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Spoken Word with Intercultural Youth Scotland

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Diversity and Inclusion is one of SYP’s four key organisational values, and although we are proud of how diverse our membership is, we know we can always do better.

To help MSYPs explore their understanding and awareness of racism, and the experiences of Black and young people of colour growing up in Scotland, we collaborated with Intercultural Youth Scotland, who delivered two workshops at SYP’s 73rd national Sitting (otherwise known as SYP73). Faced with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, this was SYP’s second virtual Sitting.

MSYPs took part in an anti-racist workshop led by Murid at Intercultural Youth Scotland. This workshop gave MSYPs a deeper understanding of the effects of structural racism, dismantling racism, and the perceptions and experiences of Black and young people of colour growing up in Scotland.

During the spoken word workshop led by Courtney, a Scottish poet, MSYPs listened to Courtney’s exceptional poetry which dealt with some of her experiences of racism. Courtney then facilitated a creative space where MSYPs wrote poetry which focused on exploring anti-racist content. Two MSYPs who attended the workshop, Crisantos Ike and Wiktoria Orlicka, share their poems below.

Content warning: these poems discuss racism which some readers may find emotionally triggering.

As I look back by Crisantos Ike MSYP

I look back at that day, 

I keep looking again 

Reminding myself of the pain as my tears fall like the rain. 

The rain falls strong, and wild, but it’s really the sadness that rules the feeling of pain.  

I my ready to talk about this, then?  

I see the school in my mind, a stranger’s eyes stare like them,  

Like them memories filled by pain.  

A faint smile approaches myself, my blood speeds at the speed of a train. 

Silence I can now hear, are they really gone?  

But then I hear that word,  

With laughter’s, filled by crowds laughing as loud, as loud as the ear can see.  

Loud not outside but inside, as I remember those times where my happiness was suppressed by comments that my skin could not take.  

It was loud, I couldn’t hear myself talk or think, has time really stopped for me?  

It brought me back there, a time machine, 

Those days, where being racist was a common thing,  

I see a child unable to speak or to think, as they tell him to go back.  

Go back where? Go back when?  

Can I call this my country again?  

Then I come back from those memories of Spain, and here I am, feeling the same pain.  

Does it matter where I go? It still feels the same   

All they see is my skin, why are they discriminating me? I ask myself  

As the color of my skin is all they see, nothing hasn’t really changed. 

I look back at that day, 

I keep looking again 

As they will never understand the pain a child feels  

Because he is different from them.  

Poem by Wiktoria Orlicka MSYP

Race.

A concept that tends to divide us all.

Why should it be the case?

It breaks peoples hearts, it destroys the society we are meant to love.

 People are dying, tears and crying.

Why should it be the case?

Why can’t we respect the fact that we are all different? 

Why should people wake up in fear of no fitting in?

Why should people loose their lives because of something they can’t change?

Why should that be the case? 

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