Subtext: Art for Literacy is an intensive art project that merges arts with the written word to provide a powerful means for young people of refugee background to express the complex, diverse aspects of their pasts, presents and futures.
Engagement with the arts has proven social and cognitive value, and can play a role in connecting individuals to community and giving a voice to the marginalised and disenfranchised. Subtext: Art for Literacy provides refugee youth with inspiring and talented arts mentors, who provide productive spaces in which students are able to explore new, creative ways to express their experiences and ideas.
In recognising the enormous power to connect to people and our own internal voice through written language and the arts, The Australian Literacy Foundation encourages students to use any language and art form, without restrictions or censorship to express themselves and tell their stories.
This artistic process becomes a way to facilitate conversations, communication skills, language development, reflective practice and literacy. In addition, the medium of art allows young refugees to communicate personal, often difficult experiences that may otherwise be difficult to express, and can be an important step towards coming to terms with past traumas.
“I liked thinking about my future. I showed it how I want it to be. I liked using music and art to tell my story. ”
Subtext Participant, Yasameen Al-Manhal