Whittlesea Soundscapes

LOCATION

Whittlesea

TIME

March 23, 2021

As part of Bukjeh’s community engagement in the City of Whittlesea over the course of 2020, 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.

Paradise

Artists’ Statement

This is created out of improvisations on a traditional Iraqi song called “Paradise”. The lyrics say “my land is a paradise, even when it is hell”. It reflects conversations we had with refugee and asylum seekers in the Whittlesea community, in which they told us how much they still love the countries they came from, recognizing both the beauty of home and the danger that forced them out. Even when it is hell, home is a paradise to which they long to return, when and if they ever can. They have sought asylum in places like Australia out of the sheer necessity of survival, not just a desire to live wherever they want.

Checkpoint

This is the story of a Syrian refugee now living in Whittlesea, as told to Aseel Tayah. Even when it is hell, home is a paradise to which they long to return, when and if they ever can. They have sought asylum in places like Australia out of the sheer necessity of survival, not just a desire to live wherever they want.