New Zealand Now - From Refugees to Kiwis

Photograph: Nando Azevedo

Photograph: "Every time I come to the ocean I feel close to home. It's one of the places I can come and lose my mind in it." Tazmine, former refugee.

Many people from refugee backgrounds have made New Zealand their home. Their past may be in another country, but their present and future is here.

New Zealand Now - From Refugees to Kiwis, by social documentary photographer and filmmaker Nando Azevedo, is about those people.

The images sit alongside the museums current exhibition by social practise artist Tiffany Singh, Journey of a Million Miles - Following Steps. The exhibition explores the journeys made by migrants to New Zealand and focuses on inspiring real-life experiences. The installation personalises and examines the conversations around the process of resettling in Aotearoa. 

The photographs, showing people who have shown extraordinary resilience in the face of adversity, emerging with determination, will be on display until November.

New Zealand benefits enormously from resettling refugees. Former refugees make our country a richer and more diverse place to live and significantly contribute to New Zealand's prosperity. 
Yet when people think of refugees it's often in negative terms -poor, helpless, weak and often as a threat. They see them as a term 'refugee·. and forget about the people behind the word.

  

Many people forget that being a refugee is only a temporary classification - one stage in the journey to safety. It is not a permanent status but merely a label. 
The New Zealanders Now project came about through the need to peel back that label, and remove the barriers and obstacles it creates in the path to resettlement. 
The Auckland Refugee Community Coalition want to change the narrative, redefine the word 'refugee·.

The exhibition has recently been on display at Ponsonby Central as part of the Auckland Festival of Photography.

 

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