'Poetry is like a bird,' the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko famously said. 'It ignores all frontiers.'
People whose lives have been governed by borders often find solace in the freedom of artistic expression. Join us for an evening of poetry and spoken word, performed by members of Australia’s refugee communities.
Curated by Manal Younus, the celebrated Eritrean storyteller who now calls South Australia home, this special online event will showcase the talents and stories of brilliant poets from across the country. Hear from emerging and established artists, connecting from their homes to yours, as they share words of both freedom and exile.
Hosted by Younus, with Lujayn Hourani, Hani Abdile, Flora Chol and Awale Ahmed.
Presented in partnership with Refugee Council of Australia.
Watch this event on this page.
Manal Younus is an South Australian based freelance storyteller from Eritrea who believes that language and stories are the very fabric of our existence. Using her writing and performance, Manal explores different aspects of life from perseverance, identity, travel and truth. She has spoken and performed around the world on a vast number of issues including youth leadership, gender and female empowerment, faith, blackness, culture, language, migration, displacement, racism and interculturalism.
Lujayn Hourani is a Palestinian writer, editor, and arts worker based in Naarm. Their practice uses little stories to ask and answer big questions. Lujayn has been published in Overland, Meanjin, The Lifted Brow, Going Down Swinging, and Voiceworks among others.
Flora Chol is a Melbourne-based South Sudanese writer and poet. She is the published author of Tomorrow's Dream, her debut poetic anthology. Flora’s writing is an unprovoked stream of literary consciousness that critically delves into complex modern day discourses. Through an in-depth poetic lens, she explores topics of race, whiteness, gender, cultural and traditional binaries, intergenerational trauma and social as well as political issues. Flora's poetry is about deconstructing unnatural systems and serves to place the human voice in a state of unapologetic truth and power.
Hani Abdile is a writer and spoken word poet who fled the civil war in Somalia at 16, forced to leave her family behind. She made her way to Australian waters by boat and was detained on Christmas Island. Hani is author of I Will Rise, an honorary member of PEN International, and a lead writer for Writing Through Fences. She currently lives in Sydney.
Awale Ahmed is a multilingual writer and storyteller who shares stories through poetry. Born in Somalia, he grew up in the Middle East and recently migrated to Australia. He firmly believes that artists are the true guardians of our creativity, childhood spirit and imagination. An advocate for social justice and refugee rights, he believes in the power of sharing the human experience and spreading joy and happiness to others.