To celebrate World Refugee Day on Saturday, June 20, SSI will host the inaugural New Beginnings: Refugee Arts and Culture Festival to showcase the talents of refugees and asylum seekers in the community.
The festival will be held at Addison Road Community Centre, Marrickville, as a one-day celebration of the cultural expressions and heritage of people from diverse communities through performances, arts and craft displays, workshops and food tasting.
SSI Arts and Culture Coordinator Carolina Triana said the festival would provide opportunities for exiled artists, craftspeople and entrepreneurs living in NSW, helping promote the wealth of talent of refugees and asylum seekers to the public, media and the arts community.
“The Festival draws upon the rich cultural heritage and artistic talents from the communities that SSI works closely with, to encourage intercultural understanding and engagement,” Ms Triana said. “Some of the artists involved will have come from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leona and Syria.
“Refugees and asylum seekers bring stories of tremendously difficult journeys and challenging circumstances but they also bring vibrant and unique cultural expressions and heritage to share with the rest of the community, including diverse dance and music styles, delicious food and new visual perspectives”.
“The Festival sets artists and craftspeople in front of an audience that they might not otherwise reach. Ultimately, the festival seeks to counter negative opinions about refugees and asylum seekers and educate the general public about the skills and contributions they bring to Australia.”
The festival will be free to the public and is supported by Marrickville Council, Multicultural NSW and Addison Road Community Centre.
A full program and link to the New Beginnings festival website will be available via the SSI website soon. Stay tuned!