Drawing, coloured pencil on paper by Zahra Jafari, a Hazara refugee from Afghanistan living in Indonesia, created in 2015 while she attended the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre, Bogor, Indonesia. It portrays her dangerous journey from war-torn Afghanistan on a boat to Indonesia and her dream of coming to Australia. After years awaiting refugee acceptance, she and her family were finally accepted by Canada. She remains separated for her brother in Australia.

Physical Description

Coloured pencil drawing.


Zahra's drawing, her experiences as a refugee, and friendship on Facebook with donor John Taylor speak to immigration policy and contemporary Australia. Refugees trying to reach Australia are a part of Australian history as indicative of a time when Australian immigration policies changed significantly. A social media friendship represents a historical shift in how social media is impacting international relationships and connections between Australians and people seeking asylum. These stories are of contemporary local and global significance as the Australian public actively engage stories and experiences of refugees, asylum seekers and off-shore detainees.

Social media facilitates human connections and plays a role in how the refugee diaspora living in displacement informs Australian public consciousness and activism. In the history of activism, social media has informed Australian public of conditions otherwise not known and created friendships and networks of support that become a part of refugee and migrants lives in Australia. This particular object also provides the Museum with the opportunity to document the experiences of people who wish to, but cannot become, Australian citizens. It is a way to document absence through material culture, and to position Australia within the global refugee context.

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