Updated: Jul 5, 2019
This project puts new and diverse communities at the heart of how it is made and who presents it. The refugee storytellers are new to Australia, or have been here for a long time, unfamiliar with the Australian mainstream, or chose to keep living his own life as he still in his homeland, those that are typically involved in arts and culture projects or those that are never interested.
Importantly, they are the leaders of their own storytelling, they choose what stories to tell and in what way – as well as bringing their own diverse backgrounds, they bring a diverse range of forms to the storytelling, that may include particular and diverse elements from their home culture, such as music, songs, visual arts and language.
In Bukjeh, participants’ stories are not filtered or told by anyone other than themselves or forced into a way of telling (for example, English language) of which they are not in control, the project allows different expression in different language, even unspoken languages of object and craft.
Bukjeh is also inclusive of innocent curiosity. Inviting children to ask questions gives visitors permission to wonder about questions which they might be ordinarily intimidated to ask directly. It brings in people who might feel they are outside the debate because they don’t know the “right” answers. it will create safe space both during the workshops and exhibition time.
Bukjeh is about a shared participation, about connecting two halves of a discussion, at a personal level. So as well as engaging new audiences and new participants in arts and culture, it initiates a truly meaningful and personal, shared, participation, that will have a real and immediate impact on the wider culture of the city.
Using children’s interviews as the starting point for the discussion is a courageous choice to give agency to very young people, respecting their opinions and questions. This is another source of the new audience by engaging schools in the process we involve audiences in a new experience that they have never been exposed to.
Bukjeh is exposing a whole audience that might never otherwise get to a museum or any art and culture institute. The audience that never met a refuge or generally against the idea of a dialogue, Bukjeh will get involve them in the arts and culture and open their eyes to the potential of similar projects and the importance of being involved in such important projects.
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