Letters, Testimonials, Workshops

A letter to BARC and all the wonderful people of colour

“The journey starts where I will it, so I hope to see you along the beautiful road to freedom!” – Sima

To my people,

Afraid. Alone. Abandoned.

That was what I most unwillingly felt before a project called the BreakThrough! I was then able to master and abolish these feelings to some extent through this project by building up my resilience and confidence in not only my personal ability and skills, but my identity and the strengths that lie behind my ethnicity and heritage. I was always conscious of my skin colour and what that meant regarding how I establish myself in the world and most definitely, how the world will establish itself around me. This project therefore allowed me to voice those inner bombarding emotions and helped me acknowledge and understand that the discriminatory practises of white privilege and culture and racism are real and alive and very much prominent in everyday life.

Then came the BARC Collective.

Another well positioned platform for me to utilise and help muster the burning strength that I knew I had clustering inside me. I knew I could finally be myself and really showcase what I am, who I am and who I wish to be. I am fire. I am rage. I am love and hate and friendship. I am cheeky. I am strong. I am skilled and motivated and worthy. But most importantly I am a woman of colour! This part, the most important part to me, is something that I often failed, and unfortunately was scared, to voice. So when BreakThrough! came along, and then BARC, I knew I had the opportunity to finally be myself. Finally. BARC gave me a platform, a chance and a space to voice myself, to voice my constant disappointment and burning rage with the undemocratic and despicable system of institutional racism, of racial and religious repression, of the hypocrisy of meritocracy. BARC gave me an unwarranted outlet to voice my grievances, to face the world that was so strategically trying to keep me out, to meet other women of colour who understood my pain and my story, to develop a stronger sense of who I am, to create strategies and ways in which to demolish the barriers of White privilege, and most importantly provided me with the safest place where I could truly be me. A woman of colour.

This is my story, my life, my experience and I will not give up nor give in because

I am a strong woman of colour!

Your sister of colour,

Sima Akter

 

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