This complication features excerpts from three episodes, Aberfan, Gypsy Girl and Gouge It Out, discussing family and a town’s tragedy, childhood innocence and racism, and psychosis.

Transcript

So I grew up in the English Midlands in a fairly big town called Walsall, which is in the Black Country. But my dad came from Wales. The story starts in 1966, which was the first year I went to junior school. When I was in the first year of junior school, something really awful happened in our family. My dad came from a really small mining village in Wales called Aberfan, which probably nobody would have ever heard of. But in that year I went to school, there was a horrible disaster in the village and one of the slag heaps- that was all the rubbish that was taken out of the mine – slipped and fell on the junior school in the village. And my granddad still lived in the village. So my dad went back to Wales to try and help. 

Okay so, I come from Bulgaria, that’s where I’ve lived my whole life. And the story which I am about to tell is one of the things that made me want to study what I am studying now, which is Cultural Studies. And it’s one of the things that made me actually want to leave my country in order to get as much as I can out of good higher education, in order to then come back in Bulgaria and maybe try to fix some of the problems which make this story what it is.

“Listen, something happened today. And what worries me about it is that it’s not something unusual. It’s something that’s just going to keep happening to your daughter if you keep letting her go on streets to beg. And I understand that this is what you have to do in order

to keep living.” And by that point, she was already starting to cry. Like seeing her guilt was just… I mean, it just makes you see… it’s like you just see all the unfairness. Like I can’t describe it in words and you don’t need words once you see something, when you see someone's life situation and how it’s just full of contradictions that you can’t resolve. And you’re doing what you can and it’s all the wrong things, but it’s because there’s no right choices.

‘Cause I thought the only way to get out of hell was to read the whole bible start to finish. Without stopping. But it reads if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It all made sense in my head, so I thought my brother is my right hand so my that means my mum must be my right eye. So I went downstairs went into the kitchen and got a knife and I was going into my mum’s room to kill her…

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