by Aftab Nasir
To them, I am but,
the skin of a darker shade
the stench of a distant land
a petty scholar’s senseless thoughts
the child of a lesser God
an unsettling memory of some troubled past
Am I not a victim?
of some unjust distribution
of some violent delights
of a split identity
of a ruptured subjectivity?
I need no sympathy
no pity, no repatriation
How dare they!
How dare they boil me down to some numbers?
to some “structural” programs with out-comes
How dare they!
I am a whole, a mess, a beauty,
an intelligence in my own right(s)
my blood still runs underneath their “development”
yet they deny me entry!
Time may come
when we would need warrant to cross the river,
swamp or the road our ancestors trailed
I wonder if the lords of the skies…
would one day establish
That demarcation of the skies is MANDATORY
For the sake of their ‘’development’’
Air ought to be branded
for the sake of ‘’progress”,
the Birds must be restricted and restrained
for Peacemaking as Civilization demands
and the goldenness of the eagle of the global South
terrorises the bald eagle from some States;
Its nothing but Visa Regime
Stretched to the air and on and on
Still, to them, I am but…..
senseless thoughts of a scholar, oh no.. a security threat?
Aftab Nasir is Assistant Professor at Information Technology University, Lahore, Pakistan. His research interests are post-colonial epistemologies, sociolinguistics, psychoanalysis, political sociology and development studies. The above intervention was presented at the DecolDEV panel session on “Some scholars are more equal than others. Visa barriers, passport privilege and global academic mobility”. Aftab is co-founder of the Convivial Thinking collective.