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Kihwa-Endale is an artist based in Helsinki who paints, draws, writes and performs spoken word. She is a half-Korean, half-Ethiopian Gemini. Inspired by curiosity, she seeks to understand the world around her as well as the one inside of her. She finds her references mainly from ridiculous amounts of Youtube videos.
It is December 2018, my sister and I are in a city we’ve only heard of from stories. Jerusalem, we are walking through the marketplace in the Old City, as shiny things are being packed up we are surrounded by a soft clatter, as lights dim down and everyone slows down, to stop for the day An old man stops us, asks us to pass through the frame of his door into a small store
it is constipated with antique things, treasures, words he must share, so he invites us in his name is Omar. he has a hole in his throat, still he spoke as if the words were more important than the pain of speaking them, he told us many things. when words were not enough, he spoke with his eyes they are as ancient as the store icy blue, they freeze the world, to hold it with love for a moment icy blue, they read your soul as you say hello one thing he said was that you are very close sisters, that you are an extension of her and she of you. and you both have a very special mother so whenever it felt like we have been split apart, separated either by time or distance or habit his simple words, always remind me that we are still existing together in the metaphysical, not all souvenirs are for sale my skin will always remember the olive oil, poured over me in ceremony while my feet are throbbing, worn out from walking It is 4:30 AM, we go to greet the sun it climbs slowly over hills where Jesus has walked before, and the birds are playing before it gets too hot to dance, your daughter plays around too and asks many questions, but answers are not enough I try to sketch your silhouette, but colors are not enough, meet us? after your shift? sure, let’s gather, giggle, go for a drive in fast cars down the dusty road Let’s sing! as loud as we can to drown out the worries of your tomorrows, you pull out the guitar, play covers of pop songs, we clap, laugh, smile, then you sing a tune your mother has taught you of your land being free and whole, now the walls of homes have too many holes of course, you are welcome! come eat! come to our home, here I see a photo of a red t-shirt and know he who wears it is gone. The reason his mother’s songs will not be sung for months and months homes are hollowed I admit I have come to look, to listen, to climb your mountains, to enjoy your flowers and food. to study. But I leave with responsibility. Since I am the one with accessibility to pass through this wall, It breaks me to turn around I cannot bear to smile when I say goodbye, inshallah we’ll meet again, another time, I will come back for a longer time, but for now, I must leave like an ambassador on a mission without momentum. When I get back home, I don’t know what to do, and also life happens and keeps happening but my skin will always remember, so once in a while I taste the salt of tears that are not mine I will hold your sorrows the way I have held your smiles some souvenirs are carried everywhere and all the time, like talismans And now there is momentum I stay restless, wondering what I can do from where I am How to be loud enough to drown out the worries of our tomorrows but Finland is comfortable and has many securities So it stays a quiet country too quiet to hear its own crimes against the Sapmi, when they speak out they are called ‘emotional’ these are colonial times. if we want the government to recognize why they cannot make trade of arms with the Israeli state they must first face the structures they have made. How many ‘minorities’ are made to pay How many times disabled people become invalid bodies, told to wait, and wait, and wait if we want the government to recognize why they cannot make trades with the Israeli state they must first face the structures they have made they must understand it needs to break in order to change Until then, We must be the change We must ask ourselves why did Niinistö only acknowledge one state? where was Finland’s position during the Holocaust and how does this part of history affect us today? What role does the US play here not only politically, but culturally? What is really portrayed when Palestinian protest takes place? and Why does the media stay neutral? Why does the majority of Finnish society ignore their pain, What are the stereotypes of Arab people that they create? and What does the immigration have to say, about how they treat the people with names too foreign to pronounce so they push them away how they laugh when they share their hopes and their dreams, they laugh straight to their face it needs to break in order to change the grass only turns green after it has rained until then we’re linked, we all wear the same chains