Homelands Tour celebrates Refugee Week in Coffs Harbour

THE Homelands Tour, a travelling roadshow of multimedia, digital art, visual art, short films and a performing arts showcase, comes to Coffs Harbour in celebration of Refugee Week (18-24 June 2023).

The tour is curated to raise awareness and understanding of refugee experiences through arts.

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Organised by Settlement Services International (SSI), the not-for-profit advocacy group has joined forces with organisations across NSW and QLD for the 2023 Homelands Tour.

Coffs Harbour’s King Tide Brewery is a proud partner of the Homeland Tour, with a musical performance taking place at the brewery on Saturday 24 June to finish the Tour.

Josh King, founder of King Tide Brewery told News Of The Area, “We at King Tide are thrilled to be able to support this great cause.

“There are some incredible refugee stories in our local community that need to be heard and we are really excited to be able to provide a platform for these stories.

“Love, Always Love’s performance on 24 June (at the Brewery) is sure to be a moving culmination to the festival,” he said.

Aquarius Arcade in Coffs is hosting a Homelands exhibition, ongoing from 13-24 June, 10am-4pm.

A collaboration between community and professional artists, the tour stops in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Newcastle, and Coffs Harbour, bringing together the work of twelve emerging artists with lived refugee experiences.

The artworks featured in Homelands 2023 were created by artists from CuriousWorks’s Refugee Artist Development Program, specifically Stories of Welcome and Urban Stories.

These mentorship programs support newly arrived creatives from refugee backgrounds to navigate the arts industry through the development of new work, employment and/or education.

CuriousWorks is a Western Sydney-based organisation working at the intersection of storytelling, technology, and DIY innovation.

Stories of Welcome, a multi-arts storytelling project, supports the creation of new artistic work by members of the refugee and asylum-seeking community of the Mid-North Coast NSW.

This exhibition is the work of eight artists, refugees from Ethiopia, Kurdistan, Myanmar, and Yemen, among others.

These artists have used creativity to explore their experiences and harness artistic media to produce powerful messages of resilience, renewal, and reinvention.

In the words of one of the artists, “Struggles and challenges are often present in life, but they can also transform us and bring personal growth.”

Urban Stories displays the work of Sydney-based artists who have sought haven in Australia from Iran, Syria, and India.

These works include an experimental light show, short films, and a series of paintings.

The program will conclude with a feature performance of Love, Always Love, a collection of personal stories and original songs of courage, love, and family connection by renowned Lebanese musician and singer Samira El Koussa, in new arrangements for western and Arabic instruments by acclaimed musician Greta Kelly, award-winning composer Corrina Bonshek and featuring electronic songstress May Lyn.

Registration for free tickets is via www.eventbrite.com.au/e/homelands-tour-2023-coffs-harbour-nsw-tickets-643438470787


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