Photos tell stories of hope restored

Akudut Manuer with her photo of a boy and girl that is on display in the Restoring Hope Art Exhibition.
Akudut Manuer with her photo of a boy and girl that is on display in the Restoring Hope Art Exhibition.

The 14-year-old Aranmore Catholic College student’s work is part of the Restoring Hope Art Exhibition, which features art created by young refugees in a Northbridge gallery this week.

‘The little girl and boy were playing,’ Akudut said. ‘I took this because it was like they were in love.’

The teenager and her family left South Sudan because of the war, and came to Australia in 2011. She said she was grateful to be here.

‘Australia gives me hope, gives me freedom,’ she said.

Community Services and Youth Minister Tony Simpson opened the free exhibition coordinated by Propel Youth Arts WA on Monday, June 17, to coincide with National Refugee Week.

To produce the work on display, young people from Aranmore Catholic College, Northlake Senior Campus, the Australian Islamic College and Edmund Rice Leadership Group in Mirrabooka took part in workshops throughout May.

Liza Semler from Camera Recycle Project worked with Aranmore students to develop photographs surrounding their interpretation of the theme, Restoring Hope.

‘As a photographer, I always learn from young students who don’t over-think their photos and shoot what they see, as they see it,’ she said.

‘It was a great experience to see the students interested in learning about photography and blending technical tricks with compositional elements to take some very creative photos.’

Propel’s executive director Monique Douglas said she was impressed by the enthusiasm of the participants.

‘Many of these young people have been through incredibly distressing and desperate situations,’ she said.

‘Their artwork is capable of capturing their ideas in a way that sometimes words cannot.’