Growing up is confusing, difficult to navigate and different for everyone.
The Immigration Museum’s exhibition ‘Becoming You’ provides accounts of different communities who experience coming-of-age moments in different ways. Real-life stories are hilarious and heart-wrenching, monumental and mundane.
Among the 71 stories is a video wall representation of Kris Pavlidis sharing what it was like to grow up Greek, speak the language and eat pita-wrapped food before it became popular and acceptable by the mainstream. Like PRONIA President Kris Pavlidis, another 72 storytellers grapple with their identity with personal experiences traverse landscapes of time, gender, orientation, culture, age, and distance.
Among the storytellers are performance artist and writer Adolfo Aranjuez, astrophysicist Alan Duffy, writer Alice Pung, model Andreja Pejic, artist Atong Atem, poet and critic Fiona Wright, climate activist Harriet O’Shea Carre, disability activist Jax Jacki Brown, AFL footballer Jason Johannisen, fashion designer Jenny Bannister, drag queen Karen from Finance, Gunnai-Gunditjmara Greens Senator for Victoria Lidia Thorpe, rapper Nathan Bird (Birdz), ballet dancer and actor Noel Tovey, comedian and writer Osamah Sami, documentary filmmaker Santilla Chingaipe and cross-cultural consultant Tasneem Chopra.
Even Melbourne Mayor Sally Capp shares her own story of feeling like an outsider on an exchange program.
The stories continue as guests to the museum recall their own experiences of growing up in Australia.
The Immigration Museum is at the old Customs House building at 400 Flinders Street, Melbourne.