Powerful international student stories on show

The Flinders international student community is diverse, bringing together a wide range of experiences, challenges and successes. In the Frame: International Stories of Empowerment is an exhibition by Flinders International and Flinders University Art Museum which brings together stories of strength and inspiration from international students.

Flinders international student Gizela Da Silva lived through the violent struggle for independence in Timor-Leste, and was forced to flee into the mountains to survive.

“My cousin was shot to death whilst running for safety from the Militias. I ran back to him, hugged him tight, yelling my heart out for help while bullets flew over our head like the sounds of popcorn in a microwave,” she says.

Kabita Sijali also remembers fearing for her life when Nepal was struck by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April 2015.

“I hid myself under my bed and closed my eyes. I could hear screaming people who were crying out of fear of dying. I saw the death and the destruction of buildings and our old heritage. I was in my final year and my final exam was approaching.”

Both Kabita and Gizela left their family and country behind to forge a new but often challenging path studying in South Australia.

“I struggled because of different teaching styles and a different pattern of studying. Sometimes I felt ignored by classmates,” says Kabita. “However, I strongly believe that difficulties are what makes life interesting: and overcoming those difficulties make life fascinating and meaningful.”

These are just a sample of the powerful stories shared through the nineteen portaits that make up In the Frame: International Stories of Empowerment, captured by Adelaide based artist Alex Frayne.

 To view the exhibition, visit the Studio (behind Grind & Press café at Bedford Park, map ref J10) between 9am and 5pm, weekdays. Exhibition concludes on Tuesday 3 September.

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