Two weeks collaborating with Rohingya storytellers, families and bamboo weavers to create a large artwork illustrating a Rohingya folktale about two crows – one from the city and one from the country who meet in a Banyan tree and work together to find food
Photo: Victor Caringal
The 25th of August marks six years since 700,000 Rohingya fled their homeland. To acknowledge this time, artists from Australia travelled to Kutupalong to collaborate with Rohingya storytellers, families and bamboo weavers. Together they designed and built a large panel illustrating a Rohingya Kyssa (folktale) of two crows, one from the city and one from the country, who meet in a Banyan tree and learn the value of cleverness and unity in difficult times. During a week of remembrance the story panel is moving around Médecins Sans Frontières hospitals in Kutupalong where families and MSF staff are invited to join Kyssa gatherings (a Rohingya practice of sharing stories and reflecting on the messages they carry).
While creating the story panel, local and visiting makers brought their practices together to developed a new technique called “cane glass”. It looks like stained glass but the frame is made from curved bamboo and then filled with paper, painted in collaboration with Rohingya children. This work was commissioned by MSF as a way to explore creative advocacy, an approach that uses creative practice to form partnerships with community, strengthen culture and share stories that move the international community to build deeper understanding, care and allyship.