Passage: Stories of Migration and Belonging films were created through a workshop series facilitated by CuriousWorks and University of Wollongong South West Sydney.

Participants included Henrietta, Karmeen and Mariam (who are recently arrived refugees and were supported by Settlement Services International) and Yasameen, Mary and Tien (students from the University of Wollongong). They worked in pairs, forming new friendships and finding ways to collaboratively find common ground in their stories and worldviews.

Through vigorous discussions on the themes of migration, belonging and community each pair developed their film concept with the support and guidance of our facilitators.

Passage: Stories of Migration and Belonging is a pilot project and was produced to showcase the power of creative, collaborative art making to share powerful stories that can stimulate discussions on multiculturalism and belonging.

Swimming Onto Unknown Places
A film by Yasameen Kanaani and Mariam Abbas
Featuring – Batool Kanaani, Yasameen Kanaani and Mariam Abbas
Produced by CuriousWorks
Directed by Sandra May
Cinematography by Diego Murillo
Sound by Steph Vajda

Belonging, Being & Becoming

A film by Mary Granopoulos and Henrietta Amevor
Featuring – Henrietta Amevor, Mary Amevor, Mary Granopoulos and Nicholas Lambrou
Produced by CuriousWorks
Directed by Sandra May
Cinematography by Diego Murillo and Adam McPhilbin
Sound by Steph Vajda

Move On
A film by Tien Pham & Karmeen Yalda
Featuring Amira Halabi
Produced by CuriousWorks
Directed by Sandra May
Cinematography by Diego Murillo
Sound by Shawn Spina and Steph Vajda

About the Project: 

Migration has always been part of our shared story. Throughout history, people have moved, journeying with their cultures and beliefs to new places; to learn, to exchange, for safety and often to start anew. The stories we live through, or hear about or actively create are all part of this journey. Finding ways to share these experiences becomes our collective storytelling and a path to growing our ability to accept others, embrace difference and live with compassion.

Liverpool, with its waves of migration since the second world war, and recent developments in infrastructure funding and establishing of university campuses, is a microcosm of Australia’s future. As we lend visual form to the budding stories of this area, we are on track to ensure that our national identity aspires to be inclusive, and we continue to re-imagine our sense of community.

Passage: Stories of Migration and Belonging* short films share powerful insights by pairs of storytellers from migrant and refugee backgrounds working collaboratively for the first time. Through a series of workshops, conversations and idea making, six participants worked with CuriousWorks filmmakers to create three short films for this pilot project.

Tied together by explorations of concepts of migration and belonging, the films range in subject matter and style, including intergenerational conversations and creative reflections on ritual, adaptation and change.

CuriousWorks, The University of Wollongong South West Sydney (UoW SWS) and Settlement Services International (SSI) collaborated to deliver this project, facilitating dialogic spaces for newly arrived refugees to share ideas and conceptualise with university students towards creating short films reflecting on experiences and perceptions of migration and belonging. The final cuts are reflective of not just the similarities in participants’ experiences, but also of the refractions that emerge from the perceptions that are not shared, yet attempted to be understood.

*The initial project ideas and grant application were developed by Dr Sukhmani Khorana and Mr Steph Vajda. With assistance in methods design and fine-tuning the ethics application from Dr Roger Patulny, and overall research and admin support from Ms Kai Ruo Soh.

About the Speakers:

Professor Colin B. Picker is the Pro Vice Chancellor (South Western Sydney) and Dean, School of Law, Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts, at the University of Wollongong. Previously, Professor Picker was at UNSW Law, serving in many capacities including as Associate Dean (International); Director (and founder) of the China International Business and Economic Law (CIBEL) Initiative; and Director of the IBEL Stream of the LLM.

Dr Mehreen Faruqi is the Greens’ Senator for New South Wales. In 2013, she joined NSW State Parliament, becoming the first Muslim woman to sit in an Australian parliament. In 2018, Mehreen became Australia’s first Muslim Senator. She has been a passionate advocate against racism and misogyny. She is the Australian Greens’ spokesperson for education and lifelong learning.