They speak different languages and struggle to understand each other but their insightful photographs now showing in a Wollongong exhibition convey the same message.
The photographic exhibition in Wollongong Mall launched on World Aids Day (December 1), shines a light of support for the 35 million people around the world who are living with HIV.
Faraja Mugisho from Congo said he loved participating in the photographic project with other students from TAFE Illawarra Adult Migrant English Youth Group.
Mingtuong Tiang from Malaysia and Russian student Agniia Kniazeva also enjoyed creating artworks for the exhibition.
Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra youth development officer Anthony Scerri said the photographs turned out brilliantly.
‘’The young people who come from many different backgrounds and don’t even speak the same language have come together to create these insightful photographs,’’ he said.
Wollongong artist Nina Kourea also enjyed mentoring the students to create artworks highlighting their individual expressions.
‘’It was a pleasure teaching this group of young people,’’ Kourea said.
‘’I decided to focus on what happens in their lives on a daily basis to give people a glimpse into their worlds to represent the fact that people with HIV and AIDS come from all different backgrounds. So we asked the students to take part in a ‘day in a life’ project.
‘’They were all very keen and eager students and it was a joy to teach them. I learnt a lot about them and their backgrounds and we got to share some great stories.’’
Artworks will be showcased on the tree barriers throughout Wollongong City Mall and Wollongong Youth Services until December 14.
The exhibition is a collaborative project between Nina Kourea, Wollongong City Council Youth Services, Healthy Cities Illawarra, TAFE Illawarra and the MCCI Multicultural Youth Development Project.
Meantime, a number of other events were held throughout the Illawarra region to mark World AIDS Day.
These included a motorbike ride through Wollongong’s streets on December 1, organised by the Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service.The ride started at Dapto.