The Black Woman - ROSA

The Black Woman - ROSA

Rosa, an art piece ignited by the spirit of my beloved mother, weaves a haunting tale that reverberates through time. It transports us to a place where unimaginable horrors unfold in our hometown of PNG. In the shadowy depths of prejudice, a woman's life was tragically extinguished, accused of sorcery, a victim of a brutal act of savagery. Bound by ropes, encircled by worn car tires, she endured unspeakable torture before being consumed by the flames, all while a multitude of onlookers bore witness to this macabre spectacle. This chilling event unfolded within the vicinity of my mother's dwelling, leaving an indelible mark on her soul.

In the wake of this harrowing incident, fate delivered a desperate plea to my mother's ears, echoing across the distance from PNG. A relative's kin, ensnared by accusations of sorcery within the tribe she had married into, found herself imprisoned, teetering on the precipice of a perilous fate. With a sliver of luck as her guiding star, she seized a clandestine opportunity, slipping away under the cloak of darkness. Through treacherous jungles, treacherous rivers, and unforgiving terrain, she embarked on an arduous journey back to the sanctuary of my mother's village. The shadows of pursuers loomed, necessitating her discreet disappearance from sight, as the community and its men would soon commence their relentless search.

It was during this time that my mother, resolute in her convictions, shared her vision with me. She spoke of graduating from university, an act that would become the catalyst for her return to PNG, a sacred mission to uplift the downtrodden women who suffered under such heinous treatment. In my curiosity, I questioned the rationale behind leaving the comforts of Australia and venturing back to a land where the fairer sex bore the weight of injustice. It was then, enveloped by the solemnity of her voice, that my mother unfurled the poignant tale of Rosa, a story that would forever shape my understanding of resilience and hope.



Rosa is a baby girl born into a society where the injustices to her are required for her survival.
Rosa is a 6-year-old girl who has been abused by grown men in the village.
Rosa is a girl who walks by her little brothers’ side, holding his hands on their way to school.
Rosa is a girl who comes home from school to do household chores and no time left for homework.
Rosa is a girl who supports her parents dream of their son to be a wealthy businessman.
Rosa is a girl who was sent away for marriage at a price.
Rosa is a girl who was forced to enter womanhood without realising that her dreams can come true.
Rosa is now a woman that believes her duty in life is to bear children to a man who already has his eyes on other women.
Rosa is the woman who is barren that her worth is defined by her abilities to bear children.
Rosa is the woman who got the kids ready for school.
Rosa is the woman who feeds her children and her husband’s family.
Rosa is the woman who gets beaten to a pulp every time her husband comes home drunk.
Rosa is the woman who didn’t know her husband raped her.
Rosa is the woman who bore kids one after the other because that was her duty.
Rosa is the woman who got beaten up by her male in-laws because she has an opinion.
Rosa is the woman who was accused of being unfaithful because of the way she dresses.
Rosa is the woman who got attacked by another woman because she was protecting her family.
Rosa is the woman who lost her life at childbirth.
Rosa is the woman who got up early to do gardening because the family could eat.
Rosa is the woman who saved a little under her pillow so her kids could eat coffee candy.
Rosa is the woman who dreamed of her own son being a better man than her husband was.
Rosa is the woman who got dragged out of the house in the middle of the night, stripped naked, tied to a pole for burning in first light cause she’s a witch.
Rosa is the ashes of the woman, tossed in the wind, carried up all the way higher, into the heavens, higher than she has ever been.
Rosa is every woman that survived the wrath of God but fell at the wrath of men.
Rosa is your mother.
Rosa is Me.
Rosa is a survivor.
She is the foundation of love so pure even she herself doesn’t know it.
 Rosa is the backbone to her family, the foundation of her community, her tribe, and her country.
Rosa is different, she is mysterious, she is one of a kind.
 Rosa is extremely valuable and rare, cannot be imitated.
Rosa is talented, she is gifted.
Her skin bears scars that tell a story.
Her heart reflects her soul, filled with gold.
Her hair holds so much weight and yet it defies gravity.
Rosa is a Queen, she’s heavenly, the beginning of life.
Her skin covers ALL the adversities of being a black woman in Papua New Guinea.
Rosa radiates light and she IS the centre.
As a Black Woman, Rosa must be loved, cared for and she must be protected at all costs.
In honour of my dear mother, my best friend, my comfort, my voice of reason, my sounding board, my Rosa, in her memory, this piece is dedicated to her and all the Rosa’s out there.
Love J
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