Islands under eyelids


Life is at this point where, despite simultaneously trying to successfully graduate secondary school while planning my life around the foreseeable future, everything is sort of pleasantly stagnant. Easter holidays are virtually over meaning I'm about to enter my last term of school (ever) and the stress, although not gone, is slowly melting away. I'm excited and ready but not ready and nervous. It's nearly over, but also just beginning and everything is so uncertain yet I'm so unanxious. It's all so bittersweet right now.

It's weird to be writing after so long, and I don't really have anything in particular to write about. I guess I just want to let you peek into what my headspace is like right now.

1) I've been thinking a lot about immigration lately. This is in part because of what seems to be a huge fuss in Europe about immigration and the refugee crisis coupled with the fact that, as a first gen immigrant myself, I've been thinking a lot about national and cultural identity as well as the underlying problems of racism towards immigrants.

I'm living in Ireland as a first generation immigrant, and I'm part of a community of Nigerians who have only been residing here just short of 20 years (I'm 17), and, from my point of view, there are still a lot of major issues regarding representation, integration, and the discrimination of immigrants. We've heard all sorts of reasons and excuses for why we shouldn't be here, even though so many of us have either lived here from as young as 1 & 2 or were born in these very hospitals. As the immigration issue directly affects me and my family, I have a lot of deep-rooted opinions on this topic, but I want to hear you guys' opinions. How you feel about immigration and the refugee crisis.

If you're reading this and you're unsure of how you feel about immigration and the refugee crisis, amongst the plethora of think-pieces, radio shows, tv documentaries, ect ect ect on these topics, I highly recommend two particular pieces that might help you better understand immigration.
This episode of a three-part series aired on Thursday night, but it's possible to watch it online on RTE Player (hopefully it works internationally). It basically follows a number of immigrants in Ireland who, like myself, have grown up here and call this place home. It gave them, some Muslim, mixed-race, Nigerian, Roma, ect., a place to talk about the challenges of growing up an immigrant and, essentially, different in Ireland. They talk about racism, Islamophobia, self-love in a majority white environment, ect. 

If you're an immigrant, I'd love to hear how growing up in a different country is like for you. 

Ok, so this one may not be as exciting as I Am Immigrant, but it's definitely worth watching! Professor Michael Sandel gathers 60 people from over 30 countries to discuss immigration and the refugee crisis. It's really interesting to hear what normal citizens of some of our own countries think about immigration, national identity, the importance of national borders, ect. 

If you don't happen to watch it, I'm going to pull out some questions from this show that I'd love you guys to think about and (if you want) share your opinions on. 

Understanding the difference between a refugee and an immigrant, does a country have a right to deny entry to a refugee? Does it have a right to deny entry to an immigrant? If people have the right to leave a country, why not a right to enter? Is there such a thing as 'national identity' (defined as a sense of a nation as a cohesive whole, as represented by distinctive traditions, culture, and language) and should national borders matter? 

Think about these questions, read up about them, educate yourself on them, and, because I'm a bit nosy and slightly curious, share your opinions! 

2) In other news, in an active effort to a) read more books and b) identify deeper with my Nigerian culture, I've compiled a list of Nigerian penned books that I'm determined to read this year (unsure of where I've found the time to read anything this year lol). Some I highly recommend and some I haven't read. Also, check out (and support) your local library, where I've found all of the titles I've read so far, a real treasure trove. 

I Do Not Come to You By Chance - Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani (this novel was a highly entertaining glimpse in the world of 419 email scammers) 
The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives - Lola Shoneyin (honestly one of the most beautifully written books I've read, I legit felt everything)
Anything by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is always a good read and I can't recommend Americanah enough. My mother recommends Half of a Yellow Sun, which I am yet to read. 
Some other books that I'm yet to read are 
Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe (if you're Nigerian, ask your parents about it) 
Efuru - Flora Nwapa (mother of modern African literature)
The Joys of Motherhood - Buchi Emecheta 
Everything Good Will Come - Sefi Atta

3) Lastly, and most importantly for me, is that I want to let you all know that I've finally gathered myself together to start my zine! *audience applauds* Thank you, thank you. 

If you look to the side, you will see a page called 'Luminance Zine', if you click this, you will see all the information you need to get involved! 

Basically the whole concept of the first issue is 'girlhood'. Girlhood is a concept that I've been thinking a whole about lately, specifically after reading Rowan Blanchard's piece for Rookie Mag - Sorry, Not Sorry - and, recently, Devan Diaz's piece - Self-Portraits

In Rowan's post, I felt something that I could strongly identify with and as I read the comments, I could see so many other girls identifying with it too. I felt this strong emotional connection to these girls, but as I started to think about this connection I felt because of this girlhood, I also thought about the differences between my version of girlhood and Rowan's or these strangers. This concept changes for all types of people, it's valid to others and totally invalid to some. I sorta just wanna talk about it and explore it with the help of your talented selves. I wanna explore everything, from the stereotypes, how 'girlhood' has changed and moulded over the years, what it means to you individually, empowerment during the teen girl years, and all that jazz. 

I want to create something where we can all sort of explore this concept together, and I'd love for all you talented and creative human beans to get involved. Whether that with your photography, collages, short stories, think-pieces, poetry, playlists, illustrations, and w/ever way you feel you can express 'girlhood' in a zine! Spread the word, tell your other talented frandz, family memberz, acquaintancez, etc. 

Right now, there is no deadline for submissions, but you can read all that on the zine dedicated page to the right. If you have any zine-specific or other inquires and whatnot that aren't submissions, you can still email me at!  


lyric in title - Borns - The Emotion

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  1. My parents are immigrants, having to move here at the age of 19 because of the dangers in their country, so the discussion of immigrants is always personal to me. People who want to deny entry for immigrants, clearly aren't taking the time to learn about WHY they want to emigrate from their country. They aren't just doing it for fun? They may be in danger, having to deal with war or poverty, and we all need to understand that! We are all human beings, we need to stick together, not go against each other. So, that's just my two cents on the topic of immigrants!! It's so awesome you're learning more about your culture. I think it's so important do that, just see where your family comes from!! I love hearing my parents' stories about how they lived and what they did when they were in El Salvador. It makes me proud to be their daughter and be a Salvadoreña**~*~*~ I am so very excited for your zine, I know it's going to be so great!!!

  2. yay this was so refreshing to read!! immigration and the refugee crisis is so overlooked, and it doesn't help when the gov decide to literally bulldoze their existence. in a few weeks, i'm going to the european parliament in Strasbourg with school to discuss and debate about issues within the EU, i think it'll be really interesting to gather ideas and hear other young people's opinions on the refugee crisis.
    (also super-pumped 4 your zine)
    much love x

  3. victory!! AH I'm so excited to see your zine getting off the ground babe !!!! *cries like a proud dad* and as usual, I'm digging this post. from an American perspective, immigration here is also a big topic of discussion. America is a country built on and composed of immigrants--in fact, immigrants and ethnic minorities are who keep this country thriving and excelling in my opinion. so whenever you brought up the concept of "national identity" it really got me thinking about people in my country who are anti-immigration. often they take a patriotic/nationalistic approach in their views, but is not the American identity one that is diverse makeup of people from all walks of life??? uGHGGGH the ignorance and close mindedness of some Americans !!!! (omg ok let me stop ranting before I start talking about tr*mp.) anywhooo just checkin in ur bad ass self ;) forever loving your content and u and I cannot wait to see what's next for ya babe !! xx


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