Since early 2011, I have been deeply involved with the Refugee Art Project, which is a small not for profit community art organisation dedicated to supporting people of an asylum seeker or refugee background through art workshops and collaborations. The organisation began through facilitated art workshops in the Villawood Detention Centre in 2011 and is now based in the Thirning Villa studio in Ashfield, Sydney.
The organisation has engaged with people who came to Australia seeking protection from such countries as Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, the Kurdish regions of the Middle East, Syria, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. In a spirit of collaboration, artworks are curated and shown in public exhibitions, online and in self-published zines. The intention is to facilitate the agency and self expression of people of an asylum seeker or refugee background, to deepen public understanding about the asylum seeker issue and the realities of Australia’s detention regime. You can follow us on facebook here.
Here’s a video made by Diversity Arts Australia, from a workshop they conducted at our studio space in Thirning Villa, Ashfield, in 2020.
You can also view a Tedxtalk I did about the project back in 2012:
Here as well is my album of Drawings from the Villawood detention centre
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