Exhibition shares refugee journeys

07 June 2017

The creative expressions of people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds will soon be showcased in the Heartlands 2017: Shared Journey art exhibition as part of Heartlands 2017 Arts Project.

Presented by Adult Multicultural Education Services (AMES) Australia, the exhibition will tour around Victoria and include celebrations during Refugee Week from 18 - 24 June.

Hailing from countries including Syria, Afghanistan, Tibet, Poland, Iran, Myanmar and Zimbabwe, the exhibiting artists have produced an exciting range of paintings, music, poetry, sculpture, engraving and masks designed to engage audiences in their experiences as refugees or asylum seekers.

The Heartlands Arts Project began in 2010 as an initiative to increase arts and media opportunities for artists of refugee backgrounds, and has since grown to become a signature event in Victoria’s multicultural calendar. The project provides a platform for refugee artists to share culture, traditions and stories with the wider Australian community. Participating artists also receive support from AMES through funding, workshops and professional development.

“This year we are witnessing the largest refugee crisis in history. The number of displaced people around the globe is now at 65 million – more than at the end of World War II,” said AMES Australia CEO Cath Scarth.

“Heartlands Project gives insight into some of the communities who have found a safe haven in Australia in recent years. The aim of the project is to transcend cultural barriers to reveal the hopes, dreams, challenges and everyday lives of people who make up our refugee communities,” Ms Scarth said.

“My aim is to tell the world, through my art, about the suffering of the Syrian people and their hopes for peace,” said Nouha Saigh, a Syrian refugee who fled the tragic conflict in her home city of Aleppo.

Heartlands 2017: Shared Journey will be exhibited at Walker Street Gallery & Arts Centre, Dandenong, 8 June – 2 July 2017; The Atrium, Federation Square, 19 - 24 September 2017; and Box Hill Community Arts Centre, 17 - 29 October 2017.

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