This weekend, we opened the We Bleed the Same exhibition up to the Canberra Writers' Festival.
Inspired by the powerful images of We Bleed the Same, and their accompanying stories, Stories Behind We Bleed the Same was a chance for people to share their experiences of racism, race, and community connections in Australia. We were very grateful to both Thanush Selvarasa and Mannie Kaur Verma for coming to Canberra and telling their stories.
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.
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.
We are also grateful to others who spoke at the event. Pirithaa Vicknesh is an ANU alum and spoke openly and frankly about her own experiences of race is Australia, and of the importance of an exhibition like We Bleed the Same to help us reflect and act on racism today.
We Bleed the Same remains free and open to the public in the RSSS Building Foyer, 146 Ellery Cres, Acton every weekday until October.
Check our website for more information.
Thanks to all who attended.