Part I
from every encounter with a government official who averted their gaze, as they tapped at their
keyboardsrecording “inconsistencies” in Children’s accounts,

from every social work meeting where care plans fused with border control,
where teenage Boys were divided based on their compliance –

from every visit to Girls, locked up in adult prisons for using the
the documents they were told to carry by their abusers,
from every separated child we failed,
from every woman we couldn’t protect,
from every human denied,
from every injustice witnessed
we reserved a tiny bit of

we patiently stored up our Rage,
intending to Smash apart the structures that locked people up and killed our
Coordinated detonation of our Rage,
to blow apart the foundations of the
callous institutions
that incarcerated our Compassion

Part II
our Rage was taken from us
diffused and

squashed into a vacuum-packed cubes
sharp edges neatly filed down, spray painted with non-toxics
our Rage was printed with bespoke slogans, packaged in recyclable materials
and sold on the free market with discount vouchers and promotional codes, 2-4-1 for

our Rage was branded with logos and given out as “favours”
at ngo workshops and un meetings
used to diffuse dissent,
reduce bad odours,
prop up power structures
our Rage was advertised as a set of policy recommendations to
blind institutions
full of unhearing bureaucrats, numb to Pain, in beige

our Rage – our faded Rage – now clothes our Violent
borders and
our Violent
clothes them so they are
objective, acceptable, palatable
no-one now need See the
explicit parts of our
abusive institutions

Part III
our rage
our kindness
our compassion

still here

organised in underground cells

waiting in bunkers

for the Revolution

Natalie Brinham

For 25 years Natalie Brinham has taught, worked as an INGO staff  and lived  in Indonesia, Thailand and a Karen refugee camp inside Myanmar, as well in UK.  She is co-author of Essays on Myanmar Genocide of Rohingyas (2012-2018) (published by Refugee and Migratory Movement Research Unit, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2019). She earned her PhD in law, with her thesis which foregrounds the voices of Rohingya genocide victims and challenges the conventional wisdom centered on the faulty discourses and victim-damning international policies towards populations deemed “stateless”. Beyond Rohingyas, Dr Brinham’s thematic research interests focus on the global politics of legal identity from anti-state — read “anti-imperialist/- colonialist” — perspectives. She was educated at the University of London, and received her BA (Hons.) in Thai and Development Studies from SOAS, MA in education (with distinction) from UCL Institute of Education and PhD in law from Queen Mary University of London (2022).

Posted by Natalie Brinham