Acoustic Leaks: An Event Series for The Shouting Valley 


Act One: Voices Unheard | Saturday 16 November, 2.00pm – 4.30pm

You are warmly invited to act one of Acoustic Leaks, an event series for The Shouting Valley exhibition that asks: what kind of environment do we need to construct in order to hear each other better?

We are lucky to be joined by artist Hoda Afshar from Melbourne who will be speaking about her collaborative portrait series with men detained by Australian Immigration policies on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. Discussion will then turn to the incarceration and deportation of the ‘501s’ with an in-conversation between artist Cushla Donaldson and writer Janet McAllister. Bringing the issues addressed into a New Zealand context will be a final discussion between Green Party MP Golriz Gharaman and refugee advocate and senior lecturer at the University of Auckland Dr Anna Hood.

We will consider how one voice approaches the representation of another voice that has largely gone unheard in mainstream media and public consciousness. What are the politics of collaboration between an individual with freedom of movement and another detained indefinitely? How is New Zealand complicit in the ongoing human rights violations of people in detention?Schedule:


2:00pm: Floor talk with artist Hoda Afshar
2:50pm: Artist Cushla Donaldson in conversation with writer Janet McAllister
3:30pm: Break with refreshments
3:45pm: Golriz Ghahraman in conversation with Dr Anna Hood

Kai thanks to Wild Wheat and coffee courtesy of Kōkako Organic Coffee.



About the artists and speakers:

Hoda Afshar was born in Tehran, Iran (1983), and is now based in Melbourne, Australia. She completed a Bachelor degree in Fine Art– Photography in Tehran, and recently submitted her PhD thesis in Creative Arts at Curtin University. Hoda began her career as a documentary photographer in Iran in 2005, and since 2007 she has been living in Australia where she practices as a visual artist and also lectures in photography and fine art. Hoda is represented by Milani Gallery in Brisbane, Australia. Through her art practice, Hoda explores the nature and possibilities of documentary image-making. Working across photography and moving-image, she considers the representation of gender, marginality and displacement.


Cushla Donaldson is an award-winning artist currently based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa. Through investigative and research processes that involve engagement with both technical and conceptual modes of inquiry, her work aims to illuminate routes to parity and what lies beyond currently inured hierarchical systems and structures. She graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts before gaining her MFA from Goldsmiths College, University of London, as a recipient of the Anne Reid Scholarship. Donaldson has exhibited in Aotearoa, Australia, Europe and Japan.


Janet McAllister is an Auckland social and cultural commentator, of Pākehā descent. Her columns about Australia’s ongoing human rights abuses – and New Zealand’s responses to these – have been published by Metro and The Spinoff, most recently here. She is the editor of Life on Volcanoes: Contemporary Essays (Beatnik, 2019) which includes an essay by Tze Ming Mok about China’s treatment of its Uighur population. Janet is interested in uncovering the links between art and society, and using each as a way of illuminating and contextualising the other.


Golriz Ghahraman is a Member of Parliament for the Green Party, as well as their spokesperson for Human Rights, Justice, Foreign Affairs, Police, Corrections, Immigration, and Overseas Aid among others. Her studies at Oxford and her career as a lawyer in New Zealand and overseas have focused on enforcing human rights and holding governments to account. Golriz worked for United Nations Tribunals as part of both defence (Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia) and prosecution (Cambodia) teams. Her work has also included restoring communities after war and human rights atrocities, particularly empowering women engaged in peace and justice initiatives.


Dr Anna Hood is a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland. She teaches and researches on international law, refugee and migration issues. Prior to commencing her career in academia she worked for a number of NGOs in the refugee sector in Australia and Uganda.


Image: Hoda Afshar, Ramsiyar, from the series Remain, 2018. Courtesy of the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane.