MAPgroup’s Beyond Borders project documents the unique experiences of asylum seekers and refugees seeking a safer life under exceptionally challenging circumstances. Coming from a range of countries including Burma, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Jordan, Colombia, Iran and Somalia, Sri Lanka, South Sudan, Palestine, Dagestan, Somalia, Congo, Uganda, Thailand and Syria, Beyond Borders highlights the participants’ multifaceted stories.
Beyond Borders was first screened as a multimedia production at Federation Square in 2014 to coincide with World Refugee Week. In 2015, Beyond Borders was screened as a feature event at Sydney’s Head On Photo Festival and at Dandenong to mark World Refugee Day. MAPgroup also presented a large paste up of photographs from the project at Footscray Community Arts Centre.
In 2015, Beyond Borders was presented as a photographic exhibition at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, showing at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E). The exhibition was viewed by over 2,700 people and received national media coverage including being profiled in The Age, ABC and Sydney Morning Herald.
In 2017, the second installment of Beyond Borders, with a new collection of stories, was again exhibited at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale. MAPgroup is currently working on a third installment of Beyond Borders.
Behind The Scenes with nicole marie
Hi, Nicole here. This is a little behind the scenes info on this project, to provide some context for you to enjoy the imagery more closely.
I’m part of a documentary photo collective called MAP Group. It’s a non-profit association of photographers across Australia who share a commitment to high quality, independent documentary photography. We come together at various points of the year to collaborate on group projects together.
This is part of an ongoing project called Beyond Borders; documenting the unique experiences of asylum seekers and refugees seeking a safer life in Australia under exceptionally challenging circumstances. As a counterweight to the predominantly negative tone regarding asylum seekers in mainstream media, I wanted to find and share stories of connection and positivity within this community.
The first story I found and created was about a young asylum seeker called Soli. He had been a child soldier in Sudan. And when he arrived to Australia in the middle of the night, he was whisked away directly to a detention centre. So actually, he had no idea what Australia looked like or where he was really.
On his release from his centre, he had no accommodation, no financial support, no family and limited english. A worker from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre offered to provide temporary weekend accommodation for him. And they made a strong connection and formed this amazing friendship. He stayed with them and flourished; went to school, found work. They each talked about how much this unexpected experience had enriched their lives. They became a family.
Thanks for taking the time to listen in today. If you’d like to chat about your upcoming projects with me, please call me or email me through my contact page. Love to hear from you.
Nicole Marie Photography