Refugees use art to tell their sto­ries

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By DANIEL WHIT­FIELD

Some Bishop Viard Col­lege stu­dents with a refugee back­ground, have be­come Porirua’s new­est artists.

The group of 10 par­tic­i­pated in a work­shop as part of a pro­ject fa­cil­i­tated by Refugee Trauma Re­cov­ery. That led to an ex­hi­bi­tion of colour­ful pieces of art in North City Shop­ping Cen­tre.

Caro­line Mas­tre­ani, from Refugee Trauma Re­cov­ery, said the art told of stu­dents’ jour­neys to a new place.

‘‘It tells their story and shows they are part of the com­mu­nity. For these young peo­ple, it gives them power and helps val­i­date what they’ve been through,’’ Mas­tre­ani said.

The ex­hi­bi­tion is en­ti­tled The Ar­rival – What it Means to be a Refugee. The theme, refugees are or­di­nary peo­ple who are liv­ing through ex­tra­or­di­nary cir­cum­stances, was set by the United Na­tions High Com­mis­sion on Refugees.

Mas­tre­ani said the idea of the ex­hi­bi­tion was to en­gage and ed­u­cate those who had lim­ited or no un­der­stand­ing about refugees and to make the refugee ex­pe­ri­ence more tan­gi­ble and ac­ces­si­ble for the public. Viard’s po­lit­i­cal refugee co­or­di­na­tor Robyn Tep­pett said the chil­dren were cho­sen be­cause of where they came from.

Tep­pett said all pupils were from Colom­bia or Myan­mar.

‘‘This was the first time our school has been cho­sen and while the stu­dents were a lit­tle shy at first, they re­ally did en­joy them­selves.’’

The ex­hi­bi­tion fin­ishes on June 23. It co­in­cided with World Refugee Day on June 20.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.