Bodies-in-circle / Aaiun Nin

Fotograf: Jani Van Den Berg


Black skin in the forsaken outback
of the world
both concrete and jungle
in varying states of decomposition
and men in a corner
ordering girls to smile
stiff with rigor mortis
all bones no flesh

girls in prim clothes
going to school
going to church
going to graveyards
in prim clothes
Stone eyed
missing teeth
blue-black skin
huddled together
bathed in molestation.

The first dying.

In a mass grave
a blue-black shaddow is born.
In a room smelling of kerosene lamps
To women in their fourth dying
and men sitting outside drinking beer.
Horror makes the body transparent.
Foridden flesh
perpetuating un-becoming
algor mortis
the long fallen
broken screens

Going to school
where a white god is nailed to a cross
promising paradise
abandoning the living
knowing it’s the dead that teach us how to count.

Heavy hands of grown people
Covering their mouths.
Scream in silence.
The first dying.
Body is a body
Body is a body
Flesh is not yours
Growing flesh of adolescence.
Unripe flesh ready for picking.

So we grow
holding hands with the reaper.
Dispossessed from body and land.
In makeshift homes
deleting the human part of ourselves.
Funnelled through algorithms
where numbers and letters are the same
where numbers cancel out names
and news of dead black people
makes us spin with no god to welcome them into paradise.
Un-baptised corpses. Unholy flesh.

Heartbreak is stoned-face
fingers on the trigger of whatever shape a gun will take
shoots in the dark

fighting against the will to live.


Subjugate the law of false nature.
reemagining happiness
a black happiness
filled with sorrow
too many fucked up memories
of us as children
going to school
going to church
going to graveywards
in prim clothes.
Funeral wear.
whipping joy into existence
the bones of the hopefull dead
rattling in their caskets
cheering on from beyond the abyss

bodies in a circle
Sometimes smiling.
Smiling still.
Maybe out of hope
ardent wakefulness

that some of us
can stick to the first dying
push against the second third fourth
hold on to whatever flesh is left
call it our own
still smiling
maybe out of delirium




Aaiún is and Angolan spoken-word and mixed-media artist. Born in Luanda, they are currently based in Copenhagen. Their work is an examination of pain and trauma in a style that challenges traditional uses of language, visuals and literary boundaries. They write for black people. And for anyone who listens.

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