Last Friday the Community Migrant Resource Centre in partnership with the City of Parramatta Library launched the Refugee Bookmarker project, to kick of Refugee Week proceedings.
The overall aim of the project, which showcases the pieces of 5 refugee artists on bookmarks that will be available across 7 different library sites, including the NSW state library, was to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and the positive contributions they've made to Australian society.
Addressing the audience, project coordinator Michelle Aneli spoke about why the week was so significant, "The theme for Refugee Week is “With courage let us all combine”. Taken from the second verse of our national anthem, the theme celebrates the courage of refugees and of people who speak out against persecution and injustice. It serves as a call for unity and for positive action, encouraging Australians to improve our nation’s welcome for refugees and to acknowledge the skills and energy refugees bring to their new home."
Michelle spoke about how rewarding it was working with the 5 artists, who represent experiences from Afghanistan, India, Iran and Iraq. "I am honoured to have met and worked with these 5 artists, Wali, Mohaned, Anamika, Mohammed, and Damon. Their artworks tell stories of destruction but also hope for renewal; dreams of the refuge land from behind the fence; learning to appreciate the now and to seek happiness from within, that life is ever evolving but never forgotten, and home is where you make it. I thank them for sharing their lives with us and for being apart of this project to and advocating for the rights, freedom, and humanity of those who are in need of protection."
The bookmarks, seen below, are available for collection at the various branches of the City of Parramatta Libraries.