Stories from the Other Side

Monday 24 May 2021 - Sunday 08 August 2021

SFTOS 2021 – Kalsoom 2016 Bogor, Indonesia – Photo by Zia Atahi

Stories from the Other Side is a series of photographs taken in Bogor, Indonesia by Zia Atahi. The pictures represent stories of the challenging lives of refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.

There are more than ten thousand refugees in limbo in the camp. These refugees have been waiting for more than seven years with no updates on their applications for residency. These people are without work rights, or the right to continue with education. The majority of them left their loved ones in search of a place where they can find peace, safety and a good future for their children. With limited resources and help, every day is a dark day in their lives and most of them have lost hope: in the past few years, a number have committed suicide, most of them being young men.

Zia Atahi’s biggest inspiration for this work is the journey of his father, who migrated to Australia by boat after fleeing the war in Afghanistan. Atahi identifies strongly with the stories of those depicted. While in Bogor, Indonesia he witnessed a lot of refugees suffering from mental illnesses, isolation, depression and loneliness. Throughout his work Atahi seeks a deeper connection to the people photographed, not focusing solely on the negative in order to retain the subjects’ self-determination. These people are inspiring, strong and talented. They should have the equal rights of other human beings.

17 Artworks have been selected and chosen by Zia for the Exhibition to represent their stories.

Stories from the Other side is part of the City of Yarra 2021 Exhibition Program supported by Yarra City Arts.

Location: Richmond Town Hall
333 Bridge Road, Richmond
Hours: 8.30am - 5pm, Monday - Friday

You can find a digital walkthrough of this exhibition here.


Richmond Town Hall

Date and time:
08.30am - 05.00pm
Monday 24 May 2021 - Sunday 08 August 2021

333 Bridge Road, Richmond