The untold stories of hope in Australia's refugee community at new exhibition, Stories About Hope

Published: 14 Jun 2018 2:37pm

The Museum of the Riverina will host the photographic exhibition Stories About Hope from June 20 until August 12 to celebrate the human dignity, identity, and strength in people from refugee backgrounds.

The launch coincides with Refugee Week which runs from 17 to 23 June.

“The debate on refugees so often excludes the voices of people with lived experience and hence dehumanises them,” says Museum of the Riverina Manager, Luke Grealy.

“Their stories are more common than you think and the exhibition shines an important light on the voices, perspectives and experiences erased from public conversation,” he said.

Renee Dixson, the exhibition’s creator and producer says the exhibition started out as an autobiographical reflection of her journey with her partner Tina seeking safety.

“For me, it was important to challenge the negative rhetoric about people from refugee backgrounds, and shift discussions towards human dignity, strength and hope and offer solutions,” she said.

“It is pivotal that we do not reduce people seeking safety to a singular identity.

“We hope to inspire anyone who finds themselves in dark times and for the public to deeply understand the resilience and hope within these incredible people.”

“The experience of forced displacement should not define someone forever. We all have some past, but it’s important not to give up, and find the strength to move forward with confidence,” she said.

The free exhibition will be complemented by a comprehensive information program, including a panel discussion with Renee and Tina on opening night, and two advocacy and educational workshops. Workshop tickets are $15 each and can be booked online.

Stories About Hope has an affiliated book available for purchase at the exhibition. Proceeds from the sales will be donated to support refugee organisations in Australia.

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