Refuge Exhibition Public Programs :: Four events from November 27 – December 8, 2015.

Artists: Alex Seton, Amy Spiers, Friends With Deficits, Katie Green and collaborators, artists from The Refugee Art Project, Thiru, Matt Huynh, Nam Le and SBS, Tim Gregory, Safdar Ahmed and Zanny Begg with contributions from Zeina Iaali and Bossley Park High Students, Mansoora Gulzari, Parastoo Bahrami, Neda Bahrami, Farnaz Yegan, Kamaleshwaran Selladurai, Mohammad, Bashir, Madina, Daminda and Tabarak (some names have been changed to protect the security of participants).

Curated by Siân McIntyre.

November 27, 2015 :: If you come to Australia: Live Performance Fundraiser.
If you come to Australia is a new verbatim theatre project devised in collaboration with 5 asylum seekers who live in western Sydney. They describe in intimate detail their journey, experience of detention and the challenge of adapting to their new lives. Written directly for you, the audience, it pays tribute to those who did not survive the journey and provides a testimony which challenges the humanity of current governmental approaches.

$15 Donation at the door – funds donated to the employment program at the Asylum Seeker Centre and The Emergency Relief Program at Red Cross.

November 28, 2015 :: Art as Action.
How can creative practice open discussion and create change? Collaborators, artists and activists discuss their experiences of creating ART as ACTION.

Safdar Ahmed, founder Refugee Art Project
Katie Green, director of If You Come To Australia
Mona Moradevski, collaborator with If You Come To Australia and Undrawing The Line
Alex Seton, Artist
Chair: Tim Gregory, Artist

December 8, 2015 :: Artist Afternoon Tea Social.
Refugee and non-refugee artists, arts workers and creatives are invited to meet, share tips and exchange ideas around art making and networking.

Key discussion points covered will include:
+ Groups/collectives/networks that artists might be able to join in / collaborate with.
+ Artwork pricing
+ Tips for developing an exhibition proposal
+ Potential artistic collaborations.

This is an opportunity for dialogue, collaboration and shared learning between creative practitioners of all backgrounds and interests, with a particular focus on developing professional practice and audience for Refugee artists who may not have knowledge or contacts in greater Sydney art communities.

Refugee Art Project Zine Launch.
The afternoon will also include a launch of the three most recent publication from the Refugee Art Project:
Refugee Art Project zine #8 is dedicated to the work of Fakhruddin Rajai, a young Hazara Afghan artist and refugee. The zine tells Fakhruddin’s story, in his own words, which gives context and meaning to his artwork.
Refugee Art Project zine #9 features the artwork of Mona Moradveisi, a young woman from Iran who is a regular participant in the Refugee Art Project women’s art workshop in Parramatta.
Refugee Art Project zine #10 – ‘Mr Man in the Garden’ is a children’s book which was conceived and painted mostly by children of a refugee background at the women’s art workshop in Parramatta. It was conceived and painted by the sisters, Parastoo, Neda and Maryam Bahrami, Madina and her mother Yalda Sayer and the facilitators, Safdar Ahmed, Susan Nelson and Anjali Vishwanathan.

Since late 2010 the Refugee Art Project has provided regular art workshops for asylum seekers and refugees in the Villawood detention centre and for women of a refugee background in Parramatta, Western Sydney. We are a non-profit community art organization that supports the creativity and self-expression of refugees, who are commonly marginalised and excluded from the public discourse. With the art from our workshops we hold public exhibitions, share it online and self-publish zines, of which we’ve made ten to date. The work conveys the personality, resilience and agency of refugees who are frequently locked up in indefinite detention, or who experience the limbo of community detention. Our organization seeks to challenge public misconceptions around the refugee issue, activating art in the struggle for social justice. Refugee Art Project have created 10 self-published zines to date, comprised of artwork, comics, poetry and the oral testimony of refugees and asylum seekers within detention and in the Western Sydney community.