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Beyond The Boat

By Helen Doick

‘Beyond the Boat’  is a Community Project developed by the Salvation Army, to help asylum seekers coming to Australia gain a sense of welcoming and connection at a time of difficulty. Dean Golja was commissioned to lead the project, this included teaching, documenting and exhibiting photographs from Iranian asylum-seekers, while they were on a bridging visa to become Australian citizens. The idea was: ‘To teach some basic principles of photography to five challenged individuals with no English, executing this in a “hands on” way,  focusing on some iconic locations around Sydney. The out come of the project was to hold an exhibition to the public, where the asylum seekers could show their work and journey.

Dean Said: “For me this project was really about the idea of hospitality and compassion, and how art can overcome the uncertainty and strangeness of feeling completely lost”.

This series of portraits was Aidin’s (asylum seeker) work, showing his learning and interpretation of the brief: ‘to capture the essence of Sydney’.

More on this project to come.


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