Refugee art exhibition success

Alwy Fadhel, 'Fence', coffee on paper.

The Refugee Art Project’s Fear+Hope exhibition’s opened at Sydney’s Mori Gallery on June 20, during International Refugee Week. The exhibition showcased 20 refugee artists from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iraq, and Iran, the Kurdish regions of the Middle East, Pakistan, Nigeria and Indonesia.

All of the artists produced their art locked up in Australia’s detention centres. Only three of the artists were released to be at their exhibition opening.

An astonishing array of spectacular art — from poetry to a Facebook story from inside Villawood; sketches and Escher-like prints and paintings by Alwy Fadhel; gargantuan paintings by Syed Roohulla; and incandescent oceanscapes graced the gallery’s walls.

A glossy booklet of the exhibition Volume 21 was published by the Journal of the Sydney Society of Literature and Aesthetics.

It features the art and stories and reflections from Fear+Hope contributors including Safdar Ahmed, Omid Tofighian, Tahmineh Jafari to Ian Rintoul.

Fear+Hope examines the role of art within the refugee debate and seeks to engage our humanity with its unquestionable display of beauty.

Both the exhibition and book will provoke debate about the mistreatment of asylum seekers, and, most importantly, provide a platform for the voices, images and dreams of asylum seekers to be heard.

The exhibition will be open for three weeks. More information at

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