I'm a veteran and a refugee
Group script-poem produced at HASTAC by responding over two sessions to a meme, and a poem, and some feelings, and technologies
By Anne Balsamo, Alexandra Juhasz, Gary Lai, Nicole Manson,
Tara McPherson, Roopa Vasudevan, Aneesh Vashisht, Michele White
I'm a veteran.
I'm a refugee.
I'm a veteran and a refugee.
I'm a veteran refugee. I always leave home every chance I get because home is not enough to
satisfy everything you need. So, you go other places. And I've never felt at home
anywhere because I was always on the move looking for the next place to go. On
the other hand, I've always been at home wherever I've been.
Does anybody like that story? Does anyone here feel like that story resonates for you? Can you join us?
Yes. That resonates because I moved a lot when I was growing up and so I don't have one place that's really home except where I make home with people I love.
After hurricane Katrina there was no food or water in New Orleans. Cuba offered to come and provide us with water. The US said no.
I feel terrible that that happened to you. I feel awful. That means that you didn't have enough resources when you could've had some.
Everywhere I walk into, I walk in with my identity as a First Nations woman. Everywhere I go
that's how I identify. Yes, I've been mistaken for a Mexican or Polynesian when
I've been in those places or even in Southern California I was mistaken as
Mexican. But I went to Africa for the first time with my daughter cause she's half
Kenyan and I was told I wasn't indigenous, in fact I was white. To everybody
there because my skin wasn't black, I was white, and I actually on a drive got
referred to, cause my daughter's stepmom was driving us, the police officer asked,
"oh are you taking the boss around?"
That story resonates with me because I was born and grew up in the U.S., and I have traveled
around a lot of places in the world and I'm never identified as an American. I'm
always identified as something else. "Where are you really from?" And, in the
moments that I go back to India, I am always not identified as an Indian because I
carry myself in such a Western way that I couldn't possibly be from there.
- By Anne Balsamo, Alexandra Juhasz, Gary Lai, Nicole Manson, Tara McPherson, Roopa Vasudevan, Aneesh Vashisht, Michele White