Hope is being able to
see that there is light
despite all the darkness.
– Desmond Tutu
from 1984, Steel Pulse
w/ Wild Goose Chase
Hope is all we need, true or false? Hold on to your answer for a moment, or at least until you finish reading this post. Our answer may remain the same, but we must never be afraid to stop and think, out of fear of change. Hope is a wide open expanse, no walls or borders, just a seemingly endless horizon, living beyond the world of chance. Where wishes are bound by magic, maintaining power and influence in fairytales, where most everything is made up. Unlike believe – tormented by traps for fools – which can make us believe lies are true. And have faith, seemingly innocent enough, but taken in its literal sense, is far too personal, and maintains the most rigid borders of all.
But hope is bulletproof. It cannot be influenced or bought. It cannot be stripped or altered in anyway. We can keep it to ourselves or we can share it with the world. It makes no difference when we invoke its use; dire straits – surrounded by sharks and we hope they do not eat us – or trivial pursuits – hoping the light stays green, so we do not have to stop. Hope springs eternal. Keep hope alive. Hope is all we need. Because without it, the vacuum effect exist and despair becomes the impostor, convincing us that life will never get better.
In 1820, Egypt conquered Sudan and for nearly 200 years, the people who lived in south Sudan would never be left alone. Eyed for its riches after the opening of the Suez Canal, the British and the French would bind them into debt, of which they would never come out. Sudan would change hands in an unending stream of revolts. Revolts against the westerners, revolts against the Egyptians and when the revolts were finally successful, they revolted against each other, in a full-scale civil war. And if the cries of war were not loud enough, thousands would parish from a famine that had overtaken not just Sudan, but a vast region of Africa. But the people of southern Sudan would persevere, for even with life so cruel, the hope of a new day would see the bad ones through.
In 1972, a fragile peace agreement was made, allowing the south autonomy, but the religious and tribal differences from the north were to wide a gap to fill. Hope for many was all they had and they held on for dear life, since it did not take long for the power structure to collapse. Ethnic cleansing, financial unevenness and disputed borders, put the peace treaty to its strongest test, of which it had no chance of passing. And in less than 3 decades, the largest country in Africa would become engulfed in its second and most deadly civil war. Landlocked, thereby offering no easy escape, a feud between Muslims and Christians, allowed there to be no sanctity within faiths. For nearly 200 years, they did not dance under their own flag or speak their native tongue or understand how they had become a foreigner on home soil. But somehow, knowledge was past down of who they were, a proud people, and I imagine each generation passed their wisdom on, knowing they would need it if they hoped for a nation to call their own.
In 2011, with no real infrastructure or system of controls. With a single revenue stream, the oil underground, and with a battered land still reeling from a mind-boggling 22-year-long civil war, their hope would come to pass. On July 9, of that same year, South Sudan would become the world’s newest country, finally putting control back into the people’s hands.
As of December 2017, fighting has clouded a sustained peace. But this is not fairytale, and war is a shit hole, but home is worth fighting for and hope gives South Sudan a chance, a reason to hold on.
Hope springs eternal. Keep Hope alive. Hope is bulletproof. But is hope all we need?
– an editorial by thepublicblogger
this is… The Neighborhood