Bukjeh in the City of Whittlesea, 2020
Late in 2019, Creative Victoria funded the creative development and production of BUKJEH in the outer Melbourne suburb of Whittlesea. This was to be a community engagement project between local community and Bukjeh artists. Then – covid landed and live performances were cancelled.
We all practiced physical isolation, yet opportunities for personal connection and belonging moved to the forefront of our daily lives.
Bukjeh usually brings people together physically, but instead we moved online and asked the question, ‘what if, instead of being told to stay at home, you were forced to leave your home?
Artist led workshops were delivered on zoom, forums were hosted on Facebook Live and artists responded to the provocation with collaborations developed over a distance under lockdown.
City of Whittlesea Commissions
The City commissioned Bukjeh artists to prepare a creative response to their experiences of lockdown. These works were written and produced in the middle of Melbourne’s Stage 4 lockdowns, a beautiful time capsule. Check them out at the links below
Before covid set in one of the first activities for the project was to engage Bukjeh artists to hold workshops in local schools, including Thomastown Primary, St. Clare Primary in Officer and Northern College Bundoora. See the link below for a gallery of artworks produced by children in the workshops.
Aseel Tayah interviewed people from the community from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds who shared their stories. These stories were variously, beautiful, shocking, very happy and very sad.
Aseel and fellow Bukjeh artist Meena Shamaly used these interviews as inspiration to form a soundscape which tries to capture the complexity of narrative and emotion from these interactions.
Presented by the City of Whittlesea and supported by Creative Victoria