In Arabic, Bukjeh is a small pack of belongings carried by travellers and refugees. By inviting an audience into our suitcases, sacks and pockets, we are sharing our feelings, memories and experiences of home – and of having to leave it.  

Our stories define us and make us unique. The testimonies of those displaced in this ever-changing world are worth documenting and sharing with this, and future, generations.  

We are authors of our own stories, choosing which stories to tell and how to tell them – song, dance, poetry/spoken word, visual art, and more. 
In collaboration with diaspora artists from Australia and around the world, Bukjeh is an installation in a disaster relief tent, and a series of short performances created with people who have been forced to leave their homes, in response to children’s questions about refugees.. 

Performed in Arabic, First Nations Australian languages, and English.  
البقجة باللغة العربية هي مجموعة صغيرة من المتعلقات التي يحملها المسافرون واللاجئون. من خلال دعوة الجمهور إلى حقائبنا و اكياسنا وجيوبنا ، فإننا نشارك مشاعرنا وذكرياتنا وتجاربنا في المنزل – والاضطرار إلى مغادرته. 

قصصنا تحددنا وتجعلنا مميزين. تستحق شهادات أولئك النازحين في هذا العالم المتغير باستمرار التوثيق والمشاركة مع هذه الأجيال والأجيال القادمة 

نحن مؤلفون لقصصنا الخاصة ، نختار القصص التي نرويها وكيف نرويها – أغنية ، رقص ، شعر / كلمة منطوقة ، فن بصري ، وأكثر من ذلك 

بالتعاون مع فناني الشتات من أستراليا وحول العالم ، يعد بقجة تركيبًا في خيمة للإغاثة من الكوارث ، وسلسلة من العروض القصيرة التي تم إنشاؤها مع أشخاص أجبروا على مغادرة منازلهم ، ردًا على أسئلة الأطفال حول اللاجئين  
أديت باللغة العربية واللغات الأسترالية للأمم الأولى والإنجليزية

LOCATION: Courtyard/ Forecourt Steps / Admin Balcony/ Rehearsal Hub/ Box Office Area

Created by Aseel Tayah 

Key artists and collaborators: 

Directed by: Aseel Tayah 
Dramaturge: Sarah kriegler 
Designer: Hannah Murphy 
Production Manager: Kush Kuiy 
Musical Director: Camile Feghali 
Poetry Artist: Rania Ahmed 
Composer Artist: Meena Shamaly 
Movement Artist: Pepe (Jose Inostroza Aqueveque) 
Narrator: Oz Malik 

Funders and logo acknowledgements: Australian Council of the Art, Creative Victoria  

Aseel’s Bio 

Aseel Tayah is an award-winning artist, director, producer and activist from Palestine who has been living and working in Melbourne since 2016. 

Since 2018 she created her signature project Bukjeh, a powerful and affirming storytelling performance for refugee and asylum seeking artists, performed inside a redesigned disaster relief tent. Since then Bukjeh has gone on to be performed dozens of times across Victoria to thousands of deeply moved audience. 

Aseel’s work is an inspiring mix of activism, grassroots culture, and a passionate belief in the power of eliciting the personal stories of “ordinary” people in the community. She works with a committed group of fellow artists to share, connect and celebrate with language and music. 

In addition to her community performance work, Aseel Aseel turned a string of cancelled engagements during the 2020 lockdown into a dynamic schedule of digital panels, workshops and performances for Refugee Week, attracting more than 20 thousand viewers from across the world. Then she went on to single handedly compile and deliver one thousand children’s activity packs to families in hard lockdown in public housing towers. At the end of the year her tireless work was acknowledged with the Victorian Multicultural Commission Award of Excellence in the Arts (the inaugural award), the Women Acknowledging Women Award and a nomination for an Australian Muslim achievement Award. 

Specific accessibility information for this event:

Visual Rating: 50%
This event is partly subtitled or includes dialogue, background music and/or sounds, so d/Deaf and hard of hearing audiences can have some engagement with the event.

Aural Rating: 75%
Mainly sound-based, with visuals only incidental to the work, so blind or low vision audiences can have close to the full experience of the event.