Art For Grabs: Shining a light on the plight of refugees


Meet and mingle with refugees, friends and like-minded people at Art For Grabs, happening on June 6 and 7 at The School, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya in Selangor.

Organised in collaboration with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the independent arts and crafts market commemorates World Refugee Day, which falls on June 20. It also serves to create awareness on issues that have been making recent headlines – the plight of refugees in the country.

In light of its focus on the experience of refugees, the upcoming edition of Art For Grabs is featuring 20 arts-and-crafts booths by refugees (Myanmar, Iran, Somalia, etc), as well as a series of performances and talks by this community.

A special performance (on both days), themed “Longing For Home”, will involve refugees in Malaysia. Immerse yourself in song and dance from their homeland and listen to them exchange notes about life in Malaysia and beyond.

On June 7, four young refugees will also be sharing the story of their lives in exile, and how opportunities that came their way in Malaysia have made a difference.

Also on June 7, Malaysian filmmaker Mahi Rama-krishnan’s 30-minute documentary, Seeds Of Hatred, will be screened – highlighting the persecution of the Rohingyas in Myanmar and the issues surrounding the country’s peace process in a society divided.

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The half-hour film also raises the question as to whether the Rohingya can go home to Myanmar, where currently they remain stateless. Where can the Rohingyas of Myanmar go?

Mahi will also present a few photos, shot in displaced peoples’ camps in Myanmar and the refugee settlements in Malaysia, to narrate individual stories of displacement, rape and killings unleashed against the minority Rohingya.

Mahi has travelled extensively in Asia Pacific to report and direct documentaries on trafficking issues, child sex, plight of the Rohingya and war/conflict in Sri Lanka.

Benefiting refugees

There will also be 64 booths by Malaysian vendors, selling self-made wares – from pottery to poetry, paintings to pet biscuits.

Gerai OA, Suka Society and KL Book Exchange will be at the event, as will Fixi (book launch), Mynrose Studio (workshop) and a group of standup comedians and musicians.

Another highlight on June 7 is the Malaysians 4 Refugees discussion touching on Malaysian projects using the arts to empower refugees in Malaysia, and what the refugees in turn teach us about ourselves.

The event venue is sponsored by The School @ Jaya One, with buntings and posters sponsored and printed by C&P Screentech Enterprise.

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Intricate Islamic motif art by Iranian asylum seeker.
Intricate Islamic motif art by Iranian asylum seeker.

Soaps and massage oils made by refugees from Myanmar.
Soaps and massage oils made by refugees from Myanmar.

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Handmade clutches by refugees from Myanmar.
Handmade clutches by refugees from Myanmar.

Traditional handwoven cloth by Chin refugees.
Traditional handwoven cloth by Chin refugees.

[/vc_column][/vc_row]Art For Grabs: World Refugee Day schedule

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"]Saturday, June 6

12pm

World Refugee Day launch by UNHCR Malaysia

2pm

Double book launch by Buku Fixi

Nota by Shaz Johar and Pekan-Pekan Kertas by John Green

3pm

"Longing For Home" Part 1

Performance and sharing by members of refugee communities in Malaysia

4pm

Celebrate Your Passion

Inspirational workshop by Mynrose Studio

5pm

Treehouse Open Mic

Music performances by Isaac Ho, The Red Panda Parade, Yo Zi and Teh Yi Wen

6pm

Melayu Dan Makna-Maknanya: Forum on Malay identity by Projek Dialog

Featuring Syahredzan Johan, Nurhayyu Zainal, Dyana Sofea, Yati Kaprawi, and Syed Muhammad Muhiyuddin Al-Attas

[/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"]Sunday, June 7

12pm

Treehouse Open Mic

Music performances by Anatashiaa, Nicholas Sia, Aaron Wong and Mikhail Raiyan

1pm

Seeds of Hatred: Documentary film screening by Mahi Ramakrishnan

Looking at the Muslim minority Rohingya situation in Myanmar.

3pm

"Longing For Home" Part 2

Performance and sharing by members of refugee communities in Malaysia

4pm

Rebuilding Lives

Four refugee youths talk about their lives in exile

5pm

People Like You And Me

Malaysians 4 Refugees talk about art projects to empower refugees in Malaysia

6pm

Laughs For Grabs

Malaysian comedians Justin Heyes, Brian Tan, Keren Bala Devan, Aw Yuong Tuck and Sim Ton take a dig at GST

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Art For Grabs is on at The School, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya on June 6 and 7, from 12pm- 8pm. Visit www.facebook.com/artforgrabs for more information.

 

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