“I believe that by writing to invoke such emotions in other human beings, we can have access to transboundary, intercultural solidarity for social change.”
I never viewed myself as a writer, an artist, or any other type of creative until my feelings became unbearable. Writing became my way to express my affection for the world around me.
The first piece of writing I ever wrote was not about any particular socio-political issue, instead, it was about a person. My first poem was dedicated to my first love and the pain of unrequited love. This was when I realized poetry can be an effective tool to express and work on my emotions.
Ironically, I worked the hardest on my favorite pieces of writing, but I never published any of them. They were either too personal to share with anyone else, or the writing could put me and the people I write about at risk. I’m still learning how to describe people’s struggles in my writing while being protective of them and myself.
I continue to participate in activism, despite the potential risks because I hate the feeling of helplessness. I hate to feel helpless towards humanitarian crises around the world. I don’t want to compromise with this feeling in order to make my life a little easier. Instead, I write about humanitarian crises and participate in activism to raise awareness about the situation.
When writing, my work is about the most organic human emotions – love and hatred, happiness and grief, ambitions and shame, obsessions, etc. These are natural and universal elements of our lives, therefore I believe that by writing to invoke such emotions in other human beings, we can have access to transboundary, intercultural solidarity for social change. For me, that is the power of art and writing.
For now, I’m uncertain about my future career, but I know that I deeply care about human rights in Southeast Asia. I want to work on this issue in the long run.