The Finding Home project, a moving collaborative project that reflects how Canadian students of immigrant parents, newly arrived refugee students, and immigrant youth interpret the concept of home, culminates in an exhibition of student work opening this week at the Aga Khan Museum. The project is a partnership between the Aga Khan Museum and artist-curators Vanessa Barnett and Elena Soní together with students, teachers, and administrators from Greenwood Secondary School and Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute. It provided an opportunity for newly arrived refugee students to work through their journeys of adjustment to Canada through artistic expression. Many newly arrived refugee students from Syria, Columbia, Iraq, Sudan, Hungary, The Congo, Nigeria, and Eritrea participated.
The artist-curators are immigrant women who have experienced the reality of loss, separation, longing and memories of family having immigrated to Canada from South Africa and Venezuela from the realities of oppression and racism in their home countries.
Finding Home: Personal Journeys and Visual Narratives reflects the way refugee and immigrant young adults learn to take the invisible concept of home with them and recreate it in new settings. Authentic voice in finding home is one of the most important aspects of this project. Students created small, individual structures that are personal metaphors to represent their ideas. The students, all between the ages of 14 and 20, engaged in a process of expressing their dreams, fears, conflicts and hopes in a collaborative creation.