Free Visit Palestine

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. 
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, 
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