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Réfugié diaspora : the representation of Australia's emerging refugee communities and their relationship to European refugee reception centres
thesisposted on 03.04.2018, 22:57 by Andrew Hill
Today, worldwide, there are some thirty four million refugees exiled from their homelands. The majority of these people are members of civilian populations forcefully displaced by conflicts not of their own making. Oftentimes these conflicts have induced by external powers, whilst other times they are the result of internal influences attempting to align, or realign, their political spheres of influences, treating their civilian populations as justifiable targets for collateral damage.This body of work examines the focus of those displacements by proposing the depiction of Australia’s new and emerging refugee communities. They are exemplified by a series of portraits of members of the Kurdish and Afghani communities both within South Australia and within several European Refugee Reception Centres. It also offers some insight into the conditions and circumstances of those European Reception Centres alluding to the physicality and poverty which constructs the refugee diaspora. A second body of work alludes to refugees’ dispersal and to the cultural discontinuity embedded within both flight and resettlement.Whilst the work – a series of paintings with digitally-printed archival-quality pigment inks – relies for its effect on a confrontation with individuals suppressed within the Australian public arena (they are spoken about, and for, but rarely express for themselves) it is are quietly ambiguous with respect to its relationship to Australia’s dominant culture.What is not ambiguous is the sense of the depicted being of self not other.