Tyranny by Presley Hy

by Presley Hy

When I swiped left on my phone to read the day's news on Saturday night, the 28th of January, the first article that popped up was from The Washington Post and it was about how a federal judge in New York had blocked deportations of people trying to gain entry into the U.S. The title and a couple bullet points was layered over a backdrop of night; smoke contrasted against the dark sky, and protestors camouflaged in a line. Their signs lit up the scene.

I was so inspired by these protestors who were angry and who wanted justice for Muslims and others marginalised in the U.S. and all over the globe. Even though they were in photographs, I could hear their voices. They were not silent, they were thunderous. As a child of Asian immigrants, and as an immigrant myself, the No Muslim Ban really angered me.

When you are silent, you give your voice to those in power. You are complicit in their tyranny and you hand over your dignity. Silence accomplishes nothing but obedience. These protestors demonstrated that people care about human beings. They were using two of the best forms of protest to call out against the new Fascist administration — their bodies and their voices.

To be a physical presence is such a powerful thing. It exemplifies this fearlessness and bravery that gives us hope that people will make change. But just because you are not out there in the front lines does not mean that your voice cannot be heard. I choose art because it's natural for someone like me who is introverted but also described as a “firecracker.” Art supplies awareness and empowerment to communities, and provides a dialogue for social change. Art can be loud and it can echo over continents.

I will not be silent.



Presley Hy received her BA in English Literature and Creative Media Writing at Middlesex University. She volunteers as a Collections Assistant in the Earth Sciences Palaeontology department at her local natural history museum. She draws, enjoys reading about history, loves plants and animals, and The Strokes. 

See more of her work at on her website, and on insta: @lilasfleurlise / thebookthistle



Maya Acharya