Laila Ghaffar

Laila Ghaffar is a socially engaged writer and cultural practitioner. Her work explores racial justice, immigration and intersectional feminism. Her cultural background informs everything they do, drawing heavily from the richness of language, religion and history to produce an oppositional discourse. Community building is at the centre of their practice. In 2018, she co-founded Clitbait — an intersectional feminist platform for women, trans and non-binary participants to translate their individual experiences into art, poetry or writing.

The Land of My Language – This poem is intended to destabilise the hegemony of English by presenting other languages as powerful and worthy of careful practice. Minority groups are often mocked and marked for their poor command of the English language. In this context, English is a powerful tool. But in my poem, I wanted to explore the phonetic power of other languages. I envision language as a physical space that the speaker has to navigate, building on the idea that language has the power to construct alternate realities.