About

Bukjeh

Bukjeh translates to ‘a small pack of belongings carried by travelers’.We encourage our communities to share their art and stories, embracing the diverse range of storytelling forms-spoken word, music, songs, visual arts and language.

Bukjeh builds social cohesion, harmony and inclusion of those who have been displaced, creating a culturally safe space by embracing and respecting diversity of background, experience, ideas, thoughts and feelings. Bukjeh delivers a range of projects and activities to audiences all over Australia through virtual and in person programs and projects.

Why

Bukjeh

This project puts new and diverse communities and their stories front and centre for us all to share. The refugee storytellers are new to Australia, or have been here for a long time, unfamiliar with the Australian mainstream, or perhaps they have chosen to live their lives as if they were still in their homeland, some of who are involved in arts and culture projects and for some, this is their very first adventure in the arts.

Our Vision

Changing the world, through our own voices, one story at a time.

Purpose

Creating safe cultural spaces for refugee and migrant communities to engage with and share their cultural practices in ways that enables the building of social fabric, transforming sites of inequity into opportunities for celebration and inclusion.

Our Values

Diversity - We cherish diversity in everything Bukjeh does, in our people, in their intersectional and dynamic identities and in their lived experiences, reflected in stories that educate, challenge and uplift us.

Safety – We nurture spaces that allow for honest, respectful and creative exchanges, connecting people of all ages and backgrounds to ensure their voices are reflected in our work, and are made visible in our communities and public conversations.

Equity - We work to build social cohesion and belonging through our artmaking, empowering artists and communities to share their diverse lived experience in order to manifest a more just and equitable society.

Our Goals

To explore and celebrate notions of home as unique to our human experiences and identities, in ways that create positive change in communities. a. Creating connections with First Nations people and their struggle for sovereignty b. Empowering people to share their art and stories of home, of displacement and new futures c. Providing creative tools to support people away from home to connect with each other and build new friendships

Group 408

To platform the lived experiences of refugees and asylum seekers through storytelling and creative practice a. Building visibility, engagement, and inclusion of those who have been displaced b. Amplifying own voices through self-determined practice c. Demonstrating the power of storytelling to create change

Group 409

To build capacity across the arts and community sectors to embrace peoples’ diverse backgrounds and identities, and create opportunities for engagement a. Creating safe spaces with partners that are skilled and knowledgeable to work with diverse communities b. Facilitating professional development opportunities c. Being a conduit for connection between organisations and creative practitioners from diverse communities

Founder

Aseel Tayah

Aseel Tayah is a Melbourne-based Palestinian artist, creative director and cultural leader who uses her practice to advocate for artists of colour, mothers, children and young people, changing the world, one project at a time. She has recently been described as “an unstoppable force in the Australian cultural landscape.” Through the power of storytelling, Aseel’s artistic practice creates awareness and facilitates connection by humanising the experiences of people who have been displaced.

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