Young refugees release documentaries

Young refugees release documentaries

19 Jun 2009


Image from See Through Me

According to research by the Refugee Health Research Centre at La Trobe University, teenage refugees arrive in Australia with high hopes and dreams of a successful life, but face many obstacles as a result of their past experiences and the difficulties of settling in a new country. ‘4us’, a series of four short documentaries, has been developed by researchers and community artists alongside refugee young people, to explore their experiences of settling in Australia.

The documentaries were successfully launched at ACMI Melbourne, on June 20th, followed by a panel conversation where viewers were invited to engage with the themes and issues associated with the experiences shared in the documentaries.

The four documentaries, 'See through Me', 'Crazy', 'Home' and 'Finding Light', provide glimpses into the world of young people from refugee backgrounds as they explore their experiences through audio-visual media.

See Through Me, developed through a series of workshops with Somali-born young people aged between 15 and 17 years who have lived in Australia for between 3 and 14 years, addresses one of the key aims of the Good Starts Arts Project, developing the communication, creative, leadership and film-making skills of participants, and improve self-confidence and self-esteem, by beginning with a broad question: What are some of the challenges you have faced in your life in Australia? 

Crazy was created with the intention of exploring the everyday experiences of Sudanese-Australia young women, aged between 15 and 17, as they grow up in Australia.

Home was developed through a series of workshops with Somali-Australian young people aged between 13 and 18 years who had lived in Australia for 13 to 18 years.

Finding Light was created through a series of workshops with 16 Afghan young men aged between 14 and 18 years, most of whom had lived in Australia for up to two years. Finding Light was created with the intention of exploring these young men’s experiences of negotiating the difficult process of settling in Australia.

Films can be viewed on the RHRC website.

The Refugee Health Research Centre (RHRC) is located within the School of Social Sciences at La Trobe University and conducts interdisciplinary research into the social issues of forced migration. A key focus is on identity and wellbeing among youth with refugee backgrounds and the use of innovative research approaches to explore experiences of settlement.

Professor Sandy Gifford
03 9479 5874





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