One week until #stillalive14 opens its doors to Sydney!

All are welcome to attend the exhibition Opening Night at 6pm on Tuesday 5 August. Guest speakers:

  • Julian Morrow (Australian public commentator, The Chaser, The Hamster Wheel, The Checkout, former host of RN Drive… the list goes on)
  • Shokufa Tahiri (Spokeswoman for the Hazara Afghan community)
  • Safdar Ahmed (Director, Refugee Art Project)
  • Thomas Wales (Aboriginal elder, former worker at Sherger detenion centre)

Many of the original artworks on display will be available for purchase. All proceeds from the sale of original artwork will go to the artists. 

There will also be 7 #zines available for purchase:

  • No. 1: a comic book zine that came from months of sequential art classes in the Villawood detention centre. 
  • No. 2: a tribute to Ahmad Ali Jafari, who was a close friend of ours and a regular member of our art class. Ahmad passed away of a heart attack in the Villawood detention centre in late June 2013. 
  • No. 3: a striking collection of drawings by Mohammad. Mohammad is a Burmese refugee who has been held in the Villawood detention centre for over 4 years.
  • No. 4: a collection of stories, drawings and poems by Murtaza, a  very talented Hazara Afghan asylum seeker.
  • No. 5: a new collection of drawings, poems, and interviews with refugees in detention, including work by our youngest participant, an 11 year-old child who has been detained for over 2 years.
  • No. 6: a women’s issue, featuring the art and writing of refugee women from the Villawood detention centre and our art workshop in Parramatta.
  • No. 7: a young person’s issue, featuring wonderful comics and portraits made by children and young people of a refugee background in Western Sydney. This zine was made in partnership with Fairfield High School.

During the exhibition we will also be raising funds for our next project: a documentary about Thomas Wales. Thomas is an Aboriginal elder from far north Queensland who developed a kind and generous relationship with a group of Hazara Afghan asylum seekers in the Sherger detention centre. Find out more about this story.

Our official event hastag is #stillalive14, so you can keep up with the exhibition events wherever you are in the world.

We look forward to seeing you there!


The Walls of Gaza Series - Palestinian Artist LAILA SHAWA

The Walls of Gaza is a series of mixed media collages created by using photographs of Graffiti on houses and walls in Gaza during the First Intifada against the Israeli occupation. The walls of gaza played a form of a communication tool for the public, carrying messages of several themes that represented the current state of those living in the community. 

Click on the image for its title.


Disposable Bodies Series (2011-2013) - Palestinian Artist Laila Shawa

In The Other Side of Paradise, I explore the motivations behind the shahida—the Arabic term for “female suicide bomber”—a question that few people would likely choose to consider. The core of the shahida model revolves around a troubling confusion of eroticization and weaponization. In this installation, I sought to assign to each aspirant an identity and wholeness that would otherwise be denied her in the routinely horrific media reports of female suicide bombers in Gaza. - LS

The Other Side of Paradise is the title of the exhibition that hosted the Disposable Bodies Series.

This is the wonderful venue where we will be holding our upcoming exhibition #stillalive14, featuring new artworks by #refugees and #asylumseekers. Thank you Stanley Street Gallery! #art4change #art4mentalhealth #gallery #Sydney

This is the wonderful venue where we will be holding our upcoming exhibition #stillalive14, featuring new artworks by #refugees and #asylumseekers. Thank you Stanley Street Gallery! #art4change #art4mentalhealth #gallery #Sydney

The Refugee Art Project has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to bring Thomas Wales, an Aboriginal elder from far north Queensland, to their upcoming ‘Still Alive’ exhibition of original artworks by asylum seekers and refugees.

Thomas is an inspirational man. While working at the now-closed Sherger detention centre (near Weipa, QLD) as a guard, Thomas built friendships with the Hazara Afghan asylum seekers held there. He sees his time at Sherger as an exchange of knowledge, where he learnt Hazara language and shared parts of his culture with his asylum seeker friends.

Thomas is particularly special to us at the Refugee Art Project. When the Sherger centre closed, he salvaged a collection of artworks from being destroyed. These incredible illustrations have been preserved and will be displayed at the ‘Still Alive’ exhibition in Sydney because of Thomas’s thoughtfulness and care for his Hazara friends.

We would like to invite Thomas to speak at the opening night of our exhibition, to give him the opportunity to communicate his story directly with a Sydney audience, and to experience the appreciation our visitors will show when viewing the collection of artworks he cared for.

Help us bring Thomas to Sydney, wherever in the world you might be! 

Share your thoughts with ‪#‎stillalive14 and give this wonderful man the opportunity to attend an incredible event: