After finishing my bachelor’s degree I came to Australia in 2017. While doing my second Masters in Social work (Qualifying) I met Sandra during my last placement. This beautiful soul has created an amazing platform named Heartdancers to bring people from diverse background and to cherish their passions, culture and diversity. I still can remember, one day she asked me; “what is the purpose of our life here? why we are running all the time?” this conversation shaped my understanding once again. I asked myself, why I need anyone’s validation to accept who I am?
She introduced me to dance therapy, meditation and the power of arts. I met artists around the world. Interestingly, no one ‘evaluated’ me through my skin tone! No one asked me which religion I follow. No one said, I shouldn’t wear dark colored dresses. Heartdancers, promotes social inclusion for people with diverse cultural background. I feel so privileged to work with Heartdancers team, where one of our goal is to challenge racism and historical ideologies that favors ‘light’ complexion through the arts. The physical nature of the arts is to allow our body, along with our mind, to participate in the act of expression. That process facilitates the involvement of both our conscious and unconscious thoughts. The Arts allow us to communicate with our entire being. Therefore, arts and cultural education is the perfect medium for emotional communication. Here, Heartdancers has chosen this media to work closely with CALD communities, First Nations, refugees and asylum seekers. Zharah Aziz again said in her poem that,
Ma (mother) tells me within this skin
lies all the hardships of all the brown women,
who date back a lifetime.
she tells me wherever I am,
I will find a home.
Lastly, if you ask me how I overcome from this ‘skin-tone’ stigma, I would like to say; at the end of the day our skin will not define who we are. We should always acknowledge our root; culture, heritage, history and ancestor but ‘stopping’ traditional racism is our responsibility too. We cannot change our past, but we can work together to bring peace and harmony in this world. We can come forward to make this earth a better ‘live able’ place for our next generation where there will be no colorism. And what a beautiful way to do it through the arts.