Ahead of the Platforma Festival later this month, we are using the Platforma blog to introduce some of the people who will be attending.
Victoria Mponda writes:
I was born in Malawi but was forced to move to Zimbabwe as a child and then came to the UK as a refugee with my mother in 2005.
We were fortunate to be introduced to the Refugee Forum in Nottingham where I joined the women’s group as member and volunteer. In 2012 I was elected chairperson and I took up running activities and coordinating the group: from sourcing funding, networking, facilitating activities, sign posting and referring our members to services across the city.
We are now in a transition in rebranding our name and restructuring our delivery.
We’ve worked with local authorities, MPs, different community groups, independent facilitators, local galleries and local residents since the inception of our group in 2007. We look forward to engaging with different networks from across the nation at the Platforma Festival.
For the past year Victoria has been studying creative writing. This is a poem she completed recently.
By Victoria Mponda
In the night light of my dreams I am startled by the presence of such gaiety and laughter, my heart is full and my head feels lighter.
In this strange presence, he appears next me, I’ve known you all my life his eyes tell me
We go out about the day being and filling our hours with plans and dreams, untethered
This space in time is wide and bright as the morning dawn. The beginning to a foundation to fulfil a lifetime of disappointments
He moves away, I can hardly hear him speak. I’m rooted to where I stand, my heart beats a little faster with each step he takes.
Falling awake! That is how I feel, looking around. Wide awake and a bit dazed
This is my existence; my heart is afraid and my heart is filled with dread.
Looking around my room trying to find that feeling of home not hope, security not resilience, surety not doubt, peace not pain Up in my room where all my possessions rest; a suitcase, books and a box for all my papers. In the little corner lie my shoes, all piled in one.
Up on the chest of drawers just enough room for my make-up.
My little room to obsess over the endless wait, the nightmares haunt me every night. As I try to stop the walls from closing in.
Everywhere I look I see potential, packed away in boxes waiting for opportunity to release all the pent-up energy.
Potential has become a hateful word!
My favourite time is when I’m moving, walking briskly adrenaline driving me.
Not bound in my room.
I love horses; they are majestic, strong, untethered and adventurous.
I’d like to run like a horse, it comes so easy like breathing,
Living my life not bound by walls, borders or systems.
Illustration by Victoria Mponda