Abdalla in the house!

Abdalla is one of our stars in The Mixing Room, stories from young refugees in New Zealand exhibition opening this Saturday 10 April at Te Papa.  His poetry and a short film of his life in NZ that he made in some workshops will be showcased with the work of other young people from refugee backgrounds, making a new life for themselves in Aotearoa, NZ.

Abdalla along with others that share a refugee background, has willingly given his time to assist The Mixing Room exhibition team to ‘keep real’ about this show.  He has come to meetings every fortnight for the last year or more to offer Te Papa staff advice on content, marketing, events etc.

We hope it has been beneficial for the young people involved as well. One of the main objectives for the Mixing Room project has been to give young men and women ‘a voice’ and some skills and tools to enable them to share their stories about becoming Kiwis with both national and international visitors to Te Papa.

Abdalla at the photography workshop in Wellington. Photograph by Farah Omar, 2009

Abdalla uses poetry to help him work through his life experiences of growing up in refugee camps after fleeing war-torn Sudan and learning to rely on himself. He writes…


Perhaps one day I shall go out into the quietened city

and recognise myself among the crowds of souls.

I will say to them,

‘Hey look, there goes the man I really am.’

Will they dare to acknowledge me? No one responds.

There is silence in the atmosphere, Silence on mountain tops, silence beneath the universe.

Then the world moves on restlessly,

making its love, greed, pride, and money; minding its own business.

Shamefully I close my eyes, then rest my mouth,

as silence is the only language

that does not need an interpreter.

Listen to his radio show on Wednesday’s at 3.00pm on Access Radio 783am. This Wednesday 7th April he’s interviewing Sarah the Concept Interpreter and Steph the Curator of the Mixing Room project and exhibition.  LIVE & DIRECT!

You can see and hear lots of other media that these young people have produced by visiting The Mixing Room blog

Let us know what you think.

One Response

  1. Sherry King

    (as above) A Young Woman’s Story from the Kakuma Refugee Camp

    I would have liked to view this, but it is not there when I click on the link.


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