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Sudanese poet reflects in exile

Sudanese poet reflects in exile

South Sudan

For Bigoa Chuol, 1991 is the not just the year of her birth, but the year that her family escaped from South Sudan then still part of Sudan.

“To the children whose birth water is broken by whizzing of shrapnel. this is our portion we know war in sunken eyes we know it in the jabbing hunger pains we know it in our heavily blistered, callused feet,” said Bigoa Chuol, Sudanese poet.

Bigoa holds no memory of her country of birth, her family says she was whisked away in a bucket as bullets whizzed by. But can she still call South Sudan home?

For Bigoa Chuol, 1991 is the not just the year of her birth, but the year that her family escaped from South Sudan then still part of Sudan.

“When you had the experience of being uprooted and not really having a sense of being safe and settled. You don’t… you’re not quick to really put your roots in the ground. so, i’ve never really felt like I’ve left a place because I don’t think I’ve ever really felt it was home,“said Bigoa Chuol, Sudanese poet.

Through her poetry, she unravels the arduous journey from the brutal war in Sudan, to Ethiopia, Kenya before resettling in Australia 17 years ago.

“The refugee experience is very complex and so different for so many different people.
place, time, gender, ability, different things like that they really impact people in so many different levels. second, third countries that people go to, people who are you know even internally displaced, people who are in camps. those stories are all relevant and they’re all worthy of being told,“said Bigoa Chuol, Sudanese poet.

Although South Sudan got independence from Sudan in 2011, the world’s youngest nation is not at peace with an ongoing civil war forcing over 4 million people to flee their homes, making South Sudan Africa’s largest displacement crisis.

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