Atong Atem (SS/AU)


15 April 2022 - 26 June 2022
Image: Atong Atem, [Photography 8], 2021. Courtesy the artist and MARS Gallery.

Image: Atong Atem, Photography 8, 2021. Courtesy the artist and MARS Gallery.


15 April 2022 - 26 June 2022




Benalla Art Gallery [i]
Botanical Gardens, Bridge Street, Benalla
Daily, 10am - 4.30pm
Closed Tuesdays




Wheelchair access



Exploring the history of African migration to So-Called Australia, Banksia presents an intimate and visually rich telling of the Migration Story.

A photographic series and video—accompanied by an arresting score by Melbourne composer Jerry Agbinya—work in conjunction to reveal otherwise obscured layers of history on a cinematic scale.

The works highlight the experience of African men and women who arrived on the First Fleet in 1788, a colonial history that started long before Atem’s own family arrived from South Sudan in 1997.

In fostering a deeper understanding of the experiences of African migrants, Atem interrogates the shaping of national policy throughout the centuries—policy that has directly influenced national identity.

The presentation of Banksia at Benalla Art Gallery encompasses a gallery exhibition of photographic stills alongside nightly outdoor screenings of the video work throughout PHOTO 2022.

Supported by MARS Gallery

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Founding Partners
  • Bowness Family Foundation
  • Naomi Milgrom Foundation
Major Government Partners
  • City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program
  • Creative Victoria
Major Partners
  • Maddocks

PHOTO Australia respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we work and live, and the rich and diverse Indigenous cultures across what is now called Australia. For over 60,000 years, Indigenous arts and culture have thrived on this sacred land, and we honour Elders and cultural leaders past and present. This was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.

01–24 March