Pleiades Sounds x Aminata Bouaré
Aminata was born and raised in Paris by Malian parents. After starting her engineering studies in France, she continued her training in Germany, where she lived in various cities before settling in Berlin. Driven by the values of social equity, antiracism and feminism, she aims to share her perspective on identity building and discrimination as a European of West African descent.
"I have always loved tales, myths and fantasy. As a kid, I could daydream about wonderlands the whole day, where I would have superpowers, control the elements, and be a martial artist. Even though I still wonder what kind of superhero I could be in a fictional story, I started thinking about other kinds of utopias. God knows how much I need them, especially in these tough times of isolation.
It's a cold day in December, neither very rainy nor very gray. Through the window I even see a few sunrays. Let's get some fresh air, meet friends, enjoy the day. Humming some housy tunes, I cycle across Berlin while admiring the liveliness of the city. At the traffic light, people are not staring at me. No intrigued looks, no approving smiles. Of course not, why would they? It feels great to be ordinary. I'm in high spirits, there is only but delight for the mind.
Not far from the restaurant where I'm supposed to meet with my boyfriend, I lock my bike to a post. Close-by, three men soak up the sun, enjoying a smoke. They have spotted me as well, but don't pay attention for too long. No sinister, insistent gaze, no tension in the air. I feel totally safe. Was there any danger anyway in the first place? Whatever, I have been long awaited for. We finally enter the restaurant; the waiter greets then guides us to one of the few tables available at the front. Placed next to the window, we are excited to order, the food looks delicious. There is nothing to do but enjoy the moment. Why wouldn't we? The waiter was very welcoming, we're not in the empty rear of the restaurant, everything is perfect and lovely."
"After lunch, we stroll in the neighborhood, walking hand in hand. Passers-by mind their own business, too busy to stare at us. After all, we are just a regular couple, there is nothing special about interracial love, is there? Not overthinking, we take in the Karl-Marx-Allee, share our thoughts on the borough of Friedrichshain and the inspiring pending social developments in East Berlin. Craving for a treat, we decide to join friends at a cute café. I'm so eager to savor a carrot cake and an oat milk latte, light-heartedly. Nothing is worth more than feeling accepted, loved and carefree.
If our world could create such an Eldorado for all of us, it would be invaluable. I wish it wasn't just a fantasy my mind created to escape from the glitched reality, in which I can easily find doubt and worry as a Black woman living in another European city. I may have been black since birth, I understood my blackness when I left my home: I thought I was just another fellow European, but some people could just see my skin tone. While waiting for the day when my experience won't be denied by the many, I stargaze, trying to ignore the bitterness in my heart. I dream of a world of acceptance, respect and inclusion, in which I could exist and belong."
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