WATANDAR - My Countryman, Three Generations of Afghans in Australia

Ambassador Wahidullah Waissi with the Descendants of Afghan Cameleers||

Ambassador Wahidullah Waissi participated at the opening ceremony of Watandar, My Countrymen photo exhibition by Muzafar Ali in Adelaide.

The exhibition highlights identity and belonging linked to the Afghan Cameleers and their descendants in Australia.

In his opening speech, Ambassador Waissi discussed the significance of this exhibition and engagement of contemporary artists in presenting this less-known side of the Australian history.

Afghan refugee, photographer and human rights activist, Muzafar Ali, discovers that Afghans have been in Australia for 160 years it inspires a photographic journey to meet their descendants, his Watandar. Muzafar Ali in his remarks said that his search took him to the remote deserts, old Ghantowns and suburbs of South Australia in a quest to define his own new Afghan-Australian identity.

Through creative photography, this multimedia exploration of identity presents the lives of a largely hidden community, the Afghan Cameleer Descendants. A series of large-scale photographs are displayed alongside family heirlooms, cultural artefacts and Muzafar’s commentary at the Kerry Packer Civic Gallery of the University of South Australia.

"When I discovered there were Afghans already here, descended from people who arrived in the 1860s, I was compelled to capture their stories. I realised there were a number of issues connected to their stories: the stolen generation, racism and marginalisation. When I looked at these descendants I saw my own kids’ future. I want to show this through the photographs - these identities and connections, and explore the faultlines in the desert.” Muzafar said about his exhibition.

This exhibition is open until June 3rd, 2022 weekdays 9am - 5pm, until 6pm on Thursdays. 

Last modified on Tuesday, 24/05/2022

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