Kultour is a national organisation committed to advancing cultural diversity in the arts in Australia.
Kultour is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its art funding and advisory body.
|Making art on equal terms|
Congratulations to Carolina Triana and Settlement Services International on the inaugural Arts and Refugees Forum last week.
Kultour's Lena Nahlous facilitated Saturday's session with Eiman AlUbudy (Lebanese Muslim Association), Guido Gonzalez (CuriousWorks), Herlina Massing (Fairfield IEC), Andy Miller (Multicultural Arts Victoria Inc.) and Jeremy Smith (Australia Council for the Arts).
The panel grappled with what it would take to level the playing field for artists from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds. Panellists discussed strategies and programs that could create employment, education and training opportunities for these artists in Australia’s cultural landscape.
Photo: Lina Kastoumis
Refugee and asylum seekers have often not only endured physical displacement but as artists in Australia they can experience a cultural displacement as a result of different artistic practices, cultural nuances and aesthetic regimes that require a different kind of translation – a translation that will allow them to transition their artistic practice to another context.
Herlina Massing is an educator at Fairfield Intensive English Centre, where she has been using drama as a method of teaching students English for the past seven years. Most of her students are from refugee and migrant backgrounds, from Afghanistan, Burma, Iraq and Syria. Herlina coordinates the Arts Partnership in Education Program, organising workshops and brings in professional artists to work with students on drama, movie-making and performing arts projects.Herlina came to Australia from Indonesia in 1978 when she was 18 years old. Although she was not classified as a refugee, what brought her and her family to Australia was the persecution that they had faced in Indonesia for being ethnically Chinese. Their family house was burned and ransacked and she couldn’t go to school or get a job.She studied teaching at the University of Sydney.