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Black art: identity and expression

16 September 20160 comments

Young artists in Melbourne explore black culture in Blunted on Reality, a group exhibition inspired by the Fugee’s original album in 1994.

Exploring themes on migration, movement and home, works are presented by Aysha Tufa, Guled Abdulwasi, Aćol Agaar, Hawanatu Bangura, Emele Ugavule, Obsa, Zack Ahmed and Samatalis.

The artists are part of the collective, Still Nomads, involving multi art form creatives including visual artists, musicians, writers, performance poets, videographers, photographers and DJs.

Grounded in the establishment of community, the not-for-profit organisation curate arts which articulate notions associated with being a refugee and how their lived experience continues long after ‘citizenship’ is acquired. By focusing on their internal thought processes, they resist co-opting a refugee narrative.

Artist Acol Agaar

Acol Agaar

Influenced by East African fashion, Acol Agaar’s paintings are vibrant expressions of her South Sudanese roots.

“I’m 21 and came to Australia in 2003. Still Nomads is a cool backbone for me as an artist. I explore Dinka culture through my art,” Ms Agaar says.

Other works include Guled Abdulwasi’s video Home, which conveys his powerful story about the difference between living as a community in Africa verses growing up in isolation in Australia.

Aysha Tufa’s personal collage of photographs unravels the complexities of language, home, identity and family ties.

Emele Ugavule’s polaroids and video work question how one can identify with black culture although not being of African descent.

The exhibition runs from September 9-24 at Footscray Community Arts Centre, 45 Moreland St, Footscray. It is presented in partnership with Still Nomads and FCAC Company in Residence.

Sophia Sourris
AMES Australia Staff Writer