You’re trying to tell me we have something in common? A sense of unity? In this? A world divided between north and south and east and west, rich and poor, yes and no, white and black, and all the shades of grey in between. A world divided between those who have love those who have nothing those who have everything. Commonness is meant to be unity. How can we be unified when the man down the street hates women in headscarves and your neighbour is desperately looking for the child she once lost? Divided between roads and streets and walls and doors and screens. Pen no longer touches paper. Eyes never meet. Lips never kiss. The painter’s hand marks well the impression of a race left behind. Consumed by shadows. Separated by the light and the dark the white and the black refusing to accept the multitude of shades of colour in between the life willing to give and the life already lost. Open your eyes, see the painter’s hand. See the whirlwind of colours and shapes dance and splash along the canvas with no white dotted line down the middle. Free. I refuse to believe we are a common people until we are what the painter can paint.

by Emily Bickers, Aged 16


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