Charli Mills latest prompt is
February 23, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a migration story. It can imagine the dusty or arctic trails of the frontiers past or look to the travel across the galaxy. What issue about modern migration bans might influence an artistic expression in a flash? Migrate where the prompt leads you.
I wonder when I first became aware that people wanted to come to the UK and we didn’t want them to come? Sometime in the 1960s I suppose though I was probably older than my own kids when they heard about immigration. And what sort of message did I take away? Pride. Odd that, isn’t it? That I should have gathered the notion that people wanted to come because it was good here and we should keep them out so the goodies went to the locals.
The theories became reality when Idi Amin, in the early 1970s, threw out from Uganda a significant number of British passport holders who then came to Britain. Some came to my largely white little corner of the world. A few years later there was a similar influx of Vietnamese boat people. In both cases they were billeted at old army bases.
And there was grumbling, NIMBYism at work. Fears about integration, about some sort of local cultural dilution. 40 years on and you’d struggle to tell it had ever been an issue. Both groups were hard working and their children have melded into the pot pourri that has always made up our mongrel nation. Back then we did the right thing; we didn’t do it well – we were churlish rather than generous – but at least we did it. Now, not so much. Which is such a shame on so many levels.
As to the flash, here’s Paul and Mary in discussion with Penny
‘Oh for f…’
‘I’m trying to migrate my website and it’s an utter disaster.’
Penny, his daughter, laughed. ‘First world problem dad. Be glad you have power.’
Paul growled. ‘Easy to say.’
‘We had a new kid in school today. From Darfur. His English is amazing. He said he learnt it from listening to music.’
Paul switched off his laptop. ‘You’re right. I don’t know when I’m born.’
Penny hugged him. ‘Glad you’re getting perspective.’
Mary barked as laugh. ‘All it means is he’ll get his people to fix it at work. He hasn’t migrated that far.’
Here you can catch up on previous episodes