Next Tuesday will be a creative milestone for 10 asylum seekers and refugees as they display images resulting from eight weeks of photography workshops with CuriousWorks.

The in-house display at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre will give participants a chance to show their work to family and friends, while getting feedback from experienced curators and artists from the CPAC and CuriousWorks networks.

The workshops have been run in collaboration with Settlement Services International, and are part of a body of work within our community program that equips refugees to ultimately communicate their experience of seeking asylum, arrival in Australia and what lies beyond refuge.

Tuesday’s showing is an important step in that creative process, as the participants (asylum seekers and refugees from Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq) work towards being part of CPAC’s major Refuge exhibition in 2016.

Apart from this artistic development, participants have already cited numerous other personal, professional and community benefits to being involved in the program.

SSI says arts and cultural activities play a positive role in the initial phases of refugee and asylum seeker settlement. Research shows that creative expression can help build confidence and develop core skills, including in language, among newly arrived migrants. NSW research also supports the positive impact that refugee artists have on Australia and the state’s cultural life.

The workshops have also provided some of our young Curious Creators with the opportunity to pass on some of the media storytelling skills they’ve been developing with us and take the next step towards becoming western Sydney’s future community cultural leaders.

Click here to read more about this innovative project and see some of the stunning work being produced from the workshops.