Inaugural Arts and Refugees Forum to take place at CPAC this weekend

This coming weekend, artists, art therapists, community development workers, educators, and arts and humanitarian organisations will partake in a special forum at Sydney’s Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, discussing artistic practice by, with, and about refugees.

Inspired by the recent number of exhibitions with a focus on refugees, including CPAC’s own Refugees, and the Refugee Art Project, this year shown as part of the MCA’s Telling Tales – Excursions in Narrative Form exhibition, the forum is a joint venture between CPAC and Settlement Services International, a non-profit dedicated to helping refugee and asylum seekers settle into their new communities.

The program features an array of events, including artist talks, panels and discussions, short film screenings, and performances. Highlights include:

  • a conversation on displacement and identity with well-known Chinese-Australian artist Guo Jian
  • a hands on exploration of Penny Ryan’s latest project, a series of small terracotta human hearts, each representing a person in the detention centres on Naru and Manus Island
  • Against the Clock!, featuring speakers discussing their works in under ten minutes, including Sandra Morales and Binowee Bayles on their project Heartdancers: Bringing Aboriginal and refugee artists together.
  • The Yarning Circle, an event to close off the first night with an hour of storytelling, with all attendees invited to share their stories. Run by Chilean-Australian siblings Guido and Karina Gonzalez, along with young artistic members of CuriousWorks‘ mentoring program Beyond Refuge.

The full program is available through the CPAC website.

The Arts and Refugees Forum will take place on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th August at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre. Attendance is free, with refreshments provided, though registration through Eventbrite is required.