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‘This One Thing’: migrants share their stories in South West photography exhibition

If you had to leave your home forever but you could only take one sentimental item with you, what would you take?

It is a question faced by the thousands of migrants and refugees everyday, and the subject of a unique photography exhibition coming to the South West.

‘This One Thing’ opens Saturday night at the Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre, an exhibition sharing the journeys of 16 people who left their home country and now call the South West their home.

Created by the Bunbury Multicultural Group Inc This One Thing celebrates the stories and cultural identities of these people by sharing the ‘one thing’ they couldn’t leave behind in their home country.

“The aim of this project is to give people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds a platform to tell their story,” Bunbury Multicultural Group chair Susanne Becker-Hamersley said.

“Celebrating our unique stories is an ongoing discovery that helps unite and educate us as we understand each other’s perspectives, experiences and journeys.”

Sponsored by Simcoa and the Rotary Club of South Bunbury, the Photography Group of Bunbury took portraits of each participant, who then recorded an audio-clip about the item they brought with them.

Christin Svӓrd brought a traditional Norwegian dress, Widi Astuti Farrow has a photo of her dad taken back in Indonesia and Nyanyul Aguer brought a headband worn traditionally by the Dinka people from South Sudan.

Ms Becker-Hamersley said sharing stories can help people move past their “fear of the unknown” and help dispel myths about different cultural groups, helping to instead build harmony and acceptance in the community.

“Stories and the sharing of cultural traditions strongly connect people in a community and build mutual respect,” explains Ms Becker-Hamersley,”

“We are grateful for the help we have received from the Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre regarding staging an exhibition to do just this.”

This One Thing will run from June 4 to August 28.

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