What does the lockdown mean for an asylum seeker? And how dreadful this label is, asylum
seeker! As if it’s a brand. A brand of shame and alienation. And as if people who seek asylum
are similar or come from one background. As if they don’t belong to a mother, to a father, and to
a whole history and a culture.

I started working on this project at the beginning of the lockdown. The idea was to connect, to
listen, and sometimes to revisit the past and envision a future. The idea was to exchange,
maybe images, thoughts, letters, whatsapp messages, to talk about common experiences and
feelings, such as what does the lockdown mean for a person who has already been in a state of
lockdown? What does it mean to be banned from traveling? What does it mean not to be able to
say goodbye to your dying grandmother? What does it mean to be stripped of your right to work,
a basic human right? What does it mean to be pushed into feeling like a beggar, where you are
made to live on charity? What does it mean to be monitored all the time? What does it mean to
be made to chew your own narrative again and again? To be glued to it. To be stripped of your
own identity. Your own specialty. Your own smile. Your own spirit. What does it mean to be
made homeless? Even when you are given a roof over your head? What does home mean?
But that’s why it’s not so gloomy, no? Because we can exchange and think together. We can
express anger and talk about solidarity. We can scream and shout and cry and laugh and swear
to everything, we can talk it all through. We can be ourselves without no compromise. All
because we refuse to be subjugated, dismantled, horrified, solidified and all kinds of ieds...
The texts and sound pieces I came up with are inspired by all this work and the exchanges I
made with the people who are seeking asylum. They are a culmination of both of our
experiences merged into each other into a world of fantasy. I wanted the texts to be fantastic, I
hope they are and I hope you will enjoy them and that they will make you either giggle or smile.

The conversations were held with three people who are seeking asylum. For privacy matters I
will not mention their names. Though I would like to thank them from the heart for sharing their
thoughts and their feelings as they were the source of my inspiration for making this work.

~Umama Hamido

Swirling River

Grey vs. The Shark