Alwatan to Home sought to create a welcoming space for women from Arabic-speaking backgrounds to come together and share their stories. A collaboration between CAN, City of Stirling and the Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre, Alwatan to Home centred on the women’s experiences of leaving the place they once called home, alwatan, to make a new life on Noongar country.
Over several weeks, textile/embroidery artist Susie Vickery and jewellery-maker Sultana Shamshi supported the women to unpack their deeply personal journeys and translate them to embroidered artworks. Strong friendships developed between the women, as they supported each other through the challenges of adjusting to new cultural norms, learning a new language, and navigating complex systems in a foreign country.
The embroidered artworks are documented in the الوطن الى البيت Alwatan to Home book, which also details how wars and changing governments forced many of the women to flee their homelands and sail across the world in order to seek a better life for their families in Australia. The book was presented back as a gift to the women involved in the project to honour their powerful narratives of resilience and survival.