‘Alt-Imagery’ by Julyana Phiri


We refuse to be marble floors, concrete walls
We refuse to be plastic cups, carrier bags

Anything that means bottom and less
Anything that spells ‘weakness’ and “ruined”

We refuse to be ignored, to not be seen
We refuse to be touched, and yet not felt

These policies are about us, but not us
They seem concerned but don’t care

We refuse to only unite in statistics
We refuse to only be seen in death

Today, tomorrow we are here and strong
Today, tomorrow sing us in songs, hear us.


Julyana Phiri is a Lusaka-based poet, devoted to a life of social commentary. She uses her voice to seek answers regarding the socio-economic state of her community and country. Currently, she is reading French at the University of Zambia.

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