Stories of We Bleed the Same

Image of a Tamil refugee, Thanush Selvarasa, standing behind bars.
Thanush Selvarasa. Image by Tim Bauer, as part of the We Bleed the Same Exhibition.

Come hear the stories of the people featured in the We Bleed the Same Exhbition. As part of this year's Canberra Writers' Festival, We Bleed the Same will be open to the public on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 August. Drop in any time throughout the day (9am-5pm) to view this spectacular collection of portraits. Exhibition co-curator Liz Deep-Jones will be available to show the public through the exhibition and to answer any questions.

As a special feature, we will hear the personal stories of those in the exhibition at 1.30pm each day.

1.30pm, Saturday 13 August – Thanush Selvarasa

I left my family and home in Sri Lanka behind because I wanted to come to Australia for safety and peace but they took away my freedom. I was locked up in indefinite detention for nearly 8 years, without being told why.

Thanush fled persecution in Sri Lanka at age 23, but instead of finding the safety he sought in Australia he was in offshore detention on Manus Island for over six years. Now Thanush is an outspoken advocate for the experiences of refugees in Australia and a critic of the Australian government's treatment of refugees who arrive by boat.

12.00pm Sunday 14 August – Mannie Kaur Verma

When Manmeet was a 21-year-old graduate and landed her first job as a lawyer, she was told she would lose business and never gain a reputation if people could not pronounce her name. Seven years on and she is a Principal Lawyer and an advocate for young women and girls from diverse backgrounds, trying to fight for their rights in a complex and challenging legal system. 

For more information check out the Canberra Writers' Festival website.

Image gallery

Updated:  10 August 2022/Responsible Officer:  Freilich Project/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications