I am from burgundy sophas and carpets

KATIE NEWMAN | University of Bristol | Arts, Activism and Social Justice Summer School | Bristol, United Kingdom | Bristol

I am from burgundy sophas and carpets, bouncing and rolling on their soft fibres. Brown leaves shed from oak trees and rusted, squeaky toys. I am from poverty, limited material pleasures enhancing the imagination and bonds between me and my siblings. High demands and limited time causing many days to blur. I am from stretches of grass, lawns and fields surrounding my home, whose soft touch and fresh scents offered bounds of freedom to run, breathe and be free. I am from broken fridges and rickety sheds, juxtaposed to the affluence of those around me. I am from Marjory and Marion, my Grandma and Nana, strong, passionate women who strived through times of turbulence. Women who braved societies limitations to ensure their families could survive and thrive. I am from silliness and humour, bubbling into cacophonies of laughter and brightening the day. Roast dinners that evoke feelings of warmth and excitement as I remember family get togethers and times of unity. I am from factories and coal mines, where past generations toiled in hazardous conditions every day. I remember them with gratitude, observing the stark contrast of their world, with the mounds of cuddly toys and video cassettes surrounding me as their stories are told. I am from cuddles on the sofa with my brother and sister, at the end of energetic and chaotic days, the comfort of these memories envelops me, my heart swells with love. I am from family, a treasure that I grow ever grateful for with each new memory formed.

Bridging Histories butterfly