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Departure - Transit - Arrival

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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Take a trip, free at the Migration Museum
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Enjoying the Swimming Pool on the Indian Ocean (Image: Joanna Majchrowska)

Moving to a new country is never an easy thing to do, and especially not if you are forced through your social, financial or political situation. Throughout the history of South Australia, millions of migrants have come to live in our state, and they have helped make it a much better place.

After the Second World War many homeless and displaced people fled to Australia for a new life. The challenges of rebuilding Europe must have seemed immense for the migrants who had already suffered so much. Building a new life far away was a very appealing choice by comparison.

Five years ago the Migration Museum hosted the Hostel Stories - Migrant Lives Exhibition which looked at the experiences of new migrants arriving in the shared community of a hostel.

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Departure - Transit - Arrival Exhibition at the Migration Museum

The new Departure - Transit - Arrival exhibition tells the personal story of migrant Joanna Majchrowska, who travelled from Poland to Adelaide, via Italy, Malta, Egypt, Fremantle and Melbourne, in 1965. Fortunately, her father documented the family's departure from Poland, their long and at times arduous journey, and arrival in Adelaide, taking hundreds of photographs along the way.

Joanna has curated an evocative exhibition at the Migration Museum drawing on these images. Departure - Transit - Arrival highlights the happy memories, puts her personal history into that context and celebrates her personal memories of this life-changing experience. The exhibition will particularly resonate with anyone who has made such a journey, their families, and those people who appreciate the power of analogue photography.

The photographs chosen for display aim to highlight the happy memories. They recall the childhood experience of departure from Poland, transit through Europe, and arrival in Australia. Through her father's amateur photography, Joanna celebrates her memories of what was a major life-altering experience. I could see parallels with my own family's experience when migrating shortly before I was born.

Each of the photos in the Departure - Transit - Arrival exhibition tells a story. The story is individualised to fit within our own personal perceptions and is shaped by our own memories and recollections. Many of the photos made me stop and reflect on life in those far off places.

The free Departure - Transit - Arrival exhibition at the Migration Museum by Joanna Majchrowska runs from August 4 until October 31. The museum is located on Kintore Avenue in Adelaide. Come and take a nostalgic journey through time and place through the eyes of others. You will enjoy it.

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Why? Take a look at this revealing photographic exhibition
Where: Migration Museum
Cost: Free
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