Bukjeh of Hope
Melbourne Artists are Coming Together to Send Messages of Comfort and Hope to Those Suffering in Explosion-Torn Beirut.
In Stage 4 Lockdown in Melbourne, we realise the challenge of isolation, something now experienced in various forms and stages globally. Imagine however that the opposite was to happen.
Instead of being told you had to stay in your home you were told you had to leave it?
The devastating Beirut explosions have spurred Palestinian Australian Artist, Aseel Tayah into spearheading her latest project, “Bukjehs of Hope” - a collaboration a group of Melbourne artists in a video of songs that express hope for the people of Lebanon.
In Arabic, Bukjeh is a small pack of belongings carried by travellers and refugees. Since arriving in Australia from Jerusalem in 2013, Aseel's passion has been to make art that represents what displaced people feel every day of their lives.]
In 2017, she created the platform of “Bukjeh” to provide displaced people with an opportunity to share their stories through words, songs, photographs, art, and performances.
An evolution of the project was Aseel’s Bukjehs of Joy. Aseel was behind the 1,500 gift bags delivered to the nine public housing towers in COVID-19 lockdown Melbourne last week. Making the first 400 from her own home she soon ran out of space and continued the work at the Australian Muslim Social Services Agency where, with the help of volunteers from AMSSA Youth Connect, a total of 1,500 Bukjehs of Joy were delivered to grateful residents in all nine towers.
The love, generosity, and compassion that Assel channelled through those Bukjehs of Joy are being recreated in her latest gift-giving venture, Bukjehs of Hope.
The Beirut explosions inspired Aseel to support the Lebanese people by creating “Bukjehs of Hope”, a video of songs to be recorded this week.
Bukjehs of Hope will be a trilogy of songs of love, hope and recovery for the people of the beautiful country of Lebanon. Expressing their global responses to the explosions, artists featured in this Bukjeh of Hope come from as far afield as South America, Eastern Europe, and throughout the Middle East.
Aseel knows full well from her Palestinian experience the importance of love and support from other nations and mirrors this solidarity with her gift of “Bukjehs of Hope”, music to warm the hearts of the people of Lebanon and to fill them with hope for a better future.
How can you support us?
The raised funds raised of this project will be channeled to support AFAC to support affected arts and culture organizations and spaces based on the identification of urgent needs. Our preliminary assessment of organizations damaged by the explosion includes the following:
Emergency reconstruction to ensure the safety of premises and assets or rental in the case of temporary relocations when the property is lost or severely damaged;
Protection, housing and transfer of invaluable collections (images, films, and musical archives);
Rehabilitation of premises (mainly furniture and other assets owned by the organizations including mechanical and electrical networks);
Repair and/or replacement of equipment (computers, monitors, external drives, specialized libraries
The fund will also support individual artists who lost their homes, instruments and equipment and who need to fix them or replace the equipment/relocate to new homes or workspaces in order to continue.