family have ‘stepped’ into a new land where freedom and human rights exist, he describes that it feels distant, ‘…not as strong as we thought’ and ‘low strength.' Sam’s hope for safety and protection for him and his family is unwavering. He finds new inspiration, his ‘diamond worth message’ to society is to strengthen and enrich humanity for ‘the remaining waterfalls of love and kindness.’

Sam is mindful of people like him in similar situations, refugees and asylum seekers fleeing their homeland and their families, leaving every aspect of their life behind. Sam contemplates the need for countries to provide basic human rights and services for its citizens, and to stop negotiating and sacrificing human beings for military prowess. Sam’s wider reference to the ‘waterfalls’ reflects upon living in a democracy characterized by legal equality, human rights, political freedom and the rule of law.

In his new home, Sam respects the ‘values’ of democracy free speech, independence, the right to fight for justice and challenge injustice.

“I like living here. I like to feel the freedom and safety, that’s all people need” says Sam. He also dreams of one day improving the services for children with physical and learning disabilities in his home country.

Poem: Waterfalls of Love & Kindness by 'Sam Walker'

I have heard of waterfalls of love and kindness

But never have been there, except for a few moments in a dream

But when my journey started I was very confident of finding these miracle waterfalls for the life

When we stepped to the land where the waterfalls of love and kindness were

We could hear those were showering by far away from us and knew they were still there

Finally when we reached those we could notice the strength of the waterfalls was not strong as we thought

But even with the low strength, love and kindness (was) still showering to people who are desperately looking for mercy

So we thank God for the remaining love and kindness of waterfalls, even with the low strength.

Suddenly, flashed a thunderous thought in an empty mind of (the) sky

To acknowledge us a diamond-worth message

‘All of you must protect and care (for) all those remaining waterfalls of love and kindness

You had not protected those in your lands

And this is your last opportunity’

Now all we know (is) that this message was crystal clear

And are we ready to protect those values of this land?

The Home & Belonging Short Digi-Films

Participants on the Home and Belonging project have collaborated with photographer Aleksandra Dogramadzi to develop their stories of personal experiences here in the North East.

In the digi-film workshops, participants explored the theme of ‘Home and Belonging’. Using their phones, they worked with the artist to co-produce their own stories; to sequence, script and choose locations for their digi-films. The stories cover a myriad of reasons ranging from persecution to war, for having to flee and/or be displaced from their countries, families, familiar surroundings and any sense of home and belonging they would have had themselves, prior to coming to the North East.

As a result, the participants have created digi-films, autobiographical snapshots capturing moments which caused dramatic upheaval in their lives but which is also part of the rich diversity of the migrant and also refugee and asylum seeking experience. Their stories present us with new encounters and challenges and changes our perceived identity of the ever-changing cultural landscape and contemporary social history of the North East.

Watch the other films