Saying Farewell to We Bleed the Same
It is with mixed feelings that we say farewell to the We Bleed the Same Exhibition. On display since March 2022, this Exhibition has been seen by hundreds of people attending events and moving through the RSSS foyer on ANU Campus.
We celebrated this moving exhibition on the evening of 21 February, and the event started with ANU student and We Bleed the Same Masterclass alum Shebani Jeyakumar MCing. Shebani shared her thoughts and experiences on the exhibition, and the impact that participating in the masterclasses had on her and her family:
I was a We Bleed the Same Masterclass student who shared the story of my fifteen-year old brother’s experiences with racism in Australia. Since primary school, he has been called the n-word and other derogatory slurs and was even punched by another student at the end of last year for the colour of his skin... I could see that the opening of the exhibition visibly changed my brother’s attitude towards the racism he was experiencing. He received so much love and support by the people who have seen the exhibition. Even my family has changed, my mum and sister gaining the courage to confront the school. When people ask me how he is now, I can honestly say with so much pride that he is so much more outgoing and confident when going to school.
We were also very honoured to welcome Wailwan, Wongaibon Elder James Michael Welsh (Uncle Widdy), who shared with us his deeply moving story of being a survivor of the Stolen Generation at the Kinchela Boys Home. Uncle Widdy spoke passionately about the ongoing importance of community and family connections for the wellbeing of our Firts Nations young people.
Thanks go to our inaugural Fellow for Arts and Media Activism, Liz Deep-Jones, who curated the show with internationally recognised photographer Tim Bauer and with the support of show designer Brenda Dwyer. We would also thank Prof. Bronwyn Perry, Dean of the College of Arts and Social Sciences, along with everyone else who has supported this exhibition over the last year.
Though we are sad to see it go, we are pleased to share that We Bleed the Same will now hit the road with our continued support, and will feature at Charter Hall in Sydney during an International Women's Day event. It will also be on display at Woollahra Library, the Maritime Museum, Griffith Gallery, and we also hope to hold another round of masterclass sessions in arts activism.
We've been tremendously proud to support this exhibition and hope it continues to facilitate conversation around NSW and around the country.