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09 Mar 2021

Media releases

Artists to create a stir celebrating migration on Harmony Day

Sydney-based contemporary artists will bring their stories to life through a vibrant and interactive program at the Australian National Maritime Museum to celebrate Harmony Day, Sunday, March 21.

The museum, in association with Blacktown Arts and Settlement Services International (SSI), will present The Sunday Stir, a celebration of migration and Australia as a multicultural nation.

From 12pm to 5pm, both inside and outside the museum, artists will present an afternoon of intimate storytelling, music and culture.

They will share their personal journeys of migration through drawing, poetry, story and song.

Community groups will have information stands, helping to spread their message to visitors.

The artists will activate different areas of the museum, interacting with visitors and deepening their experience and understanding of the journeys people make, what they take with them and what they leave behind.

Laura Luna, SSI Arts and Culture Project Coordinator, said, “Some of us migrate by choice; others are forced to flee for our own safety. As people move, we bring our cultures, languages, knowledge and artistic perspectives with us.

“SSI Arts & Culture looks forward to highlighting contemporary stories of migration through a vibrant and interactive program led by Sydney-based artists who share a refugee background.

“Our contribution to The Sunday Stir centres on young and emerging artists across visuals arts, spoken word and performance that together embody diverse stories of migration and artistic expression.”

Among those young artists are:

  • emerging storyteller Asma Nayim Ullah, a Rohingya refugee from Myanmar who recently began to write to cope with the trauma of migration
  • Iraqi artist Mariam Abbas, who will share her family’s migration story while her father, Hedar, will delight the audience with intricate live sketching in pastels and charcoal
  • award-winning writer and spoken word poet Hani Abdile, who spent 11 months in immigration detention on Christmas Island after coming to Australia by boat seeking protection; she will share her latest poetry and excerpts of her book, I Will Rise

Kevin Sumption, CEO and Director of the museum said, “One of the pillars of our national story is the making of modern Australia by our immigrants. Migration is fundamental to how we see ourselves as Australians and it is also one of the key story-telling themes for the museum.

“The Sunday Stir is a fantastic way to share cultural stories and bring diversity to life. We hope it will further encourage social cohesion and foster diversity and inclusion.

“We are so pleased to partner with Blacktown Arts, Blacktown Council and Settlement Services International to bring this to fruition.”

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