Influential Artists: Refugee Week

Image credit: Aseel Tayah & Elyas Alavi
Image credit: Aseel Tayah & Elyas Alavi

World Refugee Day is on 20 June. It’s a day to honour refugees around the globe and recognise their strength, courage and resilience when forced to flee their homelands. It’s also a chance to shine a light on the contribution that refugees make to the countries where they seek refuge. Over 100 million people worldwide have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, persecution and violence. Hope and solidarity are key for refugees to rebuild their lives. We can all take steps to champion the right of refugees to seek safety and to support social and economic inclusion of refugee entrants in places of refuge. This World Refugee Day, take some time to learn about refugee journeys and help build understanding of refugee experiences in your workplace, networks and community.

Check out our spotlight on influential artists from refugee backgrounds.


SPOTLIGHT: Elyas Alavi

lyas Alavi is a multidisciplinary artist exploring themes of race, displacement, gender, religion, and sexuality. His work challenges settler colonial cultural norms and addresses global issues, particularly related to mobility and displacement of marginalised communities in the SWANA region.
Image credit: Elyas Alavi

Podcast Feature

Listen to ‘The Importance of Physical Spaces to Create and Connect,’ Season 3, episode 7 of The Colour Cycle Podcast. Featuring: Refugee Art Project’s Zeinab (Sara) Mir, the Diverse Screens panel discussion at Adelaide Fringe Festival, poet and painter Elyas Alavi, and emerging artist Yusuf Ali Hayat.

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SPOTLIGHT: Refugee Art Project

The Refugee Art Project provides a platform for refugees and people seeking asylum to express themselves through art. The project showcases their artistic talents and personal stories, highlighting their resilience and diverse cultural contributions. It involves exhibitions, workshops, and collaborations with professional artists, creating opportunities for social engagement and advocacy for refugee rights. This initiative not only fosters a sense of community but also raises awareness about the experiences of refugees.
Image credit: Refugee Art Project

Advocating for Change: Refugee Art Communities

Comic Feature

At Overland, read ‘A Common Space/Community’ by Refugee Art Project’s Safdar Ahmed and Zeinab Mir. Comics were commissioned for DARTS’ Stories from the Future project.

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SPOTLIGHT: Aseel Tayah

Aseel Tayah, a Palestinian artist from Jerusalem, uses art as resistance to empower Arab Muslim women. She focuses on community empowerment, especially through children and youth platforms. A creative director and installation artist, she creates interactive experiences that engage the audience.
Image credit: Aseel Tayah

Podcast Feature

Listen to ‘The Diversity Monologues’, Season 2, Episode 5 of The Colour Cycle Podcast. Featuring: Dr Paula Abood and Aseel Taya, a Palestinian creative director and installation artist.

Listen now