Northcity4 is proud to support the launch of the First Key of Sea Journal.
Northcity4’s Romani Benjamin shares with you the story of the journal in anticipation of our Exchanges Seminar on October 31:
The Key of Sea musical collaborations, which you can hear on 2 CD’s released in 2010 and again in 2012, were a powerful illustration of the joy and enthusiasm that can be generated when artists and musicians from other countries are given the chance to showcase their talents and tell stories. Not only did the music celebrate our heritage in all its diversity, it gave a personal face to the refugee experience – something that is missing all too often from the representation of the issue in the media and the political arena. The critical acclaim, sales and warm public reception of the Key of Sea CDs proved that there is a hunger in the community to embrace and explore the stories and cultural inheritance of our recent migrants. Check out the music on the Key of Sea website
Earlier this year we decided to take these goals and outcomes into the artistic and literary communities and the Key of Sea Journal was commenced. Its now printed and ready to be released to all of you who are interested.
Our vision was to create the Key of Sea Journal: a beautifully designed, full-colour publication that provides people with refugee background and artists of all sorts with the chance to creatively respond to each other’s work, as well as to the wider themes around displaced people. We were inundated by a diverse and vibrant collection of essays, fiction, graphic novel strips, musings, art, poetry, film reviews and photography, inspired and informed by the experiences of refugees and migrants in Australia. The guiding principle was the use of collaboration to give a personal insight into the social and cultural issues of the refugee experience.
The Journal beautifully displays the art work of Shaun Tan, Oslo Davis, Lucy James, First Dog and Northcity4’s own Romani Benjamin and Katherine Bowman. We have thought provoking articles from Julian Burnside, Michael Gordon and Waleed Aly, humour from Danny Katz, poems, cartoons and a graphic novel within the pages.
We also worked closely with Ondru and the Refugee Art Project to include amazing stories and artwork from those people who join us in Australia after experiencing first hand refugee policy, detention centres and torment in their own countries.
The collection is diverse and wonderful!
We hope to influence the debate about refugees in Australia in a number of ways which include:
- Provide members of the refugee community with the chance to have their talents and stories celebrated.
- To counterbalance the fear, negativity and sense of hopelessness that often accompanies discussions of refugees and asylum seekers by illuminating the experiences, abilities and personalities of individuals who have come to our country as refugees and migrants.
- To give local artists and writers the chance to connect with, work alongside and respond creatively to refugees to enrich both their understanding of other cultures and their artistic practice.
- To educate the general public by providing them with a meaningful gateway into the refugee issue through a beautiful collection of art and literature.
- To illustrate to refugees and recent migrants that they are not invisible to the wider community – that their experiences and stories form an important part of the patchwork of our history and heritage, and are worthy of preserving and disseminating.
The Key of Sea Journal team is Romani Benjamin (KOS), Hugh Crosthwaite (KOS), Davina Bell (Editor), Caroline Williams (Publisher), Rachel Davis (Refugee liaison) and Imogen Stubbs (Designer).
What better way for Northcity4 to help promote the Journal than to initiate discussion? We invite you to join us for an evening of conversation with the Key of Sea founders, alongside Courtney Green, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Social and Community Development Coordinator and artist Marian Talia Pau, a maker and aspiring ‘Matuauu’, (Samoan matai chief language for Super Weaver).
The evening will highlight and discuss the importance of cultural exchanges.
Each of these three groups believe that at the heart of nurturing and celebrating diversity within our communities is openness and giving people the opportunity for partnerships to develop and creative expression to flourish.
This seminar will explore local examples of how various forms of creative exchange have been used to celebrate and support difference, whilst at the same time offering an opportunity for individuals to feel safe, inspired and supported
Romani Benjamin and Hugh Crosthwaite will talk about the Key of Sea, an initiative that aims to create a lasting celebration of Australia’s cultural diversity through music.
Maryann Talia Pau is a maker who will share how she explores the language of weaving to celebrate her Samoan ancestry, while at the same time using it to inform her identity as an Australian.
Courtney Green from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre will discuss how Australia’s leading asylum seeker organization is using community engagement and mentorship to assist some of the most disadvantaged people in our community
To buy a copy of the Key of Sea Journal please contact Romani Benjamin via email to place an order.
$25 per Journal or $35 which the Journal and a copy of Key of Sea Vol 2
Copies of the Journal and Vol 2 CD will be for sale at Northcity4 on Thursday 31st October.