How are refugee artists in Australia expressing their experiences of seeking safety through their art? Why are they partnering with the ASRC to gift samples of their work to human rights supporters like YOU? And how can YOU be directly involved in the journey to safety of other refugees and people seeking asylum like these artists?

Discover the answers & Sign up to get your FREE POSTER


Three refugee artists rebuilding their lives in Australia

Asad, Awer & Elrica have sought safety in Australia after becoming refugees when they escaped persecution and violence. They are now all at different stages in life. Asad has been in Melbourne for less than a year, navigating the challenges of settling into a new community with no connections in the art world and having to work odd jobs waiting for the right opportunity. 

Awer on the other hand, has been in Australia for over 12 years and while today he is an established Draftsperson for a multinational company and freelance artist, he still reminisces about his time in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. Elrica, the youngest of the three, is completing her art studies with a refugee scholarship and living with her parents in NSW after facing religious persecution and finding safety in Australia.

The three of them are joining efforts with the ASRC through Art for Though to champion refugee art and raise awareness of the challenges people seeking asylum face in Australia.

Asad Ali

“This is my self-portrait inspired by the original “Boy with a Basket of Fruit” from Caravaggio. Why did I paint this? Because I felt like the boy holding the basket. He couldn’t eat the fruit because the painter paid him to stand still and hold the basket. I was like him, close to the fruit and the veg but so out of reach and I just kept being hungry and needing opportunity. I painted this, in my stroke style during the pandemic. The discrimination of Hazaras was - and still is- so intense that everyone was giving us their backs. Three years later, I sought asylum in Australia and this is one of the five paintings I managed to bring with me. No clothes, no other personal belongings. Just my art.”

Awer Bul

“My artwork reflects on windows and doors as a metaphor for opportunities that come and go in the lives of refugees in Australia. I like to think that when a door closes, a window might be opening somewhere else and that is exactly our lives as refugees. Being from South Sudan and growing up in the midst of the Sudanese civil war, I got to see many doors close, but other windows open. At seven years old I fled to the border of Uganda and South Sudan with my parents. It was another window opening for us. I lived in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya for six years, eating just one meal a day. The hand represents all refugees in Australia knocking on closed doors and trying hard to open windows too.”

Elrica Jasmine

“My inspiration came from Rohingya refugees trapped in between the conflict in Myanmar, who walked for days and nights, through jungles and across seas, to attain freedom, only to be still trapped in camps.
While me and my family are also refugees, I can appreciate others have a harder pathway to safety and some might never find it.
My father is a photographer and he captured the journey of a Rohingya group. His photos and the stories he heard, marked my heart and motivated me to advocate for human rights. There are so many stories of people who have their human rights violated. While the artwork features sadness, it’s also about people’s bravery and resilience.”


Sign up to download the digital artwork by Asad, Awer & Elrica.

Become an ongoing supporter of refugees and people seeking asylum.

Get the physical prints of your favourite artwork from the refugee artists featured. 


Art for Thought is a collaborative campaign between the three artists, Asad Ali, Awer Bul,  Elrica Jasmine, and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre that seeks to spotlight refugee art and its power to raise awareness of the challenges refugees and people seeking asylum face in their journey to safety. 

The three artists have provided original pieces through Art for Thought so ASRC supporters can download the digital artworks and learn about their personal stories and the inspiration behind their art. 

If you sign up today, you will receive a FREE POSTER featuring one of the artworks. An ASRC representative will contact you via phone in the next few days to arrange shipping of your favourite piece.