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Mostafa Faraji


For me, art is a way of communicating with the world. When I arrived in Tasmania in 2013, I struggled with speaking English and making friends. I discovered a way to communicate my emotions through painting, by expressing my relationship with landscape. I left my home country, ‘Kurdistan’ and all that I knew behind to travel by boat to Australia. At the age of fifteen I became an asylum seeker. Upon my arrival to Australia, I was detained for a long time on Christmas Island before migrating to the main island. To cope with losing my friends and family, I taught myself how to draw. I had no access to paint at the detention centre and my movements were restricted. Many of my earlier works were landscapes with no colour to symbolise the void I felt within. Once I was released from detention, I was allowed to access paints and I started to experience hope. Painting taught me how to interpret life through the beauty of landscape. Only recently, I have felt compelled to share my life story and those I have met on my journey as a refugee.