ABSTRACTS
ARTWORK (image)
TITLE: #BRING BACK OUR GIRLS (Chloe&Maggie)
ARTISTS: Fong Yuen Lam (Chloe) and Tang Wing Ka Maggie
MEASUREMENTS: Height: 27cm; Width: 51cm; Depth: 16cm
MEDIUM USED: Recycled paper box, cardboard, pipe cleaners, mini poms poms, marker, correction pen and glue

Abstract:
Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist organisation based in northeast Nigeria, has been attacking the country (Nigeria) and its civilians causing more than 4000 deaths in the past five years. Currently it has kidnapped approximately 276 female students from a remote village secondary school in Nigeria in April 2014 as the bargaining chips in an obscene demand for the release of the extremists' imprisoned cronies. These girls’ plight is unimaginable and their captor is unconscionable. Kidnapping leads to occupational injustice, deprivation of freedom and human rights. These girls are no longer able to engage in typical teen activities including productive (school), family, leisure and social activities, therefore creating an occupational deviation. The consequences of the lack of education and leisure time have detrimental impact on the girls’ health, educational, psychological and social well-being. The Nigerian government fails to rescue these girls and address the menace of Boko Haram due to the corruption and weakened military. This kidnapping has gradually caught world attention and a widespread ''Bring back our girls'' campaign has been raging on social media.
The artwork depicts what the Nigerians are fighting for and the factors that influencing their inclusion in the community on the left (white) and right (black) side of the cardboard respectively. The pipe cleaner people in black represent members from Boko Haram while the people in white represent the kidnapped girls showing their feelings of hopelessness.
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TITLE: HONG KONG: Cultural myths, discrimination and occupational opportunities
ARTISTS: Ho Pui Si & Alan Fu
MEASUREMENTS:
42.5cm x 59.5cm
MEDIA USED:
Mixed media including foam board, clay, paint, ,wire and markers and cardboards


Abstract:
Since 1960s, Hong Kong has shown fast-paced economic growth, however, employment opportunities for elders (age 60+) remained low. Two main factors contribute to this level.

Firstly, employers have a negative image of elderly workers, 62.1% of the public believes that older workers are less efficient and productive. Employers may consider factors such as declining health level to legitimize the exclusion of elders in the workforce limiting their employment opportunities.

Secondly, strong cultural expectation on the elders’ retirement life in Hong Kong exist, many believe elders (age 60+) should receive full financial support from their children as a form of respect. 70.7% of older people have spiritual desire to be in the workforce and become independent. Elders who are seeking work face emotional difficulties as they are discriminated against their lack of family support.

The above indicates that there is occupational marginalization in the elder workers as society expectations limit their employment opportunities and resources to engage in meaningful occupation.

Our artwork portrays the discrimination against elders in the workforce. The elderlies are rejected by white collars in the circle showing the rejection to hiring these elders, lack of engagement in occupation for elder workers causes deterioration in physical function and quality of life. The silver fence and stop sign for 60+ reflects the employer’s repelling perspective towards hiring elderly workers. These deeply rooted cultural beliefs and discrimination are inflexible in Chinese communities. How else could we change these cultural beliefs to promote meaningful occupational engagement in elderly people?
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TITLE: DIGITAL DUMPING GROUND
ARTISTS: Justin Lim and Rachel Cheong
MEASUREMENTS: 50cm (l) x 30cm (w) x 15cm (h)
MEDIUM USED: Mixed Media: Circuit Boards, Batteries, Wires, Wooden figurine, Spray paint, Tray, Fog Machine, Hose, Funnel

Abstract:
The advent of technology has led to widespread production of electronic goods and an equally astounding increase in electronic waste (e-waste). Disposal of e-waste is a global concern: Despite the Basal Convention limiting transboundary movement of hazardous waste, an estimated 75-80% of the 50 million tons of e-waste produced yearly are illegally transported to rural African and Asian countries for disposal and recycling.

Agbogbloshie in Accra, Ghana, is considered to be the world’s largest e-waste dumping ground. Migrants from neighbouring cities often flock to Agbogbloshie as recycling e-waste is considered a lucrative job. However, recycling procedures are frequently performed with limited health precautions. Workers, usually children and young adults, typically dismantle and burn parts by hand. Such practices result in overexposure to heavy metals like lead, air pollution due to toxic gases being released, and soil contamination leading to unclean water and food. These factors have detrimental effects on workers’ health: Many suffer from severe respiratory problems and life-threatening diseases like cancer early on in life, thereby limiting their ability and opportunities to engage in meaningful occupations.

In the art piece, the smoke seen coming out through the small holes signifies toxic gases that slowly impinge on workers’ health. The circuit boards and electronic pieces, once organized in pristine conditions in developed countries, depict their shattered, desolate states found in e-waste dumps. The figurine exemplifies the workers at Agbogbloshie: eager to make a decent living working at e-waste dumps, yet seemingly despondent as his health is gradually consumed by e-waste.
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TITLE: Goddess of Life and Death
ARTISTS: Amy Reed & Jona Tseng
MEASUREMENTS: 30.5cm x 41cm
MEDIUM USED: Mixed Media

Abstract:
The Ganges is one of the largest rivers in the world. It flows through India and Bangladesh, from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal. More than 400 million people are dependent on the Ganges for their livelihoods. They drink, swim, bathe, brush their teeth, wash their clothes, and cook with the water. The river is also the centre of religious rituals and funeral rites. The Hindus worship the river as the goddess Ganga and its waters are considered sacred. It is believed that bathing in the water washes away both physical and spiritual impurities and that it liberates the bather from the repetitive cycle of life and death.
Contrary to religious and cultural beliefs, the Ganges is also one of the most polluted rivers in the world. Sewage, industrial waste, religious offerings, and human remains contribute towards the large amount of pollutants found in the river. This contamination has led to the presence of toxic levels of cadaverine, Escherichia coli, and other chemicals and organisms. Drinking and bathing in its waters carries a high risk of infection by water-borne diseases such as cholera and dysentery. Use of water from the Ganges has also been correlated with diarrhoea, the leading cause of death among children in India. In stark contrast to its traditional revered role as the lifeblood of India, the Ganges has become an agent of death and disease.
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TITLE: Cut off at the source
ARTISTS: Alexandra Reilly and Alice Lockwood
MEASUREMENTS: 84cm x 109.5cm
MEDIUM USED: Photography, Paint

Abstract:
For nine months, the people of Gao, Africa endured terror at the hands of Islamist rebels who captured their city in April 2012. Following the brutal implementation of Islamic Sharia law, working-age men were forced to steal to provide for their families and punished with cross-amputation; an extreme application of this law. This torture involved the crude amputation of their right hand and left leg. Despite the reclamation of Gao in January 2013, the lasting effects of these mutilations have resulted in occupational deprivation amongst many of the men.

This substantial reduction in physical ability has greatly inhibited their participation and inclusion in productivity, leisure and self-care occupations leading to lifelong psychological trauma. As four-fifths of Gao’s male population work in agriculture, their ability to earn a living has been significantly disrupted, increasing poverty and diminishing quality of life for these individuals, their families and the wider Gao community. These men have been further deprived of leisurely occupations including participation in soccer, the local pastime, minimising their opportunity for social interaction and community involvement. Difficulties with self-care occupations such as buttoning shirts are daily struggles faced by victims of cross-amputation serving as constant reminders of the enduring barriers to occupational performance.

This artwork depicts the occupational injustices experienced in the domains of productivity, leisure and self-care. The photographs of significant items metaphorically represent these meaningful activities. The symbolism of the red hand-prints and footprint is threefold, portraying the cross-amputation of limbs, loss of ability to participate in these occupations and the blood spilled during the horrific Islamic takeover.
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TITLE: Donation: Two Sides of a Coin - Corruption in Orphange Tourism Compromising Children's Education
ARTISTS: Josephine Chilko & Lisa Celi
MEASUREMENTS: 36cm x 47cm
MEDIUM USED: Mixed-wood, spray paint, plastic plates, paper, Australian and foreign money, shoe lace and string.


Abstract:
“Orphanage tourism” is growing in Cambodia. This industry attracts and influences tourists to make generous donations to orphanages with the perceived intention of improving the children’s quality of life. Corruption in this industry gives rise to the occupational injustice where children are purposefully taken from school and exploited to attract more sympathy and money from tourists. Success of this corruption has encouraged more and more children being deprived of the basic human right of receiving an education. One must question whether a complete cease of tourist donation however, will have profound negative implications for continued orphanage existence. Education in Cambodia is below world standards, with 76.25% of men and 45.98% of women being illiterate. Government expenditure too is considerably low with 1.6% of Cambodia’s Gross Domestic Product being spent on education compared with 5.5-6.4% in most western countries. This financial neglect has contributed to a nation wide unawareness of education importance, which may encourage exploitation of children into “orphanage tourism”. The Cambodian government should reconsider educational programs to acknowledge and promote education, as well as support the running of orphanages to reduced reliance on tourism.
Receiving an education is fundamental to children’s development and creates empowerment and opportunity for future choices and carers. As a result, education contributes to creating meaning and enrichment in ones life. This means that being deprived of education because of “orphanage tourism” exploitation, is not only an occupational injustice in itself, but also severs the ability to obtain occupational justice in the future through diverse participation.
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TITLE: What lies beneath?
ARTISTS: Madeline Petrie and Andrea Becroft
MEASUREMENTS: 30cm x 40cm
MEDIUM USED: Construction, craft materials, photography

ABSTRACT:

On a bad day, 4,000 Syrians flee violence and destruction in their war-torn country and seek security in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. One in five of them are under the age of four years old and almost one in 10 have been wounded in the conflict. With an average of 12 births a day, Syrian babies are born into an unstable environment destined to spend the first years of their childhood in barren, dangerous limbo, and in all likelihood, much longer.

Zaatari, the second largest refugee camp in the world, is located in the middle of the Jordanian desert miles from any major city. Mothers give birth to their babies in demountable tents perched on desert sand and are rapidly moved on to make way for the next round of births. From the day these children are born, they have limited to no opportunity to develop fundamental capacities and experience a meaningful childhood.

This artwork depicts the extent of occupational deprivation that Syrian babies will face as they begin their lives as refugees in Zaatari. Play, education and social participation are occupations which these babies may never experience. They face a constant uphill struggle where they may only dream of enjoying the luxuries depicted in the artwork. The age-related materials in the five segments are representative of the progression from birth through to early childhood. The surface which the baby moves along portrays the arid and desolate conditions in Zaatari, one of the happiest and saddest places in Jordan right now.
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TITLE: Leave to live?
ARTISTS: Nissa Peters and Ching Man Tse
MEASUREMENTS: 50cmx 30cm x 28cm
MEDIUM USED: Mixed media

Abstract:
Employment is a social norm and expectation which promotes social inclusion and self-identity. Unemployment deprives individuals of their choice and participation in meaningful occupations. Due to the financial crisis in Greece, young graduates sacrificed their family relationships in search for financial security. Currently, youth unemployment is greater than 50 percent. The exodus of young, energetic and educated graduates leaves Greece with a vulnerable ageing population. This vulnerable group is deprived of family relationships resulting in social exclusion and poor health outcomes.
This piece portrays the double impact of the financial crisis on the young generation who are leaving Greece and those people who are left behind. All the occupations of older adults are affected by the loss of support from the younger generation. Young people will no longer care for and assist older family members and friends with their everyday activities including community participation. Loss of young people will diminish tax revenue, consequently decreasing age pension and healthcare quality. Older people will have reduced quality of life, while younger people will lose family and caring roles that are important to their culture.
The exterior of the artwork shows Greek youths emigrating due to high unemployment and lack of opportunities. The interior shows the future for the ageing population left behind when they no longer have support from the younger generation. Currently, Greek youths are trying to avoid this future by collaborating to find creative solutions to remain in Greece. But will this be enough?
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TITLE: Behind Closed Doors
ARTISTS: Victoria Jarman and Samantha Mostert
MEASUREMENTS: 47cm x 29cm x 10cm
MEDIUM USED: Cardboard, paint, photographs

Abstract:
What if you were oppressed, abandoned and forgotten – your identity stripped by a system of prejudice and cruel injustice? Looking behind the doors of the Ugandan community you will see those who are forgotten – women with disabilities. These women have been shut out and segregated from society, their identities broken and their voices not heard.

After years of conflict, the people of Uganda have begun to rebuild their lives. However while the economy is growing and most Ugandan people reclaim their jobs, the impact of the war continues to disadvantage the productivity of women with disabilities. Already denied basic human rights and access to adequate healthcare, education and services, these women remain excluded from participation in employment due to their disabilities. Social stigmatisation and lack of equal recognition from the Ugandan government have further marginalised women with disabilities from employment opportunities. As a result, these women experience deprivation of the personal, social and economic benefits of employment. Occupational injustices have resulted in ongoing insecurity in everyday life, loss of independence and contributed to the broken identities of Ugandan women with disabilities.

The doors need to be opened to allow the voices of Ugandan women with disabilities to be heard. There is a need for the Ugandan government to listen to these women’s voices and recognise their human and occupational rights to engage in employment. Will enablement of rights and inclusion in employment assist Ugandan women with disabilities to rebuild their identities and make meaningful contributions to their society, their culture and their country?
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TITLE: Livelihoods Lost in Cotton
ARTISTS: Tin-Yan Mak and Anjalee Perera
MEASUREMENTS: 77cm (L) x 50cm (W) x 25cm (H)
MEDIUM USED: Mixed media including foam board, glass, clay, cotton wool, spray paint, dry moss, digital media, toys, wire and markers

Abstract:
Uzbekistan is one of the world’s largest exporters of cotton. Unfortunately, they have achieved this through child labour.

Although the Uzbekistan constitution prohibits child labour, it is reported that an estimated 200,000 children are forced by the government to work in the cotton industry every year for little or no income. Each child is assigned to a daily quota of cotton to collect and those who fail to meet the standards are punished by scolding, beating or detention. The demanding conditions in which these children are forced to work in have detrimental effects on their health and wellbeing. They become secluded on these cotton farms and experience a lack of access to schooling, health facilities and their families, which all contribute to a child’s growth and development. The children in this community, they miss days at school and are under immense pressure whilst working on the cotton fields. They are being neglected of occupations such as play, socialising with peers and studying as a student, which enables a child to learn and develop. These children are separated from their families and community groups, being robbed of their rights to occupational justice as they fade into an unknown place of fear and confusion.

Our artwork depicts the reality of child labour on the cotton fields, where children in this situation are locked into working, being deprived of their basic needs. The life outside of the locked cage signifies the occupational deprivation they experience due to the time spent toiling for their government’s financial gains.
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TITLE: What are we really climbing for?
ARTISTS: Kimberly Elter & Kate Checkley
MEASUREMENTS: 46cm (w), 61cm(h)
MEDIUM USED: canvas, acrylic paint, rope, paint, pipe cleaners, textas, glue

Abstract:
Developing countries are faced with daily challenges related to survival. These challenges include accessing safe drinking water, food, shelter, health and education. World poverty statistics released by the Human Development Report (2012) illustrate that 80% of the world’s population live on less than $10 a day. In addition, the report highlighted that 1 in 7 children in the world do not have access to health services.
Individuals living in developing countries strive for the best health, education, technology, materialistic items, and wealth. Whilst individuals in developing countries endeavor to achieve the “wealth” of developed countries they experience a loss of diversity within culture and individuality. Communities in developing countries are often provided with short term relief and resources, such as doctors from Western societies providing short term health care (vaccinations, surgeries), teaching students providing short term access to education and access to food is greater following a crisis such as a known tsunami, earthquake or extensive drought. These short term “fixes” are not sufficient in developing basic needs of living. “Climbing the mountain” to basic needs of living and survival relies on much more than short term “fixes”. It relies on resources and education provided to communities, specific to their particular community, culture and needs. Our artwork depicts the notion that as individuals living in developing countries strive for the “epitome of health and happiness”, family traditions, culture, language, customs and diversity is misplaced. We illustrate that once you reach the “top”, you are considered by society as “happy” due to what you own, where you work and where you have been in your life. Those on top of the mountain look down, as they watch culture, traditions and worth fall away. Thus, the question is – What are they really climbing for?
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TITLE: OUT OF SIGHT: CHILDREN IN THE PRODUCTION LINE
ARTISTS: Waren Berger & Hassan Al Ghadeer.
MEASUREMENTS: 21cm, 37cm, 57cm
MEDIUM USED: mixed media (Paper, glue, toys).

Abstract:

Child labour is an inhumane practice adopted by some impoverished third world countries such as India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan and to some extent China. While this issue has been raised since the early 90’s, leading sporting corporations such as NIKE, ADIDAS, UMBRO continue to indirectly support its practice.
In 1996 a photograph of a 12 year old Pakistani boy stitching NIKE soccer balls emerged and created worldwide outrage. In response NIKE established its own in house checks for contractors to obey a code of conduct. However the saga continues.
In Pakistan it is illegal for children to work in sweatshops. Still, it is estimated that over 200 children, some as young as 4 and 5 years old take part in the manufacturing process of sporting goods such as NIKE branded soccer balls.
The issue raised worldwide debate on why families force their children to work? Why employers choose children over adults? And what impact child labour has on the community?
According to Toor child labour exists because of poverty, lack of educational opportunities, lack of family awareness and low family income. Green argues that employers prefer children to adults because its cheaper, children are more motivated, efficient and obedient and because children do not form unions. According to Green child labour and community are interrelated, creating increased unemployment rates among adults and increasing poverty. Child labour increases illiteracy rates in the community and it is considered harmful for the child’s health and physical, spiritual and social development.
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TITLE: Tides of Change
ARTISTS: Emma Brown and Lac Le
MEASUREMENTS: 75cm (w) x 72 cm (l)
MEDIUM USED: Mixed Media including clay, paints, paint brushes, paper

Abstract:
In 2004, a Tsunami hit Khaolak Beach, Phang-Nga Province, Thailand, and killed thousands of people. Phang-Nga is located in Thailand’s southern provinces. It was known for its beautiful coastal beaches, thus fishing, tourism and agriculture were its prime source of revenue and provider of their livelihoods. The Tsunami impacted the community in many ways; damage to houses, tourist resorts, fishing boats, crops and consequently lost livelihoods. Community members were lost, as were tourists, and those left faced grief and post-traumatic stress disorders; resulting from the loss of loved ones, homelessness, fear of more Tsunamis, and the loss of safety and security. The Tsunami’s effect on resources, the environment and psychosocial well-being of the community contributed to the degradation of their ecosystem.This impacted the community’s economy as fisherman no longer worked and tourists ceased visiting. The community’s identity was washed away alike the colour of the community members in the artwork. Their faces were left bare to represent each individual’s loss of roles and occupations. Such occupational deprivation has a major impact on the health and well-being of the community members.Regardless of the losses, this community has great strengths including: fishermen skills, education and schooling, cultural history, strong spiritual beliefs and community cohesion from going through similar experiences. We believe the community has the capacity to rebuild on these strengths to develop and ‘paint’ a newly desired future, regain their identity, and participate in their occupational roles. Further this experience fosters stronger community cohesion and inclusion.
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TITLE: Social stigma - The 'crutch' of the matter
ARTISTS: Cherie Ko & Lauren Whitby
MEASUREMENTS: 92cm x 20cm
MEDIUM USED: Wooden pieces, pencils, ruler, syringe, cricket ball


Abstract:
Polio is a disease with varying symptoms from flu, to life-threatening paralysis, to possibly death. The developed world has eradicated the disease with a vaccine; however 3 countries including Pakistan remain endemic because efforts to stop its transmission have not been strictly enforced.
Striking first mainly in children under 5, some forms of polio may lead to irreversible paralysis usually in the legs. It becomes apparent that the youth’s everyday activities in education and play, such as walking to school and engaging in sport become severely restricted with crippling social, psychological, and physical effects reverberating into adulthood.
The overall motif of our sculpture is a crutch because it is both a literal support for mobility, which is limited for those with paralytic polio, but also figuratively symbolises their reliance on attitudes within their social networks i.e. families, teachers, friends/peers (represented by the depiction of a community on the underarm pad). Play building blocks and educational materials have been used as emblems of activities fundamental to youth. Specifically a ruler represents society’s measure of them as individuals and the bridge piece symbolises the potential to connect individuals with polio to their community, in which they can make meaningful contribution and find social inclusion.
The crutch is a paradox for while it facilitates physical access to the community, the associated stigma then restricts the individual’s social inclusion.
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TITLE: Window to Yodok
ARTISTS: Alla E Inberg, Matilda Donnellan
Mostafa Bu Khmseen
MEASUREMENTS:
57 X 27 X 37cm
MEDIUM USED: mixed medium

Abstract:
Yodok concentration camp is a political prison camp in North Korea. Living conditions are torturous, prisoners are abused and are forced to perform slave labour. Prisoners suffer from illnesses and malnutrition with no medical treatment available.
Primary school aged children are excused from working in the morning to attend school, learning about the history of revolution of previous leaders of North Korea. They are forced into hard labour with difficult work quotas, being beaten if they are not met.
Learning is the most common occupation for school aged children world-wide. In the regimented schooling children in Yodok receive, they are deprived of primary occupational opportunities to learn and develop through play. This occupational deprivation limits children’s development, denying them of a future and questioning their purpose in life.
Our artwork depicts the dull, dirty, regimented world of children imprisoned in Yodok. The mud represents the cramped mud huts prisoners live in. A window allows people to see in but not for the prisoners to see out representing their blurred vision of life outside of the camp and the world in general. On our side of the window, educational tools, equipment and games represent the opportunities which should be available for the children punished for yeon-jwa-je (guilt by association). Yodok detainees value freedom and choice with hope for a better future for their children through education. The web of occupations is limited for this powerless imprisoned population. North Korean dictatorship restricts opportunities for intervening to give children access to fulfilling education.
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TITLE: Glimpses of Colour in a Black and White World
ARTISTS: Chaya Lederman and Jessica Edwards
MEASUREMENTS:
410mm x 300mm
MEDIUM USED:
Guache & Mixed Media on Canvas

Abstract:
Many children living with disabilities in Vietnam are neglected and deprived of their most necessary and meaningful occupation- play. The odds are against these children and their families as they deal with the social and economic challenges posed by disability and their context. There is lack of understanding within the community of the importance of children with disabilities experiencing meaning in their life through play, resulting in exclusion. Play is necessary for the healthy development of all children. Yet as perceptions of disability across the world have been transformed from impairment to ability, opportunities for play remain limited. Monotone colour and text at the centre of the artwork illustrates the contextual disadvantages impacting the community. The barbed wire symbolises both the cycle and the barrier these issues pose for children with disabilities accessing play. The children's faces represent the individuality of children with disabilities and their individual rights. Perceptions of disability within Vietnamese society in comparison to developed nations are represented in the stark contrast between the colour and monotones. The unifying power of play is symbolised in the colourful hands and the circle of beads Autonomy of decision-making and opportunities for social interaction that children in developed nations experience is portrayed in the colourful images. Despite the apparent disparity there are increasing opportunities for play occurring in Vietnam, which is illustrated in the limited colour at the periphery of the circle. Yet as opportunities for play arise the question remains; will colour transform this black and white world?
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TITLE: Syria, Children in Agony
ARTISTS: Nur Aini Binti Md Salleh and Kerenza Tran
MEASUREMENTS: 400mm x 400mm
MEDIUM USED:
Mixed media - canvas, air dry clay, acryllic paint, newspaper, digital media prints, wooden sticks

Abstract:

The civil war in Syria has had a significant impact on the lives and occupation of children. 5.5 million children have been affected by the civil war, with 500 000 children no longer in school. Further, children have been reported to display self-harm and aggressive behaviour following exposure to war conditions in Syria. The UN Millennium Development Goals for 2015 include decreasing child mortality and achieving universal primary education. Although Syria has also signed to strive for these goals, child mortality rates are increasing while educational figures are decreasing.

The artwork as a whole, illustrates occupational deprivation experienced by children in Syria. The painting in the background depicts a community in warfare and the negative impact on children, who are the future of this community. The models depict the results of the current war, with schools and health facilities damaged. Children are unable to attend school due to the seizure of, or destruction of schools in the warfare environment. As a result, children experience lower education levels compared to their peers in neighbouring countries. The objects associated with education reflect their loss of role as a student. These environments have led to post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and death in children. Children can be seen imitating war environments in their play activities, illustrating the psychological effects of war on their cognitive development. If the deprivation of their rights continues, how will this impact on the future of these children?
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TITLE:
A blocked path to education
ARTISTS:
Lauren Nugent and Natalie Fegan
MEASUREMENTS:
31x31cm x3
MEDIUM USED:
paint, sandpaper, cardboard, wire fencing, objects (blackboard and chalk) on canvas

Abstract:
Cambodia has a significantly high rate of school aged children with disabilities. These children have a human right to participate in school. Despite this, fifty percent of these children do not attend school and are occupationally deprived of their educational roles. This educational inequity is a result of a series of factors that prevent children with disabilities from access to education. These factors significantly implicate the occupational apartheid of the children, acting as barriers to participation. Factors may be related to the individual such as pain, the environment such as physical inaccessibility of the school as well as social stigmas, or related to occupation such as lack of teacher support. The artwork series depicts the current struggles faced by children with disabilities to access education. The series tells the story of the isolation and consequent underrepresentation of children with disabilities in mainstream Cambodian schools. Through the use of colours and different textual mediums, the artwork represents the natural and cultural beauty of Cambodia. This is intertwined with their dark history of war and deprivation as well as the pain and suffering of children with disabilities. Practical steps to address these barriers are required to increase the visibility and inclusion of children with disabilities in Cambodia. Taking these steps will have a profound impact on the quality of life and future productivity roles of children with disabilities. These steps may include the provision of special education services, education to teachers on how to best accommodate for children’s needs and increased access to funds.
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TITLE: The Hidden Terror
ARTISTS: Cassie Roberts-Smillie and Maddie Migdoll
MEASUREMENTS: 40cm x 50cm
MEDIUM USED: Canvas, paint, paper and pen

Abstract:
A tragic legacy from decades of war in Cambodia is the hidden existence of 4-6 million unexploded mines hidden in the rural countryside. This artwork illustrates the danger of these mines and the devastating consequences they have on the surrounding communities. Flags have a direct connection with Cambodian culture, as they are a very patriotic country. Therefore by choosing the Cambodian flag as the foundation for our artwork, we have highlighted the correlation between culture and the existence of the landmines. The exploding temple signifies the cultural and human carnage that the landmines directly and indirectly cause.
Farming creates a cultural identity and a meaningful occupation for males, resulting in a positive contribution to the economy. However with 87% of landmine victims being males of 15 years and older, the impact of the mines goes beyond the physical consequences, to affect all areas of the surrounding community. Although the victims are addressed directly through a biomedical lens, i.e. prosthesis and wheelchairs, the psychosocial effects are not as readily addressed. This is highlighted through the vulnerability of the Cambodian health system and the lack of support strategies being implemented within the community for these victims.
The writing between the photographs articulates the barriers (top) to community development and the alternate approaches to address the occupational needs (bottom). The biomedical, one-dimensional approach does not address the communities needs and the impact the land mines have on occupational performance. If landmine victims aren’t treated with a culturally sensitive lens, they will continue to suffer from occupational alienation and impede a holistic, sustainable process of community development.
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TITLE: Lotus For Sale
ARTISTS: Paulette Yacoub and Elaine Tong
MEASUREMENTS: 30cm x 30cm x 15cm
MEDIUM USED: Glass, paper, plastic, water, food dye

Abstract:
Cambodia has one of the highest rates of child sex trafficking in the world. This is a result of poorly structured government lacking law enforcement, globalisation causing loss of employment, and a history of poverty and corruption. Young girls are sold by their own mothers for income, made justifiable by a Cambodian belief that daughters owe their parents as a way to repay for their birth. If trafficking is illegal, why is it still blossoming? Villages have been swamped in poverty leading to a reliance on the profitable sex trafficking business, subsequently encroaching on the quality of life of these vulnerable young girls. They are occupationally deprived of educational, physical and psychological enrichment and forced into an endless voyage of trauma, depression and social isolation. Opportunities to learn and grow into conventional women engaging in meaningful occupations are ceased. Alienated as a result of social prejudices, those who are sex trafficked are shunned from mainstream society and broken away from family ties; as a consequence, sex trade becomes an occupation these children will partake in throughout their lives as a means of support.
This artwork illustrates the Cambodian symbol of purity, ‘the lotus’, where it’s meaning has become defeated by the importance of money and financial support within a poor society. Despite the act of child sex trafficking being transparent to the Cambodian government, children are still helplessly trapped in a world of darkness and impurity with little freedom to escape.
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TITLE: Stolen Childhood
ARTISTS: Tsz Wai Tsui, Mei Xue Wong
MEASUREMENTS: 43.5(L) x 35.6(W) x 20.0(H) cm
MEDIUM USED: paper, cardboard, pipe-cleaner, glass, soil, plastic

Abstract:
Child trafficking has been a long-standing issue in China, where at least 20,000 children are trafficked yearly. The Chinese cultural preference of having a male child has led to numerous cases of trafficking as families attempt to sell their female infants to make room for the possible birth of a male child in compliance with China’s one-child policy. Poverty also forces families to give up their children to address financial difficulties, and parents fall into the trap of traffickers who make empty promises about offering these children a brighter future with opportunities for education or employment. In addition, the lack of stringent national laws limits any efforts to quell child trafficking.
Trafficked children are forced into prostitution, begging and labour in places like brick kilns and factories where they are exposed to abusive work practices and dangerous working conditions. Occupational deprivation results as these children are denied the right to participate in age-appropriate meaningful occupations such as play and education. This hinders their physical, cognitive and social development, and denies them the skills and knowledge necessary to deviate from their current situations and have better future prospects.

The fish bowl depicts trafficked children in China as being trapped in misery and occupational deprivation. This is in contrast to many children in other areas who have the opportunity to participate in meaningful occupations. The bowl's opening represents the possibility of them being released from their plights and hence occupational injustice if appropriate conditions are in place.
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TITLE: No hospital bed for mother
ARTISTS: Hiu Yan Choi and Yu Man Lau
MEASUREMENTS: 305mm(d) x 195mm(w) x 120mm(h)
MEDIUM USED: Recycled shoes box, A4 paper, aluminium foil and craft materials

Abstract:
Hong Kong (HK) pregnant women face difficulties in reserving hospital obstetric services due to increasing “birth tourism”from Mainland China (pregnant women travel to give birth). Last year, about 41,000 mainlanders gave birth, accounting for half of total births in HK. Therefore, the HK government has increased the funding on medical resources for both local and non-local pregnant women to give birth. However, local Hospital Authority recently announces that there are inadequate resources and great tension in hospitals and among health professionals. This phenomenon arises because of the China’s “one child policy”, whereas HK residents do not restrict by this policy. HK born Infant will automatically become a permanent resident;therefore, this provokes many mainlanders to give birth in HK.

“Birth tourism” takes up scarce medical resources which contribute to insufficient medical supply for local residents. This reflects occupational imbalance which means local pregnant women are underemployed medical resources due to the inequality distribution of resources. In terms of social occupations, local residents wish to uphold their citizen right to utilize the medical welfare; in a meanwhile, the local government inhibits illegal “birth tourism” by establishing law; such behaviour can be imprisonment of two years. If new mothers (mainlanders) are arrested after giving birth, will there be any potential humanitarian issues?

This artwork symbolizes the occupational imbalance experienced by local pregnant women. The hospital bed is occupied by a mainland pregnant woman in contrast to HK pregnant women stage a demonstration to protest about their privileges to reserve HK hospital obstetric services.
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TITLE: Côte D'ivoire: Diamonds are forever, education is not...
ARTISTS: Ashlee Meades and Zoe Sutherland
MEASUREMENTS:
76cm x 100cm
MEDIUM USED:
Crayons, book, paint, glitter and diamonds on canvas

Abstract:
Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in western Africa harbours one of the highest rates of forced child labour in the world. Mining companies exploit children by paying them at extremely low rates, as they are aware that the community relies on this little income to survive and support their families. Children aged between 5 and 16 in this area are employed for the purpose of diamond mining, engaged in hard labour for ten hours a day digging in soil and gravel, before sifting with a pan for gemstones and shifting heavy mud believed to contain diamonds. Some children are employed to shine and polish the diamonds placing them in contact with minerals, oil and machinery exhaust, adversely affecting their physical health and wellbeing. Their occupations are implicated in low-paying hazardous working conditions that foreclose the option of school education for most of them, highlighting deprivation of learning and social activities that are provided in a school-based community.
Côte d’Ivoire still lacks a compulsory education law and gaps remain in the enforcement of similar laws involving child health and welfare. Furthermore, there are still no developed programs to assist children found in these forms of child labour, including support to attend school, effectively alienating the children of the right to education and school-based learning occupations.
This need for education is expressed with the use of melted crayons on a white canvas, signifying the lost childhood and education opportunities for children working in these areas. The white canvas is juxtaposed with the textured grey canvas flecked with glitter, highlighting the dire working conditions that the children are exposed to. The hanging diamond beads over the canvases imply the importance of this labour over education, ultimately providing little benefit for the children and their families.
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TITLE: An Inaccessible Life: The missing element
ARTISTS: Amy Pittorino & Madeleine Cavanagh
MEASUREMENTS: 61cm x 61cm
MEDIUM USED: Canvas, Paint, Tissue Paper, Plastic Bottle.

Abstract:
Nearly 1 billion and 884 million people around the world do not have access to clean water, with 37% of those affected living in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is a significantly overlooked issue, as waterborne illnesses such as cholera, typhoid and malaria kill five million people each year and 6,000 children every day.

As a result, the Sub-Saharan population faces many challenges in participating in work and other fundamental daily occupations. Children’s attendance rates and academic performance is affected as they travel long distances to access clean water for their families and are more vulnerable to water-borne illnesses. It is estimated that 443 million school days are lost each year due to these illnesses. Education is critical in breaking the cycle of poverty and children are being deprived of this life-changing opportunity. Likewise, women are unable to maintain employment and fulfill their role within their families as they must also travel long distances and fall sick to the diseases themselves. The U.N estimates that this region loses 40 billion hours per year collecting water, which is equivalent to an entire year of labor in France!

This artwork is symbolic of the struggle this region faces in accessing clean water and illustrates the dynamic relationship between access and occupational performance, in the key areas of productivity, leisure and self-care. The contrast in colours represents the vitality clean water can bring to these isolated communities, yet the remoteness of their communities remains as a barrier to access.
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TITLE:
Children with Disabilities in West Africa: The Butterfly Effect of Cultural Beliefs
ARTISTS: Shayla Letran and Miia Rahja
MEASUREMENTS: 140cm X 90cm X60cm
MEDIUM USED: Mixed media, wood, plastic, cardboard, hessian, clay

Abstract:
Children with disabilities in West Africa face a range of abuse, neglect and discrimination from their family and community members. Their voices are rarely heard and they are often excluded from participating in the community. Negative cultural beliefs are considered reasons for disability, a curse. By hiding and denying of having a child with a disability parents try to avoid being marginalized by other community members who fear the curse will be transmitted to them if looking at a child with a disability. Without a birth certificate, a child can be denied access to education and other supports. They are forced to stay indoors; fed once a day; called incomplete or snakes due to their inability to stand on their feet. Resources are not prioritized for children with disabilities. They have low self-esteem and are malnourished. They are deprived from opportunities to make choices and engage in meaningful roles and occupations including friendships and play that are crucial for childhood development. These injustices limit the children’s opportunities to reach their full potential, participate, learn and contribute to the community. The consequences of these injustices also affect the community as its future generation is denied the opportunity to contribute to its overall health, education, employment and income.

This artwork reflects the potential for communities in West Africa to use local materials to promote participation in meaningful occupations for children with disabilities. We believe in the right for every child to participate in childhood occupations regardless of their abilities or geographic location.
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TITLE: 'Dying to Achieve'
ARTISTS: Jenny Armas and Rebekah Choong
MEASUREMENTS:
400mm x 210mm x 110mm
MEDIUM USED:
Mixed- wood, paddle pop sticks, paint, wool, paper, cardboard, fabric (felt).


Abstract:
Nigeria is a country rife with violence and violations of human rights. ‘Boko Haram’ is a militant Islamist group responsible for ongoing violence in Nigeria, claiming thousands of lives which include school children, police and anyone of Christian or Muslim faith. Boko haram loosely translates to "western education is forbidden".
Education is a fundamental human right hence occupational injustice occurs when children are faced with the possibility of death for attending school. With the Boko Haram actively targeting any "westernized" institutions, occupational deprivation is evident as people do not have the opportunities to engage in their chosen meaningful occupations due to enforced opposing religious beliefs. An estimated 3 million civilians have been affected by their attacks since Boko Haram was founded.
The artwork reflects the 2013 school massacres and 2014 mass kidnappings which have affected an estimated 361 students directly. It depicts a typical classroom of school students surrounded by the ‘western’ educational tools used to support their learning. The artwork’s coffin-shaped enclosure signifies how the classroom has changed from being an ambitious and empowering environment to an impending death sentence. The signs held up by the children represent the optimistic futures they were aspiring to achieve by receiving an education. Occupational injustice is experienced especially amongst students as Boko Haram’s beliefs enforce injustices on their futures and intimidate future students, causing them to fear receiving an education. The artwork represents how these student’s dreams and their potential contributions to Nigeria’s future have become merely fiction due to these attacks.
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TITLE: I Don’t Like the Back Seat
ARTISTS: Yasmin AL Khalil & Maryam Alqatari
MEASUREMENTS: 60cm x 48cm x 33cm
MEDIUM USED:
Wood boards, paints, canvas, colored paper, wood sticks, printed pictures, toys & cork ball.


Abstract:

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are banded from the occupation of driving. Although Saudi has no explicit written law on women driving, licenses are not issued to women, thus making it effectively illegal for them to drive. Beside this, the religious authorities in the country have declared women driving is haram (forbidden), which made driving culturally unacceptable. Consequently, women’s independence and freedom have been restricted due to relying on men for transportation. This movement restrictions has also affected their engagement in occupations such as education, work and leisure, minimising their opportunity for community involvement. In 2011, a group of Saudi women started a campaign against the unjustified ban, which resulted in 5 women being arrested and some suspended from their jobs. Since then, Saudi women have been persistently standing against this occupational injustice. They believe that the era of freedom suppression has to come to an end, and that it is time to move to the front seat.
This artwork represents the Saudi women being forbidden to drive. The background is a picture of a woman driving in 1951. This illustrates the fact that women from all over the world have never been deprived of driving unlike the Saudi women. The lady symbolises the Saudi woman in the local attire who is unable to reach the car due to the flawed laws, the conservative culture and the misinterpreted religion represented by the ball and chain. Overall, the artwork attempts to show that regardless of all difficulties faced by the Saudi woman, she is fighting her way out of this injustice and now she is closer than any time before to the driver’s seat.
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TITLE: Stairway to opportunity
ARTISTS: Jarvis Chan and Brianna Hassall
MEASUREMENTS: 350mm (l) x 250mm (w) x 130mm (h)
MEDIUM USED: Mixed media – canvas, fabric, pearls, wire, metal, cardboard and hemp string


Abstract:
For many children in Nepalese communities, access to the human right of both education and social inclusion are denied due to the presence of a disability. Barriers they experience include inaccessibility of the school itself, a lack of social support, refusal of their admission and stigma from the community.
The segregation of these children also creates subsequent barriers to social inclusion in the community in building relationships with their peers and other members in the society. This stigma and segregation causes imprisonment at home and loss of the right to choose meaningful occupations. Insufficient facilities and accessible transportation for the disabled students means that they are unable to participate at school and in the community, consequently causing occupational deprivation. Some children of the community are tied to a pole or locked in a room as a means of ensuring their safety in an environment that is not made to support those with a disability.
The use of string to construct the children in the artwork represents these ropes, and the potential for the children to be tied back from their rights of education and inclusion. This has also been used around the stairs that the child with a disability is trapped under to represent this imprisonment from the community. The use of stairs in our artwork symbolises the progression of access in a community. The items on the stairs are representative of education, a key to access, freedom of poverty through employment and how they work in combination to finally create social and community inclusion.
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TITLE: Keys to Empowerment and Knowledge
ARTISTS: Sabina Thomas & Christopher Han
MEASUREMENTS: (H): 33cm (W): 41cm (D): 35cm
MEDIUM USED: Acrylic Paint, Wire, Laminated Paper, Texta, Wooden statue
Wooden board, Cage, Paper, Metal lock

Abstract:

Access to education for children around the world is a basic human right recognised internationally, however is continual issue. In the Middle – East young females are being denied the right to education, as it is estimated 76% of young girls in rural areas are illiterate, and 45% illiterate in urban areas. Parts of the Middle – East such as Yemen experience the highest drop out rates among young girls at 31% by the first grade.

It is vital to understand the factors which create barriers for young girls in the Middle – East, and how this affects them, their environment, and their occupations. Factors such as; inadequate quality and quantity of infrastructure, gender inequalities, child labour, war, humanitarian emergencies, human trafficking, low socio – economic status, lack of formal and informal role models (e.g. parents), and poverty are some factors contributing to the limitation in accessing education. This continued neglect of education has disastrous social, cultural, economic, and political consequences not only for the individual, however also for the nation’s future development. The factors which influence lack of opportunity and education originate from lack of education itself, which leads to a cycle of poverty, disenfranchisement, and victimisation.

This abstract illustrates the difficulty young girls’ face when accessing education due to the factors stated above. Not only is education lost, however roles involving play, social skills and participation, learning skills, interaction, and schooling experiences are not learned. The books are representative of the knowledge and skills to be gained, whilst the padlock depicts the influencing factors which hinder their access. They keys portray the most affected area in the world, the Middle - East in regards to education, famine, war, and poverty, however lack of education access is of global concern.
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TITLE: 'Tree of Life'
ARTISTS: Karlene Matwisyk and Sarah Badger
MEASUREMENTS:
64cm(l) x 40(w) x 57cm(h)
MEDIUM USED: Wire, clay, dirt, felt, paper, glue, pencils, wood.


Abstract:
The Syrian war has forced over one million children to flee Syria and live as refugees. Many of these children are now living in overcrowded tents in Lebanon, with no end in sight for when they can return home.

Only 20% of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon are enrolled in school, despite it being a fundamental element of Syrian culture. Education is the most effective way to reduce poverty and inequality, as well as to ensure sustainable growth of a community. It is the ‘tree of life’. To improve living standards, and for Syrian refugee children to have a chance to lead a full and prosperous life, they need to have the opportunity to participate in education.

Syrian refugee children do not have access to education due to a number of person, environment and occupation factors. They are socially isolated and in constant fear due to incessant bullying by Lebanese children, and there is poor access to schools, which are often unaffordable. Without education, Syrian refugee children are isolated and bored. They are frequently turning to destructive activities in Lebanon to occupy their time, or even returning to Syria to work as occupation fighters.

Despite education being crucial to childhood development, little is being done to improve access to education for Syrian children in Lebanon. This should not be the case. We propose the use of technology, for example the Internet or television, to provide a greater number of children with access to quality education, and a chance of a better life.
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TITLE: Waste of a Life
ARTISTS: Ashleigh Rogerson and Katrina Andersen
MEASUREMENTS: 594mmx841mm
MEDIUM USED: Photograph of installation


Abstract:
Just like garbage these children are discarded, left abandoned, waiting to be collected. As garbage is taken to landfill so too are the children taken to institutions, forgotten by the outside world.

Bulgaria has the highest rate of infant institutionalisation in Europe. Each year more than 2000 children are abandoned and put into institutional care. It is estimated that up to 24,000 children are growing up in such institutions, of which only two percent are orphans.

These regimented institutions are often overcrowded and severely under resourced leaving children neglected – deprived of human interaction, stimulation and the opportunity to participate in meaningful activities. The children don’t talk, because nobody has ever bothered to talk to them. They don’t walk because they are never allowed out of their cots, and their muscles have wasted away.

It is simply impossible for these institutions to provide the variety of care required as they adopt a one size fits all policy; consequently the children are left unable to participate in meaningful work and play activities, spending their days in a cot with a vacant stare, self-stimulating by rocking and tapping.

The consequences of abandonment and institutionalisation have a detrimental effect on the emotional, psychological, social and physical development and quality of life of these children. Their right to health, education and participation in decisions about their own lives is blatantly disregarded as they are dumped and forgotten, a waste of so many lives.
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TITLE: Dumped for Survival
ARTISTS: Vanessa Joffe and Rachel Wise
MEASUREMENTS: 50cm x 77cm
MEDIUM USED: mixed media; wool and cardboard


Abstract:
Overpopulation is a process of rapidly increasing population within a community that results in imbalance in the rate of consumption of capital and natural resources compared to the rate of resource generation. This accelerates depletion and shortage of resources, in addition to an increase in demand for housing and food supplies. It exacerbates existing problems within a community, for example increased crime and spread of disease.

Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world and 8th in Asian. This high population density forces people to compete for basic resources such as food, water, clothing, shelter, electricity, healthcare, education and job opportunities. This lack of basic human needs forces members of the community to engage in occupations purely for the purpose of survival and reduces the opportunity for participation in meaningful, productive and social occupations. Vietnam also suffers from somewhat high levels of income inequality and gaps in healthcare delivery. Consequently this may place strain on individual’s culturally important roles and responsibilities, resulting in occupational alienation and deprivation.

Our artwork has depicted these occupational injustices in the way that the woollen figures are naked, having a lack of access to and possession of basic resources. The cardboard symbolises they are confined to an overpopulated country defined by the boundaries of their community. The colours of the faceless figures represent the contribution of multiculturalism, not solely birth rate on the issue of overpopulation. The truck conveys the continuous nature of the issue of overpopulation in Vietnam as it continues dumping figures onto the land.
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TITLE:#BringBackOurGirls
ARTISTS:
Rachel Stevens and Alycia Cantrill
MEASUREMENTS:
52.5cm 71.0cm
MEDIUM USED:
Mixed media, including: Blackboard paint, plastic figurines, canvas, paint swatches and
wood
Abstract:
On April 14th 2014, 250 girls were abducted from a government school in Nigeria. The event grabbed the world’s attention, with many advocating over social media to #BringBackOurGirls. However, there remains insufficient focus on the wider issue of educational inequality.Nigeria has 10 million children out of school, the highest number in the world. The majority of those who do not attend are girls.

The United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child recognises the right of all children to access education. However, Nigerian girls face environmental barriers to participation in their occupational roles as a learner and student; resulting in occupational deprivation and marginalisation. Social and cultural barriers exist as the Islamist separatist group, Boko Haram, who abducted the 250 schoolgirls, continues to reduce the occupational choices of girls; promoting forced marriage through violence. Following the April 14th abduction, many schools have closed in fear; creating physical barriers to education. Restoring occupational choice and educational access for Nigerian girls is complex. Existing social attitudes may be shifted through empowering local women to engage in occupational roles, such as teachers; making the occupational role of a student for girls more socially and culturally acceptable in the eyes of their parents.

The artwork set on a blackboard, depicts the Boko Haram’s movement to eradicate access to education for Nigerian females. This is contrasted by the image of the girl over the ‘white’ band of the Nigerian flag, which symbolises females’ desire for occupational choice and continued participation as a student and learner.
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TITLE:
Jeans East and Jeans West: the interplay between western consumerism and the occupational choices of a community in Dhaka, Bangladesh
ARTISTS:
Sophia Brindle and Alexandra Coe
MEASUREMENTS: 31cm 73cm
MEDIUM USED:
Fabric, cardboard, paint, matchsticks, dirt, rocks, wood, jeans, nails
Abstract:
Everyone has that favourite pair of jeans, a symbol of all places we have been and all we have done when wearing them. They are the ultimate utility garment; worn to work, at home and everywhere in between. They are an integral part of western culture, with a never-ending stock on our shopping-centre shelves.
In Dhaka, Bangladesh, the humble jean represents something very different; the opportunity to earn money, provide food and clothing for families and make a meaningful contribution to society. For the 800 000 people working in this industry every day it means taking their life in their hands. Horrendous working conditions, overcrowding, poor hygiene and no work safety protocols continue to endanger this community. With 30% unemployment in Dhaka, these people have to choose between their safety in the garment factories or poverty and destitution.
This occupational issue is represented in this sculpture. The matchstick people represent the Dhaka community, clothed in traditional Bangladeshi dress reflecting their unique culture. The jeans which literally support this community represent the western retail industry. Although these two images contrast each other, the model emphasises that this western fashion icon is responsible for maintaining the occupational webs of an entire community. The layering also denotes the oblivion of western consumerism on the vulnerable community of Dhaka. The wreckage representing the Rana Plaza disaster which claimed over 1000 lives, challenges the audience to consider that members of this community risk their lives to provide the pair of jeans we will wear tomorrow.
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TITLE:
“Duck, Duck, Shoot!”
The battlefield as the playground

ARTISTS: Vanessa Alfonso and Avi Chan
MEASUREMENTS:
28.5cm (L) x 18.5cm (W)
MEDIUM USED:
Cardboard, fabric, sand, watercolour, paint, charcoal, marker, children’s toys, wool, string

Abstract:
ONE child stolen
TWO others disappear
THREE gunshots
FOUR mothers crying at the door

Burma has largest number of child soldiers in the world. Each year, children as young as 11 are forced or bribed into joining the Burmese national army (Tatmadaw-Kyi). Despite signing a Joint Action Plan with the United Nations in 2013, Burma has failed to end its use of child soldiers. Recruiters target vulnerable children by promising them money in a time of desperation and poverty. Playmates become comrades in bloody fields of stolen dreams. Their dirt-covered fingers wrap around weapons as tall as their tiny frames with the shadows depicting the death of freedom, of hope and of the future.

The use of children's toys as our centrepiece portrays a paradox between the use of children and toy soldiers as expendable objects on the battlefield. The multitude of the soldiers in the background represent the decades of military rule that continue to oppress the Burmese community today. Children quietly disappear from their families who watch in helplessness and agony which is illustrated in the foreground. The string binding the children’s’ legs depicts their bondage to the commander – a bondage that separates them from their family and the toys they once played with. This starves the children of essential human rights and impacts on their spiritual development, participation in play and performing life roles. Injustice, slavery and war come to replace hopeful futures.

Soon the boys will emerge as men traumatised and hardened by years of war…
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TITLE: The Silent Classroom
ARTISTS: Jessica Francica and Antoinette Hawwa
MEASUREMENTS: 400mmx400mmx400mm
MEDIUM USED: Mixed media- Canvas, paint, wood, newspaper, dirt


Abstract:
With four years of ongoing violence and disruption, the children in Syria have experienced significant loss in the roles of student, play, community member and friend through the inability to attend school. Over 2.5 million children’s education has been jeopardized through destroyed and unusable schools resulting from the war. By January 2013, 3900 schools in Syria had been destroyed or put out of action. Consequently only 6% of children are attending school which highlights that the majority of children in Syria are deprived from the fundamental human right to formal education. This deprivation denies them the opportunity to attain fundamental academic knowledge, to develop social skills and emotional wellbeing that are attained by social interactions and play opportunities.

The artwork portrays a war torn classroom that has resulted in the absence of students. The canvas represents the destruction that has occurred in the classroom making it an unstable environment for the children to attend. The white books positioned in the foreground of the artwork represent the foundation of growth and development that is vital to a hopeful future. It also represents the lost opportunity of not attending school, which could significantly impact the health and wellbeing of these children through the denied access to school and the ability to engage in meaningful activities. The emptiness of the classroom represents the children’s loss of rightful roles as players, learners, friends and community members.
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TITLE: Feeding the hunger: what’s consuming the world? The environmental factors determining whether we can feed our nations
ARTISTS: Jordan Kennedy & Amiel Shparberg

MEASUREMENTS: 35cm x 42cm x 65cm

MEDIUM USED: Mixed Media: globe, string, dirt, miscellaneous objects


Abstract:
At an international level there is an irony between excessive amounts of food and wastage in developed countries, while simultaneously having a shocking degree of world hunger in developing countries.What greater example than the fast food industry? Its ingredients and food preparations facilitate obesity whilst others starve. Such trends cannot be attributed to the fault of a population; they exist within a cycle of environmental factors that dictate their capabilities and capacity.

The intertwined string suspends the influential elements that can either work in cohesion, or independently, contributing to what is currently ‘weighing down’ an unjust world. The contrasting colours and placement of objects represents the elements that work in isolation instead of in unity. These elements are dynamic and fluid with the potential for improvement and growth. Coming together and working as one can spread resources equitable to end world hunger. So the question remains, why are we not working together to address this issue and solve this problem?

Addressing one element isn’t enough, we need to coordinate. Seeds without soils, money without rights and policy, culture without understanding and education are all set to fail. The world has the capacity we just need the instigators to build change sustainably and ethically, to take the first step, to make the links and strengthen the connections. Eventually there will be no string left and we will have to work together. Who better to facilitate this cohesion than occupational therapists?
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Title: Through the Net

Artists: Huihui Lan & Yu Lei Tan
Measurement: 100cm (Length) x 70cm (Depth) x 150cm (Height)
Medium used: Crab keeper net (nylon, green), galvanised wire, rope, cables, hand splint, paper, found stationery, books, instruments, tools and toys belonging to children

Abstract:

Red-crab catching and fishing are leisure activities relished by Australians and tourists on Christmas Island, where panoramic landscapes and greenery are celebrated as reputably one of nature’s impressive feats. Yet, caught in the other secluded cranny of Christmas
Island are the lives of 356 juvenile asylum-seekers [1]: uncertain, unsettled and unseen in paradisiacal descriptions of the island. While many have struggled ashore seeking freedom from unrest in their homelands, their freedoms to meaningful participation are washed out in the abyss of indefinite detention. The harsh living environment undermines family functioning and parenting capacity; children are invariably denied their rights to meaningful occupations: cultural rites, education, play and language development.
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Drawing by a juvenile detainee on Christmas Island, 2014 (ABC News)

Reaching into the restrained space of juvenile asylum-seekers in high security detention centres, participants of ‘Through the Net’ are engaged in the helpless ebb and wave, multi-stakeholder tension, anxiety and —often violent, manifesting in self-harming — frustration experienced by occupationally alienated child asylum-seekers. Initially wishful, they are told to wait indefinitely, often withholding past traumas; meanwhile, conversations on their rights are cast away, slipping through the nets of Australia’s socio-political priorities.

The arm, hand and fingers are essential body parts used by most in everyday activities. Yet, many able-bodied children in detention, deprived of opportunities for meaningful growth, familial support, and stimulating learning environments while enmeshed in distressing confinement with adults similarly developing mental health issues, have reportedly experienced developmental regression. Their chronic resource-poor living conditions form a barbed contradistinction with their juvenile counterparts’ revels in enriching activities - on the same sands of a nation signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

[1] according to the Australian Human Rights Commission (27 May 2014), Asylum-Seeker Health Symposium
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TITLE: We've Got The Power
ARTISTS: Leah Saunders & Zoe Williams

MEASUREMENTS: 100x50cm

MEDIUM USED: Paint, Canvas, Electrical Cord


Abstract:
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is an international development scheme which aims to ameliorate occupational injustices worldwide. Through contact with National stakeholders such as Amnesty International, this UN declaration aims to encourage and implement positive change for international communities such as the Indigenous Australian’s. The Australian Indigenous population have experienced occupational injustice since the first landing of British Settlers in the 1700’s. They have been stripped of opportunities to participate in traditional and meaningful occupations.

Through the concept of community development, collaboration between stakeholders, and compliance with policies, Occupational Therapists (OT's) have the “power” to “connect” with the Indigenous community. We can assist in empowering the community, allowing them to rekindle with their culture and associated meaningful occupations. We have chosen to represent this through the use of the power cord.

The spiral motif is a representation of traditional Aboriginal culture. We have used it to symbolise the core values and meaningful occupations of the Indigenous community. The unravelling of the spiral represents the effects of British settlement. Schemes such as “The White Australian Policy” and the Stolen Generation stripped Indigenous communities of their occupational rights, causing significant injustice.

Occupational Injustice continues to exist today. Indigenous people experience greater health concerns, lower education levels and socio-economic status and higher rates of unemployment. The spiral remains disordered.

The final spiral reflects the recent movement towards Reconciliation and Closing the Gap. Australia is beginning to recognise the occupational injustice the Indigenous people have experienced. These measures are aiming to regather history and identity in the context of recognising a community’s occupational rights.

The tail end of the power cord is arranged in a question mark. How can we as OT’s use our “power to empower” this community? We need to utilise resources to travel on a journey with the Indigenous toward autonomy, occupational justice, and reconnection with heritage – to collaboratively “reform” these traditional spirals. The holistic connection between the Aboriginal culture, and our practice as OT's, can be a “powerful device” to assist the enablement process of occupational justice for Aboriginal communities in Australia.
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For nine months, the people of Gao, Africa endured terror at the hands of Islamist rebels who captured their city in April 2012. Following the brutal implementation of Islamic Sharia law, working-age men were forced to steal to provide for their families and punished with cross-amputation; an extreme application of this law. This torture involved the crude amputation of their right hand and left leg. Despite the reclamation of Gao in January 2013, the lasting effects of these mutilations have resulted in occupational deprivation amongst many of the men.
This substantial reduction in physical ability has greatly inhibited their participation and inclusion in productivity, leisure and self-care occupations leading to lifelong psychological trauma. As four-fifths of Gao’s male population work in agriculture, their ability to earn a living has been significantly disrupted, increasing poverty and diminishing quality of life for these individuals, their families and the wider Gao community. These men have been further deprived of leisurely occupations including participation in soccer, the local pastime, minimising their opportunity for social interaction and community involvement. Difficulties with self-care occupations such as buttoning shirts are daily struggles faced by victims of cross-amputation serving as constant reminders of the enduring barriers to occupational performance.
This artwork depicts the occupational injustices experienced in the domains of productivity, leisure and self-care. The photographs of significant items metaphorically represent these meaningful activities. The symbolism of the red handprints and footprint is threefold, portraying the cross-amputation of limbs, loss of ability to participate in these occupations and the blood spilled during the horrific Islamic takeover.

The Ganges is one of the largest rivers in the world. It flows through India and Bangladesh, from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal. More than 400 million people are dependent on the Ganges for their livelihoods. They drink, swim, bathe, brush their teeth, wash their clothes, and cook with the water. The river is also the centre of religious rituals and funeral rites. The Hindus worship the river as the goddess Ganga and its waters are considered sacred. It is believed that bathing in the water washes away both physical and spiritual impurities and that it liberates the bather from the repetitive cycle of life and death.
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Contrary to religious and cultural beliefs, the Ganges is also one of the most polluted rivers in the world. Sewage, industrial waste, religious offerings, and human remains contribute towards the large amount of pollutants found in the river. This contamination has led to the presence of toxic levels of cadaverine, Escherichia coli, and other chemicals and organisms. Drinking and bathing in its waters carries a high risk of infection by water-borne diseases such as cholera and dysentery. Use of water from the Ganges has also been correlated with diarrhoea, the leading cause of death among children in India. In stark contrast to its traditional revered role as the lifeblood of India, the Ganges has become an agent of death and disease.