Led by Palestinian artist Aseel Tayah, in collaboration with diaspora artists from Australia and around the world, Bukjeh is an installation in a disaster relief tent, and a series of short performances created with people who have been forced to leave their homes, in response to children’s questions about refugees.
HISTORY & BACKGROUND
In Arabic, Bukjeh is a small pack of belongings carried by travellers and refugees. By inviting an audience into our suitcases, sacks and pockets, we are sharing our feelings, memories and experiences of home – and of having to leave it. Our stories define us and make us unique. The testimonies of those displaced in this ever-changing world are worth documenting and sharing with this, and future, generations. Bukjeh puts new and diverse communities and our stories front and centre for all to share. We are authors of our own stories, choosing which stories to tell and how to tell them – song, dance, poetry/spoken word, visual art, and more An interactive installation and performance, accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds. Profound and honest stories of migration and the refugee experience shared in a disaster relief tent; Bukjeh is a performance by the community, for the community. “When you have limited time left to leave your home, you grab the most valuable things you have in one sack, a bukjeh, and walk. When you are leaving a whole life behind and starting a new one, what do we decide to keep?”
Bukjeh connects people of all ages and backgrounds. We hope to empower people who might feel out of the conversation about the reasons and impacts of global migration because they do not know the ‘right’ questions to ask, or due to fear of saying the ‘wrong thing’. Bukjeh initiates a truly meaningful and personal connection between those who have been forced to leave their home and those who have not experienced so.
Workshops–Leading up to the performance, key artists from Bukjeh will work closely with the local community, exploring themes connected to Bukjeh. Each session is individually tailored to suit different audiences, delivered through multi-art forms – poetry/spoken word, dance and movement, music, design, visual arts. Outcomes from the workshop will be included in the performance. Suitable for ages 8+. No fee is required from participants to ensure inclusive
participation. Bukjeh also aims to identify and collaborate with local community artists in 2 weekend residencies for creative development.
CAMERA: Takeshi Kondo, Alaia Crosson
Edit: Takeshi Kondo