RECALLING THE JOURNEY II is a rich collection of mini biographies that reflect the experience of migration from 28 angles.
On a broad level, these stories, seamlessly, reveal aspects of significant historic events such as: the 1922 conflict between Greeks & Turks, WWII, and the more recent displacement of people from the former Yugoslavia, just to mention a few.
“I hear several gunshots and hear Grandma scream, ‘Get on the floor!’ from the kitchen. She is clearly OK, she is not shot or anything, but what immediately crosses my mind is her blood-pressure problem.” – Manja Nefeli
On a personal level, they are journeys of gritty courage, resilience, loss of everything and everyone important to them, in parts humorous, of cultural heritage packaged in the luggage, of having to accommodate ‘the new’ while mourning ‘the old’, and while holding a mirror to the past, each one is a bridge to an optimistic future.
“After more uneventful morning drills, everyone stayed on deck to escape the heat below, but then had to hide from the sun and the heating metal of the upper deck. It was a makeshift refugee camp. Some dozed under lifeboats. Others tried to get relief by using sheets and blankets as sunshades. Some read; others loafed in groups, talking, joking, laughing, farting, smoking and sharing the lunacies of heat and boredom.” – Sergio Cerne
Most importantly, they are stories that at best have been overlooked and by consequence, completely absent in the annals of Australian history.
Spanning from the mid 1850s to 2012, each of the stories coalescing between the pages in this literary vessel, enables us to reflect and rethink the way we respond to immigration to Australia in the 21st century.
With history comes weight. We can either be held down by it, or use it to create momentum. Joe Toohey CEO Regional Arts Victoria
In Recalling the Journey II, we meet ‘Memory Keepers’ whose roots are: Bosnian, Chinese, English, French, Greek, Dutch, Iranian, Italian, Kurdish, Maltese, Palestinian, Taiwanese, Turkish, Ukrainian; and who, as the agent for transmitting their family story, also give us a peek at Australia’s social history at the time of their family’s migration.