Voiceless Journeys is an art project that aims to celebrate the cultural diversity and raise awareness about the journey, struggle, survival and achievements of people from diverse backgrounds. The focus was on people who had left their countries as a result of internal problems or conflicts to make their life in Australia; people who positively shape our communities.
This project was created by Ondru – a Melbourne-based non-profit humanitarian organisation working towards a more connected, compassionate and equitable society. Ondru uses art to provoke thought, evoke feeling and inspire change on issues of social justice. We make people think, feel and act through pioneering art projects that give voice to silent and unheard human stories and express the human condition. Ondru is based on the vision of its founder, Desh Balasubramaniam.
Diverse groups of people co-exist in Australia but they do not necessarily enjoy a sense of community. There exists a challenge to build a sense of community, which opposes racism, xenophobia and oppression. Whilst acknowledging that every community is unique and changeable, interaction is the key to social change, a central force to building a community that is inclusive of all. Voiceless Journeys is an attempt to build a sense of community with greater understanding of each other through the medium of art.
Voiceless Journeys – Bosnian and Herzegovinian Community
Voiceless Journeys – Afghan Community
As part of the Production Crew, Nithya Iyer assisted in conversing with and recording the stories of the different individuals that participated in the project. These human stories spoken through the silence of 101 evocative black and white photographic portraits are also enlarged and exhibited around the streets of Melbourne.
Images: Stills of Ondru project team – Desh Balasubramaniam, Avi Wanono, Devika Bilimoria and Nithya Iyer from above two projects.