26 Shining Light: Nikita Chadha – H is for Hostile Environment

A is for Amplification

allyship stands in place of one singular voice

we are stronger together than we are alone

B is for Borders

constructed and enforced

within the colonial imagination

C is for Classification

citizenship defined by conservative relics

archaic systems of rule that govern us still

D is for Displacement

and those drunk on its power or held by it

E is for Enemies

created and exiled through bureaucracy and policy

F is for Fascism

far-right embers stoked into flames

history repeats itself endlessly

G is for Gaslighting

governmental practice for centuries

the civilising mission we never asked for

H is for Hostile Environment

the home office is anywhere but home

I is for “illegal immigration”

so illegal, it must be fought with illegal measures

one word for you and another word for us

J is for Justice

she doesn’t live here. She has never lived here.

K is for Kingdom

united by supremacy and ignorance

built by the commonwealth, yet wealth is not that common amongst us

L is for Leave

being told to leave followed by leave to remain

our true history never really leaves us

M is for Migration

the cornerstone conveniently forgotten and named as the enemy

N is for Nationalism

whitewashed agendas accepted as national pride

rejected by the very country that we helped to rebuild

O is for Operation Vaken

reserved only for Barking, Dagenham, Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Hounslow and Redbridge

but not for Kensington and Chelsea

P is for Politics

morality is nowhere to be found – just ask Machiavelli

Q is for Quantify

data replaces humanity as experience becomes 1s and 0s

R is for Removal

of “otherness”

  of history

 of records culled in the name of The Empire

S is for Settlement

as we find new homes away from home

T is for Trauma

physical, emotional, collective, intergenerational

U is for Us

for Us vs Them

for the right to self-define and identify

V is for Violence

the only language that the coloniser speaks

the irony of being seen as a threat when your way of life is being threatened

W is for Windrush

the winds of change are yours, and yours alone

X is for Xenophobia

for the 52% who propped up Farage

the brown and black faces scapegoated for Brexit

Y is for You

you are responsible

we are all responsible

Z is for Zeitgeist

the collective amnesia practiced by this island and its subjects

for this “post-colonial” world that shudders at its own contemporary history


Nikita Chadha

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