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Ayesha Kajee

Poems for a Better World: Silence

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Silence

Silence is explicit
Silence is complicit
Complicity is violence
So in the violence of our silence
Let us take stock of our complicity 

ii
Our complicity silences truth
Muffles honour, rapes innocence
The same innocence we plead
Confronted by shattered delusion
“We didn’t know” 

iii
We wished to not know
Blinded, deafened, deadened
We turned away Bedecked ourselves in laurel
Which now turns to rue 

iv
Our silence – yours and mine – is explicit
It is complicit It is violent
And in its complicit explicit violence
We too have bloodied our souls


About Ayesha Kajee

Ayesha Kajee, a South African human rights activist and political analyst, has written poems and stories since childhood, but rarely publishes them due to ingrained perfectionism. She was runner up for the Babishaiku haiku prize in 2016. Ayesha previously directed the International Human Rights program at Wits University, where she also lectured in Politics and International Relations. She was briefly director of SA’s Freedom of Expression Institute before leaving full-time work to care for an invalid parent. She has worked and travelled in many African countries, with a special research focus on electoral and parliamentary democracy, gender justice, transitional justice and gender rights. Her research work has been widely published in academic circles as well as mainstream media. Ayesha’s published work reflects her diverse interests and she is often called upon for media analysis on African politics.

Silence was awarded the second place in the 2021 UN-aligned poetry competition.

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Off with the head! Getting Rid of Phoney Justice

Welcome to the September issue of The Gordian.

Executing a human being and punishments like solitary confinement are as coldblooded and premeditated as murder and torture can get. They are not in self-defence, because the danger has passed. It is not justice, because a person can always outweigh their deeds, and they can change, given the chance. The theme of this series is still justice and in this issue, we are looking at it from different angles, including those phoney ones imposed on the guilty with little or no respect for their welfare and human right.

This issue offers the usual mix of politics, interviews and culture by UN-aligneders across the world, including Ruby Goldenberg, Carla Pietrobattista, Katharina Wüstnienhaus, Victoria Davila, Partho Chatterjee and Maya Bearyman, Cristina Mihailescu, Omar Alansari-Kreger, Atika Harba and Sonia Roopnarain.

The editors are Adrian Liberto and Ariana Yekrangi.

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The Gordian Magazine is a community supported magazine that shares YOUR revolutionary ideas in regards to human rights, animal welfare and environmental protection. Every issue contains global news, opinions and long reads accompanied by striking photography and insightful companion pieces.

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