Protest revisited


Protest and conflict continue to be Lacuna’s themes.

Adam Weymouth interviews the inspiring Rajagopal, founder and leader of Ekta Parishad, the landless people’s movement in India that was forged on a commitment to Gandhian principles of non-violence. Breaching the seemingly intractable cycles of conflict and violence against the poorest in India has been at the centre of Rajagopal’s mission for more than 40 years. It has been a lifetime’s endeavour, testifying to the level of commitment his cause has required and he has been willing to bear.

In our main feature, Dorothy Allen Pickard has produced a short documentary about another form of protest, this time closer to home. Her film covers the mothers evicted from a hostel who then occupied the Carpenter Estate in Stratford, London, last year. Their stories are told with great passion and highlight the danger of ‘social cleansing’ threatening Britain’s poor and vulnerable.

We also revisit global conflicts. Laila Sumpton has written four poems in response to the persistent stories emerging from Palestine in her lifetime. Articulating wrongs is perhaps the beginning of any protest. Laila’s poetry unpicks those images that can make the concerned wince and encourage voices of objection. And Leilah Nadir writes about her remembering the lives of her family in Iraq during the US and UK’s occupation. (Leilah’s book, The Orange Trees of Baghdad, is reviewed for Lacuna by Natalie Raine.)

Photo by Wasfi Akab