Monthly Archives: May 2016

RISE Arts Present ‘Vessels To A Story’ Exhibition + Series of presentations

RISE Arts Present ‘Vessels To A Story’ Exhibition + Series of presentations

Six artists and a museum curator will visually and critically respond to the language and stories on refugees and refugee policies, including the language that is often embedded in the books we find in libraries.

RISE (Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees) is run and controlled by refugees, ex-detainees and asylum seekers. Our Arts Programs seek to reclaim and challenge dominant narratives about refugees, while highlighting issues which our communities face.

Address : Library at The Dock Gallery 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade Docklands VIC 3000

‘Vessels To A Story’ Exhibition Launch: Wednesday, 1 June, 6pm to 8pm. “This exhibition is not a celebration of ‘multiculturalism’, nor is it a celebration of Melbourne as a ‘melting pot’ of cultures”.

RISE will hold a series of presentations over the month of June including,

Sat 11 June, 12.30pm – 2pm : A Journey of Stories and Process : Mohamed Nur

In this talk, Mohamed will discuss his practice of combining material and industrial processes with traditional modes of storytelling. Through his work, Mohamed has explored design and traditional craft practice. His works have been a combination of hand made crafts and newer technologies, such as 3D printing and digital modeling, with a major focus in researching our changing history.

Tues 14 June, 1.00pm – 2.00pm : Dominic Golding and R-Coo Tran

Vietnamese refugees: Differences within the Diaspora.
Join Dominic and R-Coo as they discuss and compare notes on being an adoptee and a second generation Vietnamese refugee.

Fri 24 June. 12.30pm – 2pm : VTR
Real Humans? Making political sculpture for the streets.
Join local Melbourne artist V-T-R (Van T Rudd) as he shares his methods and challenges of making his unique, human-like sculptures for the streets. From political theory and pencil sketches, to construction, he hopes to leave you inspired and hungry for challenging conservative forces in society.

Mon and Tues 27 and 28 June 12.30pm -2pm : Aseel Tayah
Creative Workshops with Aseel

Message from an ex-detainee and refugee on “profiling” refugees with degrees / social stability and Dutton

Rather than targeting Peter Dutton’s racist and xenophobic comment, the media and refugee sector in Australia and overseas responded by “profiling” refugees with degrees & social stability. One of those profiled was not a refugee, instead his grandparents were refugees – REALLY ?

What about those refugees who are from working class backgrounds who never had the opportunity to study in war torn countries? Are they less than any other refugees? What about those refugees caught in the conflict areas without educational opportunities, no opportunity to learn another language, some even cannot read or write their language. Are they less than any other refugees?.

Profiling refugees who have degrees and social stability is an act of classism and one way of saying “these are good refugees” and patronising others. Also, it does not deal with the issue of Dutton’s comments. Refugees are refugees, despite if they do or don’t possess skills, degrees or social stability. Journalists and the refugees sector must target Peter Dutton’s inherently racist comments on refugees rather than being abiding by the politicians agendas and feeding the ignorance of the masses.


RISE Exclusive Media Release : Call to condemn Peter Dutton’s Race Baiting comment against Refugees (18/5/2016)

RISE:Refugees, Survivors and ex-detainees is alarmed by Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s race baiting comment that refugees are “illiterate and innumerate in their own language” and would take “Australian jobs”.

Mr. Dutton’s comment is backed by none other than Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, a perfect example of the ingrained racism in his government. Such fear mongering tactics feed into conservative Australia, inciting xenophobia and hatred and endangers the lives of our people. Furthermore, we are appalled at how refugees are referred to as commodities to serve the political and economic interests of the privileged.

Ramesh Fernandez, founder of RISE and former ex-detainee says “by saying we are illiterate and stealing your jobs, politicians continue to normalise their racist insults towards refugees, while holding refugees and asylum seekers hostage in Manus and Nauru.”

Ramesh Fernandez also questions “Why Peter Dutton does not comment on ‘operational matters’ such as rape, sexual abuse, boat turnbacks, murder and torture of refugees and asylum seekers, but he is happy to comment on ‘illiterate’ refugees taking Australian jobs. More refugees and asylum seekers exiled by the Australian government on these islands for ‘processing’ have died under Peter Dutton’s watch than have been resettled in this country.”

RISE calls on Trade unions, migrant and refugee/asylum seeker organisations and members of the public to condemn the race baiting language as well as the abusive and divisive wedge tactics used by Australian politicians against refugees during successive election campaigns for over a decade in this country.


RISE Arts present Mahmoud Salameh (Palestinian-Syrian Cartoonist & ex-detainee) Exhibition, Film Screening and Q&A

RISE Arts is excited to present the artwork of Mahmoud Salameh, a Palestinian-Syrian-Australian cartoonist, animation filmmaker, graphic artist and ex-detainee.

Now based in Sydney, Mahmoud has had years of experience working as a professional artist in Syria, Lebanon and Australia. He has worked for well-know Arabic newspapers and magazines, such as Al Safir and Al Adaab, and film production companies such as Spacetoons and Tiger Productions.

Mahmoud salameh

Through his work Mahmoud tackles issues of border imperialism and refugees, displaced populations, domestic issues in Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Using his art as a medium for social change and reflecting on his own personal transnational experiences, Mahmoud’s pieces send a powerful social and political message that seek to challenge dominant narratives around occupation, displacement and resistance.

Please join us on Thursday, May 19 at 6:30pm for the launch of this exciting exhibition. There will a Q&A session and an auction with proceeds going back to the artist himself and to RISE. An exclusive screening of Mahmoud’s short-animation, ‘From Trouble to Trouble’ will also be screened on the night at 7pm.

Hours :
Thursday, Launch (19 May)
6.30pm – 8:30pm

Friday (20 May)
4:00pm – 7:00pm

Saturday and Sunday (21 – 22 May)
12:00 noon – 4:00pm

Entry by donation

RISE Exclusive Media Release : Call to withdraw racist anti-refugee Norfolk Island proposal – 06/05/2016

RISE: Refugees, Survivors and Ex-detainees is alarmed by a proposal by a “refugee advocate” Natasha Blucher and the President of the Norfolk Island chamber of commerce,John Brown to sign a deal with the Australian government to traffick refugees held hostage in Nauru and Papua New Guinea (PNG).

We condemn so-called refugee advocates, the refugee sector and other organisations who are bottom feeders constantly coming up with abusive “solutions” that treat our people who simply arrived to this country to seek protection as a “problem”. In 2001, John Howard came up with the “Pacific Solution” where refugees were trapped in Nauru and PNG; in 2008 Kevin Rudd came up with the “Indonesian Solution” and in 2012 Julia Gillard came up with the Pacific Solution Mark II and reopened the internment camps in Nauru and Manus.

The Pacific Solution Mark II was implemented after a horrific, militaristic proposal called the No-Advantage policy, made by a panel of “experts” that included another refugee “advocate” called Paris Aristotle. Since then, 3 refugees have died after being trafficked by the Australian government to these islands and hundreds have been abused.

It is a constant battle in RISE for us as a refugee community to decide which “refugee advocate” or “humanitarian” is going to throw our community in the fire with another anti-refugee proposal. Ramesh Fernandez, ex-detainee and founder of RISE said “This proposal is evidence that the Australian Government is relying on the refugee sector to supply it with xenophobic ideas in line with border control narratives. At the end of the day we are left with the continuing torture of uncertainty. What are we waiting for? The Final Solution?”

RISE requests the Norfolk Islands and its community not to fall into a trap by accepting this xenophobic proposal of mass incarceration of asylum seeker and refugees. One needs only to look at Manus and Nauru to see what the consequences would be for our people.

RISE does not support any governments or organisations that take us back to square one and continue discriminating against our community. We demand that this proposal be withdrawn and organisations that claim to support us, condemn this proposal and take steps to end it.