Poet: Inua Ellams

Dolphins (excerpt) by Inua Ellams

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Inua Ellams‘ contribution to Refugee Tales, a project dedicated to “walking and sharing Tales until indefinite immigration detention ends in the UK.” The film was made by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, shot and edited by Shanshan Chen with additional camera work by Amelia Wong and original music by Paul Mottram. I found this via a post in the excellent online magazine Aeon:

‘No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.’

Occasionally, stories of refugees fleeing desperate circumstances in their home countries make the mainstream news cycle – usually following the horrifying discovery of dozens found dead in transit on land or at sea. But much more frequently, the trying and terrifying journeys of migrants to find a safer place to live go all but ignored.

Having escaped the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, Nigerian-British writer Inua Ellams knows something of the migrant experience, but he says that the nightmarish journeys of refugees is still something he can hardly fathom. Nevertheless, in Inua’s Dolphins, Ellams adds insight and artfulness to the migrant experience by transforming the stories of children who have fled their homelands into poetry, imbuing the horror with a humanity that is compassionate but clear-eyed.

New Year Philosophy #5 by Inua Ellams

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Art direction and animation by Jonathan Mckee for Smile for London. Inua Ellams is a word and graphic artist from Nigeria.