” I think the job is important because there’s something you can do in fiction that you don’t have the space to do in news media, which is to give back a measure of humanity to the subjects of an ongoing story. ” – Chris Cleave, Author of Little Bee
When I found myself thinking again how to bring closer the theme of the immigrant issue and undocumented people here in Europe, I remembered this novel. I read this eye-opening and thrilling novel called Little Bee (also known as The Other Hand) couple of years ago and yet the memory mark remains. It is totally different experience to read the news articles about faceless people, getting some statics and data on your retinas than to dive into a character in the novel.
The Author Chris Cleave did a very remarkable journey himself in getting familiar with violent country settings, asylum seeking processes in UK and meeting the residents of an immigration detention centre in Oxfordshire. He started questioning the welfare state´s way of treating people as illegal cases and wanted to give a voice to a true story behind the actual novel.
The novel Little Bee is a thought-provoking story of two main female characters: a young Nigerian asylum seeker Little Bee and a middle class magazine editor Sarah whose lives collide twice. First in Nigeria during the instable and violent oil conflict in Niger Delta, then afterwards in UK where Little Bee is being transported illegally.
” When I started to imagine the life of one asylum seeker in particular, rather than asylum seekers in general, the scales fell from my eyes in regard to any ideological position I might have held on the issue.” – Chris Cleave
As Mr Cleave states above, I could not agree more to this fact; when the news flash becomes flesh and blood in front of you, in front of your very own eyes. When the news title takes a human form in front of you with all the hopes, dreams, wishes, needs, pain, losses, fears and worries in a foreign land.
All I can say:
“I see You.”
BBC. 28 October 2016. Nigeria to spend $10bn to end conflict in oil-rich Niger Delta. Accessed 12.11.2019.https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-37797905
The Other Hand. Accessed 12.11.2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Other_Hand