Dancing With Our Ancestors: A BAM group poetry anthology
Our incredible BAM group, consisting of survivors who identify as Black, Asian or Mixed Heritage, have produced a booklet of poetry, artwork and self soothing tools. The collection is called Dancing With Our Ancestors: Black, Asian and Mixed Heritage survivors of Rape and Child Sexual Abuse share their poetic reflections of Joy, Love, Pride, Trauma, the Body, and Healing
We will be distributing copies of Dancing With Our Ancestors at the UK Black Pride event in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London this Saturday, 19th August.
You can also get a digital copy of the collection here.
Here, Dionne and Ese, therapists and group work facilitators for the BAM group welcome you to this extraordinary collection of creativity, healing and resilience…
Learning to hold space for yourself can feel challenging when it feels like you are living a life saturated in pain oppression and trauma.
Sometimes it’s not until you start exploring the deep grief, that may hit you apparently out of nowhere, that you come to understand much of the pain you feel is connected to the sexual violence you have survived as a child, as an adult, or both.
As therapeutic hosts of the BAM group, we feel a deep sense of gratitude and privilege when we connect with members of BAM – our Black, Asian and Mixed Heritage group for SurvivorsUK.
Together we create a place where you are liberated from the distortions, injustice and inequity of fantasy and fear.
We are creating a village, a diverse collective of survivors who know they have a safe place to be seen, to smile, to cry, to laugh, to reflect, to discuss, to be therapeutically and culturally held, heard and understood with compassion, activism and therapeutic love.
We are inspired by the Zulu greeting Sawubona, which means ‘We see you’.
We see you and our ancestors see you. We see you and your ancestors.
This beautiful deep witnessing is affirming and liberating. It provides us with hope and grace to explore our pain through the multi-dimensional power of intergenerational connection, intersectionality and wisdom.
We challenge expectations, distortions, stereotypes and hyper contortions of what it is to be Black, Asian and dual, mixed or multi heritage.
We smother these default Eurocentric social norms and ingrained entitled prejudices with tenderness, beauty, spirituality, intellect, philosophy and the gorgeous complexity and spontaneity of what is to be a Black, Asian or Mixed Heritage cis gender man, Trans or non-binary individual.
Here we embrace you, come as you are, Gay, Queer, straight, Bi, Pan or Demi. You are welcome.
This is Intergenerational work, this is contemporary work, this is legacy work and we are deeply blessed to create a village with fire and love at its heart.
We are inspired by ‘Ubuntu’ – an ancient African word meaning ‘humanity to others’. For Ubuntu reminds us all that ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’.
There are parts of us that may never heal; be it our open wounds or what can feel like keloid scars, these physical, emotional and psychological signs of hurt inflicted and pain endured are powerful symbols of survival.
We aspire to transcend the systems designed to incarcerate Black, Asian and Multi-heritage individuals in a psychological prison where they are hyper visible yet remain unseen.
So wherever you are on your healing journey you and your scars are welcome.
For together we move through the pain and into what we hope may feel like healing light.
We hope this booklet of poetic reflection from some of our BAM members and our small curation of self soothing and therapeutic tools offers you tender companionship and support when you need it.
Dionne and Ese
Dionne and Ese are Group Facilitators for the BAM group at SurvivorsUK and therapists specialising in trauma and Black and African Centred therapeutic practice.