In collaboration with diaspora artists from Australia and around the world, Bukjeh is an installation in a disaster relief tent, and a series of short performances created with people who have been forced to leave their homes, in response to children's questions about refugees..

In Arabic, Bukjeh is a small pack of belongings carried by travelers and refugees. By inviting an audience into our suitcases, sacks and pockets, we are sharing our feelings, memories and experiences of home – and of having to leave it. Our stories define us and make us unique. The testimonies of those displaced in this ever-changing world are worth documenting and sharing with this, and future, generations. Bukjeh puts new and diverse communities and our stories front and centre for all to share. We are authors of our own stories, choosing which stories to tell and how to tell them – song, dance, poetry/spoken word, visual art, and more An interactive installation and performance, accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds. Profound and honest stories of migration and the refugee experience shared in a disaster relief tent; Bukjeh is a performance by the community, for the community. “When you have limited time left to leave your home, you grab the most valuable things you have in one sack, a Bukjeh, and walk. When you are leaving a whole life behind and starting a new one, what do we decide to keep?”

Bukjeh is the signature event of the Bukjeh enterprise. Since its first iteration as a simple one-day activation at the Melbourne Immigration Museum in 2018, Bukjeh has gone on to be presented dozens of times at sites across Victoria, engaging more than 5,000 audience with the support of multiple government and private funders.

Developed and performed with a wide variety of artists from origins right around the world, Bukjeh takes place inside a repurposed disaster relief tent, presenting a series of honest, powerful snapshots of the refugee experience.

Bukjeh connects people of all ages and backgrounds. The aim of Bukjeh is to empower people who might feel out of the conversation about the reasons and impacts of global migration because they do not know the ‘right’ questions to ask, or due to fear of saying the ‘wrong thing’.

January 2018 – Immigration Museum, Melbourne

Carlton Festival

June 2019 – Bunjil Place Studio Theatre

June 2019 – St Paul’s African House, Shepparton

November 2019 – Footscray Community Arts Centre

March 2021 – The Drum Theatre, Dandenong

April 2021 – City of Whittlesea

Bukjeh can be staged in a traditional theatre, studio space, unconventional indoor space or even in the right circumstances, outdoors. It can be presented for an intimate audience of up to 50, or for larger groups in “theatre mode”.

Bukjeh can be presented as a standalone performance, or it can be the culmination of a week of community engagement activities with local communities or schools.

Cast x 6; Crew x 3

Running time: 40 mins

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To book this show get involved or email us on info@bukjeh.org

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