August 5, 2011

‘Refugee Stories’ told through art

Amnesty International Australia is collaborating with Sydney artists to highlight the experiences of refugees at Chippendale’s Fraser Studios for the opening night of “Refugee Stories” on Thursday 11 August at 6pm.

Several artworks will be exhibited, ranging from photographs of refugees fleeing war-torn Chad; pieces focusing on human rights created by young Afghani women, photographs exploring the plight of refugees coming to Australia, and a film which seeks to display the common humanity shared between Australians and people who have fled their countries in search of safety.

“People need to be able to express their thoughts and feelings in as many ways as possible. The exhibition will give guests an honest glimpse into not only the realities of the refugee experience, but also what young people think about the ongoing debate,” said Matt Woodham, facilitator of a film project which will screen at the exhibit.

"The key to changing the current negativity in the refugee debate is to give more Australians the opportunity to connect and empathise with the courageous stories of real people who have sought asylum in Australia. Art is a powerful medium that can provide this connection,” said Ms Alex Pagliaro, Refugee Coordinator, Amnesty International Australia.

“This exhibition highlights the personal refugee experience and shows the faces and emotions behind the political rhetoric," said Ms Pagliaro.

The opening night will give guests an opportunity to engage with the artworks, meet the artists and hear from a range of high profile refugee advocates. ‘Refugee Stories’ will run from 11-17 August.

Event Details
Where: Fraser Studios (Queen Street Studio), 10-14 Kensington St, Chippendale
When: Thursday, 11 August, 6.00-9.00pm (exhibition will then run 12 – 17 August 1.00-5.00pm weekdays and 11.00-4.00pm weekends)

Speakers and interview opportunities on opening night:
Najeeba Wazefadost, Afghani refugee and Amnesty International Ambassador
Graham Thom, Amnesty International’s Refugee Coordinator

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