Bamiyarra is a Home Lands v2 project – a unique concept that asks artists to collaborate with young Hazara to make art and engage in conversations about cultural origins and transformations, youth identity and aspirations.
The genus of the project grew from the Home Lands initiative to connect young people from refugee backgrounds to their home lands and separated communities.
Home Lands began as a series of informal discussions in 2006 and transformed into a funded research project in 2007 through the efforts of the former La Trobe Refugee Research Centre, the Cultural Development Network, the Centre for Multicultural Youth, APC.au and the City of Melbourne Arts and Participation Program.
Prior iterations of Home Lands saw projects roll out with young former refugees from the Sudanese and Karen communities. That was Home Lands v1. In 2011 we introduced a broad media arts production program and a new community of former asylum seekers, the Hazara. This became known as Home Lands v2.
In collaboration with our new team a suite of creative projects emerged under the project name of Bamiyarra, linking Melbourne’s Yarra River with the Afghanistan province of Bamiyan, home to many Hazara, and the giant Buddha statues destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. The Hazara are the direct descendants of the builders of the Buddhas of Bamiyan. Bamiyarra tells their stories.
Home Lands v2 is a collaboration between La Trobe University, Swinburne University of Technology, City of Melbourne and the Cultural Development Network. Home Lands is funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant, City of Melbourne and the Cultural Development Network.