10 Stories You Need to See in the Museum of Freedom and Tolerance Collection

Reflecting values of joy, hope and belonging

Human Rights (2018) by Duncan WrightMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

The Museum of Freedom and Tolerance is a museum with no walls, founded to promote a society where everyone can live peacefully with each other, free from racial and religious prejudice and discrimination. We are a cultural think tank and thought leader using art, history, technology and values-based education to promote social cohesion and dismantle racism, intolerance, fear and hate.

Human Rights (2018) by Duncan WrightMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

In partnership with community organisations, cultural institutions and artists, this collection enables us to embody our purpose as a cultural conduit that builds bridges - not walls - in our quest for a more peaceful society. 

19 / 03 (Makanya Road) (2020) by Chiluba YoungMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

The collection gives prominence to voices and stories by and for First Nations and multicultural communities, centralising them, increasing representation and challenging norms in relation to the broader narrative of what it means to be Australian today.

Human Rights (2018) by Duncan WrightMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

The collection is underpinned by six values - joy, hope, belonging, dignity, equality and freedom - and the stories within explore these values in both their full expression and their lack. It's through these stories, we invite our audience to consider and question their own relationship to these values, and responsibility to uphold them on behalf of others. 

Human Rights (2018) by Duncan WrightMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

Here are 10 stories that will empower us to practice greater empathy and respect, bringing more joy, hope and equality to our communities.

Moora Workshop (2016) by Christophe CanatoMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

1. Noongar Dolls: Stories of survival, resilience & healing

Explore how Community Arts Network (CAN) - through one of their most popular and long-running workshops - is facilitating the continuation of doll-making as a healing arts practice with members of the Stolen Generation.

Narrogin Dolls (2010) by Bo Wong and Narrogin EldersMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

Simple, but full of love, each doll is a symbol of resilience and survival, their story providing us with insights into Mission life.  Find out more.

Wadjemup Prisoners (1885) by State Library of Western AustraliaMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

2. The Truth of Wadjemup

Emerging curator Samara King shines a light into the dark history behind one of Western Australia's most iconic holiday destinations: Wadjemup (known as Rottnest Island).

Discover the true history of Wadjemup - from black prison to white playground, a story of survival and cultural resilience that every Australian should know. 

Australia: Mix it all up (2019) by John Prince SiddonMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

3. John Prince Siddon: All Mixed Up

In his major solo exhibition, All Mixed Up, Prince asks the viewer to challenge norms of Australian identity by taking symbols of his own culture, the landscape and contemporary culture and mixing them up with recognisable emblems of 'Australiana'.

Escape (2019) by John Prince SiddonMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

View contemporary Australia through the kaleidoscopic lens of Walmajarri artist John Prince Siddon, and read excerpts from Emilia Galatis' curatorial essay.

A long letter to home (2015) by Layli RakhshaMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

4. Layli Rakhsha: A long letter from home

Iranian-Australian artist Layli Rakhsha sent 100 hand-folded envelopes containing blank cards to Tehran, Iran. She asked friends, acquaintances and strangers to respond with their idea of home. 

A long letter to home (2015) by Layli Rakhsha and Unknown CollaboratorMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

In a delicate portrayal of the meaning of home and belonging, explore Layli's 82 responses.

Love and War - Dualities no.1 (2019) by Jessie ChenMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

5. Red Ink on White Orchid; Gold Ink on Bark

Artists Yi Xiao Chen and Osama Mah host workshops in which members of the public are invited to try their hand at painting Chinese and Arabic symbols - among others - onto the collected flora, much of which was collected from bushland near Chen's father's home.

Freedom and Tolerance (2019) by Osama Mah and Jessie ChenMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

Discover this tale of social cohesiveness, multiculturalism and community through the practice of hand painting.

Zainab Zahra Syed (2020) by Duncan WrightMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

6. Zainab Zahra Syed: Preservationist

Pakistani-Australian performance poet and producer Zainab Zahra Syed speaks of home: in place, in people and in herself. Her words lead us somewhere more vulnerable than we might otherwise live - somewhere we might think about our own versions of home and how they contribute to our identity; in turn, creating space for the identities of others.

Zainab Zahra Syed (2020) by Duncan WrightMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

Read the poems, discover her story and listen to Syed perform Looking for ladybugs (2012) in a short film by Duncan Wright.

Left to right: AUS pin, US pin (2020) by Melissa Cameron and Photo: Rob FrithMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

7. Connexions

In this exhibit, six artists respond to the horror of New Zealand's Christchurch Massacres by telling multicultural stories through contemporary jewellery to a global audience.

Blended. (2020) by Eden Lennox and Photo: Rob FrithMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

Zoom into their delicate designs and discover how their art practice holds and makes meaning for our collective identity.

Martuwarra (2020) by Sonia KurarraMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

8. Rivers of Consciousness: Sonia Kurarra’s Martuwarra

Discover the sublime works of Walmajarri artist Sonia Kurarra - who lives in and creates art from her aged-care home in Fitzroy Crossing - through the eyes of adoring curator Emilia Galatis.

Martuwarra (2020) by Sonia KurarraMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

Kurarra's works are interspersed with words from Galatis' curatorial essay, in which the enduring friendship and mutual appreciation between artist and curator is explored with heart and humour. Read the Rivers of Consciousness story.

Rose’s Yard (2016) by Evelyn MalgilMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

9. Between the Fence and Freedom: The Work of Evelyn Malgill

Explore the world of Evelyn Malgill, a modern artist and Traditional Owner working out of Warmun, Western Australia, whose work wrestles with tension between settler structures and traditional Country.

Rose's Down Station (2014) by Evelyn MalgilMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

With dancing brolgas, simple brush-stroke fences and indiscriminate water tanks amongst Malgil's majestic pink landscapes, dive into Malgil's world: explore more of Between the Fence and Freedom.

What does the world need to hear I (2017) by Monica Defendi and Alex DesebrockMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

10. Small Voices Louder: Little people, big ideas

Artist Alex Desebrock leads young people through a world of big ideas, asking them what they think the world needs to hear. The result is a podcast series that every adult needs to hear.

The Future (2017) by Monica Defendi and Alex DesebrockMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

What is love? What is important to remember in life? What is a big idea? Hear what Western Australian children think love is, what they think of adults, and what they want for the future.

Discover these stories and more in the Museum of Freedom and Tolerance collection.

Credits: Story

Header and introductory images by Duncan Wright, courtesy of Community Arts Network (CAN).

Noongar Dolls images by Christophe Canato and Bo Wong, courtesy of Community Arts Network (CAN).

Truth of Wadjemup curated by Samara King. Images rights belong to State Library of Western Australia.

John Prince Siddon: all works by the artist, images supplied by Mangkaja Arts.

A long letter to home works and photographs by artist Layli Rakhsha.

Red Ink on White Orchid; Gold Ink on Bark works and images by Jessie Yi Xiao Chen, in collaboration with Osama Mah and members of the public.

Zainab Zahra Syed images from the artist's personal archive and Duncan Wright.

Connexions: works by Melissa Cameron, Fatemeh Boroujeni and Eden Lenno, all images by Rob Frith.

Sonia Kurarra: all works by the artist, images supplied by Mangkaja Arts.

Eveleyn Malgill: all works by the artist, images supplied by Warmun Art Centre.

Small Voices Louder by Alex Desebrock. All images by Monica Defendi.

The Museum of Freedom and Tolerance has been supported in this project by Lotterywest.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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