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Art Book Contributions

ART BOOK & EXHIBITION CONTRIBUTIONS

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Introduction [pdf - file] [page]
A Beautiful Spider's Web - [short story 1]
Swan on calm water - [painting]
My Journey - [short story 2]
short story 1

A Beautiful Spider's Web

I wanted to a be bird who can always fly high in the sky with complete freedom and make all my dreams and desires come true, but unfortunately my character does not describe me as a bird but it describe me as a house fly who just fly in a certain height. I am a person who is always curious, excited and always wanted to do something new. This character of mine was an advantage for me but it has also been a big disadvantage and big time disaster for my life.
My childhood was not very pleasant because I was born in a poor family with four brothers and four sisters. I was brought up in a slum area in India, where 16 families including their children and partners used the same common toilet. Whereas my house was one room where we used to cook food under the bed and take shower in the same small room with total ten members in my family. As part of my family’s tradition, boys were given privileges and girls were treated as we are born to do slave work. My childhood was like this instead of being given toys in my hands I was given dirty dishes and a broom in the hand. Not only doing the housework but used to do other people’s household work so we can get some rupees and some food. My father was a strict father where he was always ashamed to see us because we were girls as we burden in his life. In fact I get so sad to say that during my birth my father did not even see my face for months because he was expecting a male boy after my elder sister. This moment of mine always bring tears in my eyes. I wonder and always curse god ‘Why you bought me in the world where people did not want me.’
My mother was a nice woman. She loved her kids whether it was girls or boys. That is why I love my mom like anything.
Being born in a poor family and brought up in slum area, it attracts tourists to take pictures of poor and skinny people in order to show poverty of India but that day was a great day for me as I was very curious and excited and happily I got noticed by one of the foreign tourists. I don't know it was like some magic or god send her purposely in my life to fulfil my dream come true. She was from United Kingdom. She got interested in me. She put me into school and brought me new clothes and good foods , and even took me out in a restaurant which I will never ever forget in my life, because we never used to get good foods even in occasion if meat was cooked only boys were given two or three pieces. We were only given 1 piece. When I asked this question to my mom my mom answered coz boys need to be strong. They are the bread earner of the family in future. I cannot believe that what a vast discrimination differences between own siblings. Never mind, life was still beautiful coz our mother loves us and that foreign tourist loved me. She took me to school where I got my education, and managed to come abroad and making my dream come true.
My own community and my relative made fun of my family by saying that I was going abroad for prostitution or my father sold me to that foreign lady all sorts of nonsense gossips.
I came to Scotland not only to prove the community people and my relative wrong but to my father too and prove to him that girl and boys should be treated same. In fact I made him proud and managed to take the entire family out from the slum area to proper two bedroom flats.
As time passed things have changed I managed to give settle life to everyone in my family but I landed up in a big mess by my own act. As I got married to a guy from a different religion which was very shameful for my family, my marriage is still been kept secret from my extended family. My husband’s family are aware of the marriage but don’t accept this and believe me a mistress role rather than a wife.
So my marriage was very beautiful in the first early stage but slowly it turned in to such an ugly stage that I have never even imagined my life to be such. I myself am confused that is love is beautiful or it is painful like slow poison .
The reason I call love a poison is because I loved a man for whom I did everything went against my parents and in return I just completely ruined my identity my character my confidence and my strength.
My love of my life made my life so hell that I have been a victim of domestic abuse, my self sufficient character has been ruined and killed by my husband. 
The reason I described myself as a housefly is because I saw a beautiful spider web and I was very curious to see that web high up in the ceiling, beautifully knitted. I flew myself so high to reach that web. The decoration of the web attracted me so much that my curiosity and excitement mad me dare to peep inside but I did not know that the beautiful web of a spider would ruin my life.
I was a fly and I call my husband as a spider who was so nice to his fly in the beginning, that made the fly believe that fly and spider can be friends. But I completely forgot that spiders love eating fly. That was just a false belief. I believed he will never harm me, but it did not work out. He started showing his true colours by beating me occasionally and often forced himself onto me and demands that it is a wife's duty to please him sexually.
I was strong to raise my voice but my circumstances made me weak because of my immigration status as I had finished my right to stay in UK. My lawyer was a fraud who did not carry his job out properly and made my life a mess. I kept on fighting. I never gave up and continued to appeal on several occasions, hoping the Home Office would do justice. Because of the immigration status I was always petrified that the noise would alert neighbours and the police would be called.
All these had such a severe impact on my mental health that I tried to commit suicide on three occasions due to the abuse.
Just seeing my few months old daughter in my hand made me stop doing it. She is my strength. I get weak sometimes due to circumstances but seeing her face and thinking about her future. What will happen to her when I am gone. These thoughts frighten me a lot. Goose bumps appear in my skin I get so upset that I have no words to describe.
A return to India I will not receive the psychological care but there is a big threat of honour base violence and rejection from my own community and my own relatives .
So this is my story and my present status. By god’s grace my spider’s web has been removed by social workers and the community groups. Otherwise the web would have strangled me to death .
Now I am living my life with my 16 months old daughter. She is my life and I am trying to live my life beautifully just for her. Even my past brings so much that I face panic attacks and my level of confidence is ruined forever.
I just avoid all my old friends so it does not bring back my past life and make me cry. I even go for counselling but I still find it difficult coz I cry and cry and keep asking these questions. ‘Why has God done this to me?’ ‘Why do people say love is beautiful?’ So there are several questions of mine still not answered. These questions cause conflict between my brain and heart.

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Painting

Swan on calm water

click on the image for the original format

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short story 2

My Journey
I came to this city from Europe in July 2013 with my two children. I went straight away to the Mosque as I thought I may get some help from them. 
I got my European passport in the beginning of July 2013 and was planning to go to my home country as my husband and his mother planned to have FGM for my daughter and I didn’t have the power to change their decision.
I started to work in many different jobs to try and save some money to get cheap tickets for myself and my two children. My husband already flew to our home country to set everything up before we arrived such as organising a party for our circumcised daughter. I knew that in Europe nobody could help me and I knew the true nature of FGM as I am one of the survivors of this barbaric practice. I don't want my girl to go through the same experience. I gave my input for the “party” and how I wanted it to be, from clothes, meals, sweets, while at the same time working hard to save for a ticket. While I was browsing the internet I found a one way ticket to Edinburgh for less than €120. This was the cheapest ticket there was and I bought the ticket immediately. The day that my husband was waiting for me to call him and give him passport details to book our ticket to go to our home country I had already travelled to this city trying to save my daughter. 
No one knows where I am just now. I carefully use mobile phone so no-one can know my location. Now I am more confident to say to my daughter’s family there will be no FGM for her and I can protect her and I know I am now in a safe place.

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  ART CONTRIBUTIONS FROM EDInet, Scotland (UK) FOR THE PARSOL ART BOOK & THE PARSOL EXHIBITION IN PORTUGAL IN OCTOBER 2017

INTRODUCTION

 

 
 
PARSOL  - Participation of Refugees into Social Life

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