The Unending Absence

Imagine the world of migration from an alternative point of view

The playlist

The project

What are the emotional realities of being an immigrant? Not just what happened, when and why, but what it felt like to leave your life behind, to be between two worldsnot to know what lies ahead for you and your family, to feel sad and happy at the same time.

Through this series of audio clips we are speaking to you from inside the immigrant experience. We are taking you deep into the inner world of immigrants as they leave, journey, arrive, wait for their fate to be decided, feel ambushed by memories and reflect on the shape of their lives.

The soundscape is an extended poem, based on extensive research into emotional realities experienced by migrants, who came to Australia from across the world at different times. 

This project is a collaboration between Museums Victoria’s Immigration Museum through Senior Curator Dr Moya McFadzean, writer and cultural historian Maria Tumarkin, and sound artist Thembi Soddell. It is supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions.

The Audio

This work is a series of sound pieces. They are composed for you to listen to at the Immigration Museum - But you can listen to them anywhere you like. 

The voice you hear is that of the script’s author Maria Tumarkin. She is a first-generation immigrant. She speaks with an accent. We wanted a migrant voice to be your guide.

seated woman
Dr Maria Tumarkin, writer and cultural historian

What to Do

Simply select the audio files and listen to Maria’s narrative as you walk through the the Immigration Museum – you will imagine the world of migration from an alternative point of view.

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