Avis à la population (23): Whole

Samira Saleh
04.06.2020
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Samira Saleh

‘Social distancing’ is what Corona experts advise, but ‘social nearness’ is what we aim for with our literary events. Passa Porta wants to keep connecting authors with their readers. Over the coming weeks, we will therefore be asking writers, from home and beyond, for a personal “Public Message”.

Samira Saleh (1994) is a spoken word/performance artist, passionate about telling and sharing stories to bring people together. She has been using the important outlet Spoken Word as a tool for self-empowerment ever since she first encountered the phenomenon online. In 2016, she became Slambassadress for Belgium in the international exchange project Next Generation Speaks for which she travelled to San Francisco and won the BILL Award in the category Spoken Word. You can also find her behind the scenes as co-organiser of Mama's Open Mic. In 2019 she curated a spoken word event for the Passa Porta Festival. Keep an eye out for this badass upcoming poet! The revolution will not be televised, she will be heard!


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WHOLE

I wish women had bigger trouser pockets
I wish I could dance as well as procrastinate
I wish I had superpowers
That I could outline my uncertainties with the right brushes
That my smile could broaden the way you can bleach it nowadays
To get rid of all the negativity just by photoshopping it away
That when a difficulty arises I could simply flush to the end when everything has resolved itself

I am that maverick who every day tries to free herself from the faulty conditioning that we all grew up with, that was imposed on us and that we often internalized
I try to free myself from the boxes and rules imposed from above and try to fight for me and everyone else to be unapologetically themselves

I acknowledge the ease with which we want to color ourselves grey, cut ourselves into pieces to fit into society’s small box
But no matter how hard I try, I can't get my skin white enough, my hips and my ass narrow enough. My hair not blonde enough, my eyes not light enough, despite the cheap color lenses

I don't subscribe to your European standards of beauty anymore
I try and decolonize my standards every time I bathe myself in self-loathing whenever a mainstream chain store doesn't carry my clothing size

I wish I stopped giving even a hair's worth to what people think of me, but I'm just not that badass and confident yet
The more I learn, the more I understand why with every new flaw I want to spend money "fixing" them

You know, I just wish I realized there's no point in trying to make yourself smaller than you are...
Often you can't muffle your own sunrays and therefore it's not your fault who feels blinded by them

I wish sometimes I wasn't so insecure about being awkwardly long, fat and curvy
I wish I could accept me in my size 46, tall AND curvy
Fat AND beautiful
Fierce AND funny
Sometimes ugly and see the beauty in it
Talented with just not enough fucks to give
Voluptuous and speaks her mind and shoulders back and head straight and chin forward and walking over people's ignorance in ten inches of heels and ambitious enough to prove them all wrong

I'm starting to take up as much space as I want
I'm not asking permission to speak, I just talk
I'm not asking permission to be anymore, I just am
Because we're already whole
Already enough

I’ll jump, I’ll run, I’ll scream, I’ll laugh, I’ll cry as elegant, as beautiful, as ugly as I want

I don't break and deform myself anymore to make others feel easier
We women are not inanimate dolls who will be put forward or back to your liking
We're not the toxic words directed at us to get our attention on the street
Or that tell us we're not enough, never enough
Not without the right body, partner, children, career...

I am more than enough; I repeat to myself again when while writing this poem I am overwhelmed by the imposter syndrome where I ask myself what the use of this even is

I am more than enough; I repeat for myself after finally giving up the decade old gym membership together with that cursed new year’s resolution where just a "little" self-discipline and zucchini pasta will finally make me whole

I am more than enough, I decide
No more arguing with myself, no more confronting internal conflicts on my own and pretending to the outside world that I have it all under control

No more running away from what terrifies me until a virus with a crown brings me the introspection, time and space to heal

Although the world still remains fucked for anyone who falls outside the norm, I give up drinking that poison that promises that after a simple purchase, mind shift or the right motivation to finally change myself... I will be whole
I already am


Samira Saleh, May 2020

Samira Saleh
04.06.2020