Kuwaii Muse

Flora Chol — Author, Poet & Activist

 

Introducing Flora Chol, an inspiring Kuwaii muse.
Flora is a South Sudanese, Melbourne-based (extremely talented) author, poet & activist. Her work explores topics of race, gender, cultural and traditional binaries, as well as political issues, and Flora has also published a Poetic Anthology ‘Tomorrow’s Dreams’, which you can buy here.

We asked Flora to take some photos from home, styling our Classic Re-Editions collection during Melbourne lockdown. We’re so excited to be featuring Flora and her beautiful images on our journal, and we asked Flora to give us some insights into her background, writing, style and inspirations, which you can read below.

How did you get where you are? Study – work – life – mentors – inspirations?
I was born in Sudan 25 years ago and migrated to Australia 18 years ago as a Refugee. I grew up in South Australia and did my primary and university education before moving to Victoria three years ago. Currently I work as a student support worker at vocational college in north Melbourne.

I wouldn’t say that I have a particular mentor that I go to for support however, I have a number of people whom I draw a lot of inspiration from. My mother is the one person who continues to inspire and motivate me to become a better version of myself daily. I also draw a lot of inspiration from a number of my favourite writers, for example Maya Angelou, Audre Lorde, Tony Morrison and many more of the likes.

When and how did you start your writings & poetry?
I started writing poetry when I was in primary school, when I was 13 years old. During this stage of my life I was going through a lot of hardships that were further exasperated by and traumatic experience that changed the outlook of life. During this stage of my life writing poetry became the only light for me in a world of darkness and fear.

My poetry aids me in understanding challenges I am faced with and helps me to navigate the complex systems of the world that many of us are unwillingly born into.

How did you develop your style?
The development of my poetic style takes on many forms. My poetic work is in most cases lyrical soliloquies written in a deep stream of consciousness. My poetic techniques are composed of rhyme and rhythm mechanisms that are used to transcend readers into a tactile state of imagination.

I wouldn’t personally describe my writing style as one that’s synonymous to traditional poetic styles however, at times I can strike a balance between what is considered traditional forms of poetry and my own unique style of writing.

Can you tell us about what inspires you to write? 
I write because it’s the only the way I know how to speak in a world that can be relentlessly unruly. My writing is how I voice myself in chaos and be able to do so with reflection and compassion not just for the people I interact with but for myself first and foremost. The themes explored in my writing take influence from various social, political and cultural issues which I am passionate about and how these issues influence my life as a Black woman creative living in a society that’s predominately white.

What are your dreams for the next year or so?
I would like to do some more work with my writing, my Poetic anthology Tomorrows Dream is my first official publication. I published it last year in May and as of this stage I am just working on elevating it on various platforms and getting it into book stores. I am also looking into developing my writing skills and writing children’s books. I have a few projects lined up to make this possible and I am hoping to publish one or two books by next year.

In terms of myself personally, my goals are mainly on personal development: doing the inside and outside work. I hope to continue growing and learning and loving myself in every minute of this life time. I hope to continue inspiring myself to become the best version of myself always, to leave the state of the people in my life and the world better than how I find it.

Any people you can share with us that you find really powerful and inspiring
I draw inspiration from many of the women in my family, all the ones past, present and emerging have been constant forces of power and grace in my life.