Poetry links Hazara, considered the most persecuted ethnic minority in Afghanistan, to their culture, their history, to country, to each other. In former times revered verses, or quatrains, were shared from one generation to the next. Hazara’s of today are more than likely to text their poems to each other, as did Aziz Fayaz, when he wrote the poem featured in this installation, a response to the many Hazara who had lost their lives, desperate to seek asylum from persecution, on boats that had sunk in the worlds oceans.
Bamiyarra was a Home Lands v2 project, a collaboration with City of Melbourne, the Cultural Development Network, Swinburne and LaTrobe Universities.
Inside Bamiyarra is a snapshot biopic of Bamiyarra itself, a media arts project that brought together a young team of Hazara from refugee backgrounds to work with Melbourne artists and filmmakers. We produced micro-docs, a photo essay and video installation much of which was inspired by a poem.
Migration is the story of a Hazara family that sought refuge in Australia, how the open sea both carried them here and afforded one of their sons a future in the surf.
Hope In Life follows the aspirations of Hazara who sought asylum in Australia to pursue their education and arts practice, and how their ties to home land influences and sustain them regardless of the challenges they face.
Produced in association with Youthworx Media.
Hazaragi culture is no where more accentuated than in a traditional wedding. Bringing together every facet of cultural life, from traditional music, clothing, food and ritual. A Hazaragi Weddingtraces the events leading up to and throughout the wedding ceremony. A Hazaragi Wedding is underscored by traditional music, a collage of wedding photos and video, and of course the food, the celebration, mehmanies (public feasts) and dance.
The cultural history of Afghanistan’s most persecuted minority is one interwoven with the arts, from the Persian poetry they learn as children to reverence for the Buddhas of Bamiyan, monolithic sculptures their ancestors created in the 5th Century and destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. To bring these practices into modern times, Hazara artist, Fazil Hussain Mousavi, founded The Sketch Club in Quetta, to introduce young Hazara to the skills, techniques and history of painting.
The micro-doc, Between The Lines, follows the story of The Sketch Club from Quetta to the Artful Dodgers Gallery in Collingwood, where its first exhibition in Australia is hosted. Between The Lines is a story of young Hazara depicting the social circumstances of their country, the genocide of Hazara people and how their new found skills and art has helped them to express the complex issues of injustice and uncertainty, that has also connected them to and inspired Hazara youth who have sought asylum the world over.
July 2012 was our final month of workshops leading up to the Not So Still(s) exhibition at Signal, which opened 3 August 2012, on Northbank, Melbourne. Workshops were led by Melbourne artists and film-makers, mentoring the Bamiyarra team in documentary production, photo essay techniques, video and sound installation.
In August 2011 we launched Bamiyarra, a project of Home Lands v2. The name combines the home of many Hazara, Bamiyan, and the Yarra River. The name connects their origins with their now home and for many, the river represents how they got here.
The trailer is a snap-shot of young Hazara in both Melbourne and abroad collaborating to produce a micro-docs series, a video installation, public screenings and exhibitions, mentored by media artists and creative producers.