No-one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark

 

Home, 2009

Warsan Shire, British Somali, born Kenya 1988

 

 

no one leaves home unless

home is the mouth of a shark.

you only run for the border

when you see the whole city

running as well.

 

 

 

DSC01999

Refugees Series, 2017/18, scrap metal, steel.

Ginane Makki Bacho, born Beirut, Lebanon, 1947

 

 

 

your neighbours running faster

than you, the boy you went to school with

who kissed you dizzy behind

the old tin factory is

holding a gun bigger than his body,

you only leave home when home

won’t let you stay.

 

 

 

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Refugees Series, 2017/18, scrap metal, steel. 

Ginane Makki Bacho, born Beirut, Lebanon, 1947

 

 

no one would leave home

unless home chased you, fire under feet,

hot blood in your belly.

 

 

 

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Exodus VI; bronze

Ginane Makki Bacho, born Beirut, Lebanon, 1947.

Exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, NY in 2018/19

 

 

it’s not something you ever thought of doing

until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilet
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

 

 

 

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Exodus VI; bronze

Ginane Makki Bacho, born Beirut, Lebanon, 1947.

Exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, NY in 2018/19

 

 

 

You have to understand,

no one puts their children in a boat

unless the water is safer than the land.

 

 

Untitled, 1984; India ink on turpentine-treated, smooth, medium weight, transparent wove paper. 

Giuseppe Penone, Italian born 1947. Philadelphia Art Museum

 

 

no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.

 

 

 

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Damascene Athan, 2017, plaster, paint, found objects. 

Mohamad Hafez, Syrian born 1984. Exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, NY in 2018/19

 

 

no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
pitied

 

 

 

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Damascene Athan, 2017, plaster, paint, found objects. 

Mohamad Hafez, Syrian born 1984. Exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, NY in 2018/19

 

 

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire

and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

 

 

 

Sacrifice, 2014, bronze and found wooden object. 

Nick Cave, American born 1959. Private collection on loan to the Solomon R. Guggenheim, NY in 2022

 

 

 

the
go home blacks
refugees
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange

 

 

 

Sacrifice, 2014, bronze and found wooden object. 

Nick Cave, American born 1959. Private collection on loan to the Solomon R. Guggenheim, NY in 2022

 

 

savage
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

 

 

 

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Bagage Series 4, 2016, plaster, paint, antique suitcase, found objects.

  Mohamad Hafez, Syrian born 1984. Exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, NY in 2018/19

 

 

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.

 

 

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Bagage Series 4, 2016, plaster, paint, antique suitcase, found objects.

  Mohamad Hafez, Syrian born 1984. Exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, NY in 2018/19

 

 

i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark

home is the barrel of the gun

and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore

unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
drown
save
be hunger
beg
forget pride

your survival is more important

 

 

 

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Bagage Series 4, 2016, plaster, paint, antique suitcase, found objects.

  Mohamad Hafez, Syrian born 1984. Exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, NY in 2018/19

 

 

 

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
saying-
leave,
run away from me now

 

 

 

Untitled, 2021, perforated inkjet print. 

Idalia Vasquez-Achury, born Colombia 1973. Loaned by the artist to the Woodmere Art Museum in 2022

 

 

i dont know what i’ve become

but i know that anywhere
is safer than here

 

 

 

Untitled, 2021, perforated inkjet print. 

Idalia Vasquez-Achury, born Colombia 1973. Loaned by the artist to the Woodmere Art Museum in 2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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