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Away From Home

A projection of a boy on a swing on a playground erected by NGO 'Right to Play' in the refugee camp of Mae La on the Thai Burma Border. This image has been projected onto a driveway in Brisbane, Australia where a refugee family now resides. BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - July 2015.

A projection of a boy on a swing on a playground erected by NGO ‘Right to Play’ in the refugee camp of Mae La on the Thai Burma Border. This image has been projected onto a driveway in Brisbane, Australia where a refugee family now resides. BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – July 2015.


Away From Home, photo essay by Tammy Law


Away From Home is a series of photographs that explore the dualities that surround the idea of home: between presence & absence, permanence & impermanence and belonging & displacement.

The project engages in the lived experiences of liminality from the perspectives of the transnational diaspora from Burma. Away From Home investigates themes of migration, belonging, place and notions of home. Drawing on the ‘ordinariness’ of interactions across familial divisions the exhibition combines typologies, images of stateless environments and domestic and psychological spaces to comment on feelings of statelessness within the transnational lives of the people involved.

The significance of the diasporic transnational network needs to be further ellucidated, not only in terms of the political and peacemaking contexts that exist but also through ethnographic studies that investigate the multifaceted identities and sense of belonging in transnational communities.

These works aim to develop new understandings of the multidimensional complexities of being a refugee – both home and away – and expand on longstanding traditions of documentary photographic practice. At a time of increasing displacement and familial upheaval, it is important we take notice of how people get on in transcultural familial situations or how difference is lived on the ground.

(by Tammy Law)


A projection of a couple at Inya Lake in Yangon, a popular recreational spot for locals in Yangon, Burma (Myanmar). This image has been projected onto a home where a family from Yangon now resides in Victoria, Australia. VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA - April 2016.

A projection of a couple at Inya Lake in Yangon, a popular recreational spot for locals in Yangon, Burma (Myanmar). This image has been projected onto a home where a family from Yangon now resides in Victoria, Australia. VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA – April 2016.

A projection of a river crossing near Mae Sot, Thailand close to where the largest refugee camp on the Thai Burma border (Mae La refugee camp). This image has been projected onto the shed of a family that now resides in Brisbane, Australia. One of the children explained that homes in the camp are not much bigger than the size of the shed pictured. BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - November 2016.

A projection of a river crossing near Mae Sot, Thailand close to where the largest refugee camp on the Thai Burma border (Mae La refugee camp). This image has been projected onto the shed of a family that now resides in Brisbane, Australia. One of the children explained that homes in the camp are not much bigger than the size of the shed pictured. November 2016.

A projection of fishing families in Myanmar. This image has been projected onto the side of a house where a woman and her nephew stand outside their home in Brisbane, Australia. Fish is a staple of the Burmese diet and many who have resettled have told stories of getting caught fishing illegally fishing in newly settled areas as it can be difficult to navigate the local rules and regulations. BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - September 2015.

A projection of fishing families in Myanmar. This image has been projected onto the side of a house where a woman and her nephew stand outside their home in Brisbane, Australia. Fish is a staple of the Burmese diet and many who have resettled have told stories of getting caught fishing illegally fishing in newly settled areas as it can be difficult to navigate the local rules and regulations. September 2015.

A woman in Mawlamyine, Burma (Myanmar) stands by a projection of her son who has resettled in Victoria, Melbourne. MAWLAMYINE, BURMA (MYANMAR) - November 2015.

A woman in Mawlamyine, Burma (Myanmar) stands by a projection of her son who has resettled in Victoria, Melbourne. MAWLAMYINE, BURMA (MYANMAR) – November 2015.

A projection of Karen State, Burma (Myanmar) on the side of a resettled family home in Brisbane, Australia. The Karen are the largest ethnic minority group in Burma (Myanmar). BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - February 2016.

A projection of Karen State, Burma (Myanmar) on the side of a resettled family home in Brisbane, Australia. The Karen are the largest ethnic minority group in Burma (Myanmar). February 2016.

A projection of children crossing zones in Mae La refugee camp on the fence line between two neighbourhood homes in suburban Victoria, Australia. VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA - August 2015.

A projection of children crossing zones in Mae La refugee camp on the fence line between two neighbourhood homes in suburban Victoria. August 2015.

A projection of the inside of a house in Mae La refugee camp. This 'temporary' camp was established in 1984 and currently still holds over 50,000 refugees. This image has been projected onto the home of a well established Karen family now residing in Brisbane, Australia. BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - April 2016.

A projection of the inside of a house in Mae La refugee camp. This ‘temporary’ camp was established in 1984 and currently still holds over 50,000 refugees. This image has been projected onto the home of a well established Karen family now residing in Brisbane. – April 2016.

A projection of children playing inside a cave that is located inside Mae La refugee camp. The image has been projected onto a resettled family home in Brisbane, Australia. BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - July 2015.

A projection of children playing inside a cave that is located inside Mae La refugee camp. The image has been projected onto a resettled family home in Brisbane. July 2015.

A projection of a man crossing from Thailand to Burma (Myanmar) to ferry goods over to an internally displaced people's camp. The internally displaced cannot legally resettle in any country without formal identification documentation. Many reside on the border of Burma and Thailand in order to escape war torn areas inside Burma (Myanmar). This image has been projected onto the side of a resettled family home in Brisbane, Australia. BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - April 2016.

A projection of a man crossing from Thailand to Burma (Myanmar) to ferry goods over to an internally displaced people’s camp. The internally displaced cannot legally resettle in any country without formal identification documentation. Many reside on the border of Burma and Thailand in order to escape war torn areas inside Burma (Myanmar). This image has been projected onto the side of a resettled family home in Brisbane. April 2016.

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