“Unseen Darkness” is one of my favourite pieces and most powerful collaborations. It
provided me with an opportunity to work with the talented at artist, Thiviyaa Sehasothy of Art by Thiviyaa, and Dilani Bala, Photographer extraordinaire. But as in the true nature of collabs, this piece extended past the three of us, and has a story of many admirable people/women.
Below I want to share my story, as that is the one I can speak to.
Where does this story begin?… In many different places, with many different people.
It began with a post about VAW shared across three Instagram channels.
It began when Thiviyaa created a beautiful piece from the (just as soul speaking) work of Dilani.
It began with a phone call to Thiviyaa, asking if she would want to create a piece for this poem.
It began when Abuse Never Becomes Us (ANBU) asked me if I had a photo to accompany the poem. I said, “Not yet, but there is only one person I want to ask.”
It began with ANBU, who reached out to me to share a piece for their March 2017 Newsletter.
It began with the stellar performance of my friend Sathya Thillainathan, who told Anbu about my poetry after she performed at their launch event.
It began from conversations with survivors; legal workers; counselors; politicians, and groups, like the South Asian Women’s Centre; the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario; Canadian Council of Muslim Women; Againcourt Community Services Association; with conversations with activists like Deepa Mattoo, Farrah Khan, Maryum Anis and others.
It began with sitting on municipal; provincial; national roundtables and strategy meetings; asking “white” women to understand that, not all violence could be seen.
It began with projects on Gender Based Violence; Violence Against Women; Honour Based Violence and asking people to look past their conception of race, culture, and violence.
It began with conversations with my family and friends.
It began with personal experiences.
**Previously shared on Instagram.
Author’s Note: Just a note, even if you are not directly mentioned you have impacted my life, story and work. This story, specifically was the story of “unseen darkness”.