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‘From the Land of Silence’ by Mohammad Ali Maleki – Exhibition Opening

April 21 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

“Manus was a very bad place to torture us inside the camps. I decided to put the words of my heart on paper. When I wrote on paper and saw what was bothering me, I calmed down a bit by writing poems. Writing these poems means removing grudges from my heart.” – Mohammad Ali Maleki

On April 21, BEMAC will open its latest exhibition, ‘From the Land of Silence’, a series of canvas-printed poems by Mohammad Ali Maleki written during his time as a detainee on Manus Island.

A tailor and prop-maker by trade, Mohammed Ali Maleki spent seven years in detention in Manus Island for no reason other than requesting asylum, seeking safety away from his homeland of Iran. These poems are a record of this dark chapter of his life when he dreamt of life beyond the island and yearned so hard for freedom. Although led by his broken heart, Mohammad somehow manages to find glimmers of beauty amongst the pain as his strong connection with nature features throughout his writing.

The poems were translated by Mansour Shoshtari, a good friend who was also detained on Manus, who is now living in the USA. They were edited by Michele Seminara, a writer/publisher in Sydney who has been working with Mohammad for over nine years. Rose Turtle Ertler has helped organize this exhibition – a friend based in Tasmania. Mohammad and Rose started writing to each other eight years ago and finally met in Brisbane when he was released in 2022. Frames around the poems were hand drawn by Mohammad and then enhanced by Jacinta van Gerwen who also did the graphic design.

The exhibition will be on display from April 21 to May 28, opening at 6pm on Friday April 21. Entry to the opening is free.

Explore what’s coming up in BEMAC’s 2023 Program or visit bemac.org.au/whats-on/

Mohammad Ali Maleki: From the Land of Silence – Exhibition Opening:
6:00pm, Friday April 21
Queensland Multicultural Centre
102 Main St, Kangaroo Point QLD 4169
Free entry. Please register at https://bit.ly/40JOImg


There is very limited parking around the QMC. We encourage all guests to use public transport. QMC is only a 2-minute short walk from the Holman Street Ferry Terminal and bus routes 27 and 234. You can find more info about how to get to QMC at http://qmc.org.au/visit


Queensland Multicultural Centre
102 Main Street
Kangaroo Point, QLD 4169 Australia
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