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Bamiyarra Dinner – Farkhonda’s speech

Farkhonda Akbari

Farkhonda Akbari

Our first public outing was scheduled for the 18 – 19 November 2011. It was to be held in collaboration with Afghan Voices, a project based in Afghanistan that trains Afghan young adults to produce news and documentaries. We were excited by the prospect of having a number of their team in Australia, meeting with and potentially developing a collaboration with ours. Regrettably, Afghan Voices had their funding cut back limiting their plans for an Australian visit. Regardless, the Home Lands management committee decided we proceed with an invitation only event that would bring all those involved in our project, from its inception to the present, to acknowledge what we have achieved to date, and present our plans for 2012.

Farkhonda Akbari, who not only assisted with the logistics of the event whilst on work experience with the Cultural Development Network, opened and MC’d the evening. Farkhonda described her role as an  “important as a bridge between the two cultures – the informality that is within the Hazaragi culture in contrast to the timed and set schedule of Australian expectations. I had to make sure there are no clashes and misunderstandings by actively staying in touch with both sides.”

Good evening every one…

I would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri People who are the Traditional Custodians of this Land. I would also like to pay respect to the Elders both past and present of the Kulin Nation and extend that respect to other Indigenous Australians present.

Welcome to our presentation of Bamiyarra, a Home Lands project, bringing young Hazara in Melbourne and abroad together in collaboration with Andrew Garton and a network of other local artists. We are working together to tell stories that are meaningful to Hazaras in Australia, and to Australians in general. We are producing a series of short documentaries that will be screened at next years Emerge Festival and two exhibition works that will be hosted in collaboration with Signal next year as well.

This project has become an important platform for us, young Hazaras, in representing our selves through our personal stories and reviving our long-lost culture. In this short amount of time that we have spent in this project, we have been able to clear some of the blurred path towards an “identity” – a lost… a broken… identity…

I now would like to call Andrew Garton, the producer and media artist of this project to talk more about this project… please welcome Andrew Garton…

Tonight we have brought some of our hazaragi cultural costume, musical instrument and other items. I invite you all to have a glimpse of the colour and pattern of our culture. In each of this art pieces a silenced story is hidden… story of deprivation, limitation, and oppression…. Yet Hazara woman have thread hope with their needle on the fabric.. And today it is our responsibility to carry the silenced legacy and shout it silenced voices, preserve a culture from the people of Republic of Silence – Hazaraistan…. Afghanistan….

Enjoy the food and the traditional Hazaragi music played by one of the well-known and prominent Hazaragi Singer Ustad Khair Ali Shahristani…


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