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Rites of Passage Project - Refugee Arts Program

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by EricaL (subscribe)
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If suitcases could talk
If old suitcases could talk, imagine the stories they would tell? Tales of journeys across land and sea, of sad farewells and exciting new times.

A creative arts program going by the name Rites of Passage Project, endeavors to uncover tales of personal journeys using suitcases in a way you might not expect.

This "Community Partnerships" Grants Program, funded by Arts Victoria, matches professional artists with Victoria's diverse community members to facilitate collaborative and creative partnerships, in this case, refugee women and adolescent daughters.

Led by Visual Artist Sonia Tomasiello, each participant involved with Rites of Passage Project is given a suitcase on which to create a visual representation of what is most important about themselves and their lives, bringing their own personal journey into picture using a variety of mixed media including paint, collage, printmaking, paper cutting, and stencilling. Participants will also produce and record a piece of music, which will be installed in their completed suitcases to become a musical box to accompany their art piece.

This unique project engages mothers and daughters of various cultural and religious backgrounds, enabling them to freely express themselves and their personal experiences in art-form.

A similar project took place with mother and daughter's groups in the City of Dandenong, followed by an exhibition that took place at the Drum Theatre.

This current 20 week Rites of Passage Project commenced on 13 May 2014, collaborating with mothers groups at Ecumenical Migration Centre in Fitzroy (part of Brotherhood of St Laurence) and teenage girls groups at Artful Dodgers Studio in Collingwood, within the City of Yarra; both groups meet on Tuesdays. Although there is space for 4 groups, each consisting of 8-10 people, Rights of Passage Project is still a little short on participants for each group, so if you know of any women/girls of refugee and migrant background that may be interested please get in touch with Sonia. To find out how, head hereand here.

Once complete, there will be a Rights of Passage Project exhibition taking place at Fitzroy Town Hall within the City of Yarra, and a final exhibition taking place at The Atrium at Federation Square or the Immigration Museum. Details will follow.

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Why? Engaging community members of various cultural and religious backgrounds to freely express themselves
When: From 13 May 2014 for 20 weeks
Where: City of Yarra, see article for details
Cost: no cost
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