Creative Work

November 10, 2020

Sneezing bullets / Breathing in this lifetime- a letter to my little people

Angelique Thomas

Sneezing bullets

(written in the Kaapse Afrikaans dialect, available for translation)

This piece of poetry speaks about the invasion of the Coronavirus into the homes of people who are also having to contend with the invasion of crime at the same time. It is based on the experience of living with violence as an everyday reality on the Cape Flats and what this now looks like as the ‘enemy’ changes face with the introduction of COVID-19. It is written in the Kaapse Afrikaans dialect with the intention of speaking in the mother tongue of Coloured people on the Cape Flats.

Breathing in this lifetime- a letter to my little people

This piece of poetry is written in the style of a letter to the poets’ nieces and nephews who are breathing in a world full of disease and inequality. It is a challenge and dare for the younger generation to live radically in the face of suffering.

A milk carton tells time

The poet uses the image of a mother who contends for her children’s survival and ability to live while experiencing poverty and social inequality. The intention of the poet is to create a space to view one mothers struggle in a time where privilege becomes more apparent and her lungs expire in an effort to make ends meet.

Angelique Thomas

About Angelique Thomas

Angelique is an experienced researcher with a particular interest in stigma and intersectionality, marginalised groups, mental health, and sexual and reproductive health. She is currently working at the Centre for Social Science Research at UCT on the HEY BABY study (Helping Empower Youth Brought up in Adversity with their Babies and Young children). Here, her focus is on how young mothers living with HIV come to understand and use resilience in their everyday lives. Additionally, she is an assistant at the Pivot Collective, an NPO interested in participatory knowledge production and collaborative knowledge translation. She completed her Master’s in Political Studies at UWC. Angelique is deeply invested in using arts-based methodologies within academic spheres and part of this is through poetry. In 2015 she was awarded the Sindiwe Magona Literary Prize for English Poetry, and her pieces have been featured in New Contrast and the African Safety Promotion Journal.

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