The mixing room opens

The mixing room opens

On Saturday 10th April Te Papa opened The Mixing Room, stories from young refugees in New Zealand to the contributors, their families and of course the public. Over 250 people gathered from Nelson, Hamilton, Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Palmerston North in the Wellington Foyer and the Red Couches meeting room to eagerly await the formalities of the opening.

Guests from around the country gather in the Red Couches meeting room
Guests from around the country gather in the Red Couches meeting room
Guests from Christchurch
Guests from Christchurch

Invited guests warmly received speeches by Michelle Hippolite, Te Papa’s Kaihautū and Acting CEO, Joris de Bres, Race Relations Commissioner Kaihautū Whakawhanaunga-ā-Iwi, Anita Azizi from Afghanistan and Abdalla Gabriel from Sudan, two of our young refugee advisors and key contributors in the development of the Mixing Room exhibition.

Abdalla with Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast
Abdalla with Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast
Martine and friend from Rwanda
Martine and friend from Rwanda
Joris de Bres addresses the guests
Joris de Bres addresses the guests

Once the doors opened to gallery, I encountered shrieks of laughter, flooding tears, proud parents beaming smiles…and that was just me!  Seriously, it was amazing and people were so thrilled to see what their work and commitment had culminated in.  Talk about ‘The Mixing Room’! At one stage I counted 23 different ethnic communities engaging with each other and the content of the show.

The Mixing Room presents the giant digital photomosaic
The Mixing Room presents the giant digital photomosaic
Farah and family in the Mixing Room
Farah and family in the Mixing Room
Patrick looking at Sarah looking at Patrick!
Patrick looking at Sarah looking at Patrick!
Digital tables in action
Digital tables in action
Visitors enjoying exploring the contributor content
Visitors enjoying exploring the contributor content

The fun continued on throughout the afternoon with a diverse events programme on the Marae here at Te Papa.  From Myanmar dancers, Sudanese poetry readings, Congolese hip hop dancers and all MC’d by our very own Kristelle.

Myanmar dancers
Myanmar dancers
Red performs on the Marae
Red performs on the Marae
Young refugee dancers bust a move during a performance at The Mixing Room opening
Young refugee dancers bust a move during a performance at The Mixing Room opening
Abdalla's poetry reading
Abdalla’s poetry reading

Thanks to everyone around the country who have made this one of the most engaging, rewarding and meaningful projects I personally have ever worked on.  For more photograph check out The Mixing Room’s Flickr photo stream

Best wishes and keep visiting,

Sarah ‘LIVE & DIRECT’ from ‘The Mixing Room’

1 Comment

  1. Looks like fun! And nicely written too x x

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