Guest post by Salma Zulfiqar

I wrote ‘Corona Revolution’ after feeling compelled to express myself on life during this surreal time – during the height of the COVID-19 crisis in  the UK in April 2020. Having visited countries in conflict around the world where many refugees and migrants flee from to arrive in the UK – I never thought we would see a time like this where people would be fearing for their lives in a similar way –  with a deadly virus threatening the very existence of us all.

The poem reflects on the situation of refugees, migrants, girls and women in particular during the crisis as this is the core focus of my work through my ARTconnects project to change negative attitudes and bring people closer together through art and culture.

While people in the UK have been displaying acts of kindness for those in need – the poem explores how the crisis has forced us to rethink and reset humanity on the planet, as people are unable to cope in this situation with some behaviour spiralling out of control.

Calls to domestic violence hotlines increased by at least 25 % in the UK during he crisis (April 2020) with no real solution how we can support women and men locked into violent relationships.

The poem also addresses the need for continued respect for Refugees and Migrants who have been on the healthcare frontline during this crisis in the UK and beyond as which still communities still suffer and we ease out of lockdown without a vaccine.

With crime and racism emerging once again –  and following the vicious attack on George Floyd in the US – the poem calls for people to come together and be at the forefront of creating peaceful and tolerant communities for our shared future. The poem was produced while I was also delivering ARTconnects for Global Solidarity workshops to promote social cohesion and keep refugees, migrants and people in isolation connected online during difficult times.