In 2015 we continued the conversation in response to the ongoing situation in our nation for those seeking asylum. Artists of different disciplines brought their unique perspective and commentary by creating new work around the theme of ‘A Temporary Life’. They were joined by the voices of thinkers and practitioners who engage with these issues in different spheres such as policy, lobbying and protest, working on the ground with asylum seekers as well as asylum seekers themselves.
Funds raised and goods collected supported the work of the Asylum Seeker Centre based in Newtown.
Visual Artists included: Janelle Bray (drawing), Tammy Burnstock (childrens writer), Stella Chen (installation), Chidzey (installation), Stephen Davis (poetry), Rebekah Delaney (ceramics), Family seeking asylum (painted ceramics), Alana Elliot (installation), Lauren Fraser (wallpaper), Carlos Garcia (installation), Caitlin Hodder (costume), Jessica Hodgkinson (printmaking), Nazanin Marashian (mixed media), Fereshteh Pezeshki (painting), Ravi: artist in detention (drawing), Gina Roberts (installation), Syed Roohullah Mosawi (painting), Anna Russell (painting), Devasha Scott (drawing), Mahmoud Salameh (graphic art), Digby Webster (painting)
Performing artists included:
Steve Cooper (music), Rachell Dade (dance) & Keila Terencio (theatre), Zoe Hale (theatre), Aaron Moore (film), Isaac Owen, Clare Burgess & Just Drama (theatre), Jesse Dempsey (music), Tamara Argall (dance), God Queen (music), Bella Ann Townes (poetry & film)
Che Bishop (Asylum Seekers Centre), Ruth Hartcher O'Brien (Treehouse Theatre), Victoria Hughes (Asylum Seekers Centre), Chantelle Ogilvie-Ellis (Sydney Alliance), Jackie Ruddock (The Social Outfit), Gerry Grove-White (Supporting Asylum Seekers Sydney), Zeina Iaali (Refugee Art Project), Jody Lightfoot (Common Grace), Raphael Manirakiza (WIN)
A Temporary Life
lasting for only a limited period of time; not permanent: a temporary
ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from Latin temporarius, from tempus,
All life is temporary. Life passes and grows through time. For many of us time is hidden,
it falls into the background of life. Life overlays, marks and punctuates time. With our
calendars we control time – marking births, celebrations, deaths and anticipated activities.
We watch infants grow through and over time. Yet the lives of many pass under time.
All life is temporary, but some lives are detained, cut, and determined by time. For
asylum seekers and refugees, time defines life. Indefinite Detention, Temporary
Protection Visas and Bridging Visas suspend and extend a person’s status as refugee.
Disallowing the possibility of moving on with life. The TPV halts, arrests and pauses life.
Allotting a portion of time and fixing a person as refugee, until determined otherwise.
While some of us move freely through time, many have their movement arrested and
suspended in time. These lives are kept permanently temporal and indefinitely finite.
Time does not recede into the background and allow life to mark it with births and
deaths and joys and sorrows. Time remains forever in the foreground. Time spent
waiting for a new life – to study, to work, to plan. Pushing life under time.
Over time we can become disinterested with the concerns of those living under time. As
Tony Abbott said ‘Australians are sick of being lectured to by the United Nations’ about
human rights. Perhaps we are. Perhaps we are bored – another speech, another petition,
another review, another debate. Yet, perhaps we are sick of having our lives entangled
with policies and laws that violate human rights and leave too many lives suspended and
left permanently temporal.
This creative conversation seeks to bring together artists, performers, activists and
thinkers around the theme of A Temporal Life, specifically in the context of Australian