Freedom is Mine exhibition now showing at the Pride Gallery

Freedom is Mine image

The new exhibition Freedom is Mine has opened at the Victorian Pride Centre.

This important and timely exhibition features portraits by photographer Peter Casamento of LGBTIQ+ people seeking asylum, and is part of the 2022 Midsumma Festival program.

Exhibition location: 79-81 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda VIC 3182
Exhibition dates:
21/1/2022 – 25/3/2022
Victorian Pride Centre opening hours: 9am – 6pm Mon to Sat, 10am – 6pm Sun
Ticketing/costs: Free, no booking required

Freedom is Mine has been developed as a collaborative project between photographer Peter Casamento and Many Coloured Sky, the Queer Development Agency of THREE for All Foundation.

The THREE for All Foundation is an Australian registered charity focused on community partnerships and community development initiatives that address human rights challenges for communities around the world that are especially disadvantaged by discrimination, poverty and displacement.

More about Freedom is Mine:

LGBTQI+ people from many parts of the world face persecution, violence and expulsion from their families and communities, and may be forced to flee their country. Those who come to Australia can experience prejudice, isolation, and material deprivation as they seek the freedom to be themselves.

Freedom is Mine is an intimate photographic portrait exhibition of LGBTQI+ refugees and people seeking asylum who are members of Many Coloured Sky’s Queer Refugee and Asylum Seeker Peers community. Photographer Peter Casamento gave his time to capture each participant in ways that help them to share their stories, challenges and hopes for the future.

More about Many Coloured Sky:

Many Coloured Sky supports LGBTQI+ organisations and communities in discriminatory, resource-poor and complex settings with capacity building, planning and project development, and empowers those at the margins of LGBTQI+ communities to participate fully and equally.

Based in Melbourne, Many Coloured Sky has an all-queer Advisory Group, a passionate and growing team of volunteers, and a network of LGBTQI+ partner organisations and communities.

Many Coloured Sky is currently working with LGBTQI+ communities and organisations in Indonesia, Kenya, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, as well as on several programs in Australia.

Peter Casamento, photographer of Freedom is Mine:

“People in these images have sometimes had to obscure their identities to protect themselves from persecution and from the risk to their protection visas if they’re seen to be involved in advocacy. The collaborators have been bold and gracious in working with me in revealing glimpses of their essence. I wanted to focus on the humanity, potency and range of their raw experiences through the symbolism of a vibrant rainbow-coloured palette. With the support of ‘Many Coloured Sky’, perhaps the yearning for acceptance and of becoming cherished and empowered members of our community can be realised.”

Ian Seal, Executive Director of Many Coloured Sky:

“Queer Refugee and Asylum Seeker Peers is a vibrant and growing community of more than 130 very vulnerable, very resilient LGBTQI+ people. We thank them for sharing something of themselves in this challenging, beautiful exhibition, and hope that it encourages the broader Australian community to welcome queer refugees, to work alongside them in challenging prejudice and violence, to share privilege and to celebrate diversity in all its forms.”

Hang Vo, Chair of the Victorian Pride Centre:

“Freedom in Mine is a vital exhibition that gives voice and visibility to LGBTIQ+ people seeking asylum. It highlights the plight, courage and resilience of those who’ve fled persecution in search of a safe life.”

Please note that as per current government regulations, visitors to the Victorian Pride Centre need to wear a fitted face mask while visiting and show proof of double-vaccination upon entry to the building.

For more information about visual arts programming at the Victorian Pride Centre visit the website here.

Image by Peter Casamento