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As part of Canterbury-Bankstown’s International Women’s Day celebrations, Bankstown Arts Centre is featuring an exhibition from women from the Lakemba Rohingya community.
Led by local artists Nicole Barakat and Melissa Wheeler, and supported by Settlement Services International (SSI), Home, explores the cultural and personal stories from these women living in a new country after leaving their home behind.
The exhibition, which runs up until Friday 29 March, follows on from a 10-week visual arts program, facilitated by the Arts Centre, at Canterbury City Community Centre.
Miss Barakat said the exhibition highlighted heartache and hope.
"When the program first began, I didn’t know what these women were holding onto, or what they were going to come up with," she said.
"After a few sessions, I found out a lot were having feelings of anxiety, a sense of not feeling safe and feeling unsettled.
"It was then that I realised these women had a lot to say, and they were doing this through art and words.
"It really warmed me to see the participants showing up half an hour before the class started, because they wanted to work on their projects."
Mayor Khal Asfour said Council’s collaboration with SSI is an invaluable one.
"This is the second year we have worked with SSI to strengthen creative arts initiatives with those from vulnerable communities," he said.
"We aim to ensure refugees and newly arrived migrants have equitable access to arts and culture programs, and opportunities.
"Through these workshops, these women have connected with each other and found another way to express their hopes and dreams for their future here in Australia."
For more information, visit cb.city/artscentre
29/05/2019 4:05 PM