Cruelty Has a Human Heart - exhibition Hå gamle prestegard / Dear….

Both floors at Nye løa, including new works in dialogue with texts and drawings from people living at Hå mottakcenter

Textile sculpture of old Norwegian cotton sail ( about 100 years old), waxed and repaired with beka thread, wood construction, wires, 78 handwritten cards made of colored handmade paper.

Inhabitants at Lysaker transit mottak (transition refugee camp), Dikemark mottak and Hå mottak senter have written something they want to share. Some have written poems, some quotes, some just a word, some have shared from their dreams and hopes while others speak of their dissapointments. The texts  are written on the front pages,  in white chalk,  in the participants native toungue. They have selected one important word in the text, that they have embroidered. On the cards inside the texts have been translated to Norwegian. The public will lift the cards off the sails to read both sides and then carefully hang the card back.

The translation process was interesting. We sat together translating. Sometimes the text went from Kurdish to Arabic to English and then finally Norwegian. There were long discussions to find the correct meaning in Norwegian, not loosing the origional text´s poetry.

Amir Seyd Ali wrote several poems, one describing his flight to Norway. He is 25. He left Syria alone, on crutches after being shot in one leg. He came from Turkey to Greece, and went the route through Makedonia, Hungary and finally came to Norway. He wrote: (in Norwegian, translation to English is coming)

Å hav, omslutt oss med varsomhet.

Det er nok, det som har skjedd oss.

Ikke forråd oss, hold dine bølger kjærlige.


Vi er syrerne, og vår fortelling er trist.

Våre tårer, om vi virkelig gråter,

Vil drukne deg.

Vi holdt sammen og støttet alle som falt, uten å klage.

I dag har alle forrådt oss.

Hele verden har sviktet oss.


Å hav, ro ned dine bølger –

For Guds skyld – det er barn i båten!

Det er mennesker i alle aldre ombord i vår båt,

Med ulike minner og drømmer fra barndommen,

drømmer om å nå land.

La dine bølger være barmhjertige.


Å hav, vær som en mor for oss.

Å hav, omslutt oss med varsomhet.

Det er barn ombord.

Vi er syrerne, og vår fortelling er trist.


Amir Seyd Ali, 25, Syria