Behind this smile #behindthissmile 

Behind this smile #behindthissmile 

Paw's Story at Altona Meadows Library and Learning Centre

Paw's Story at Altona Meadows Library and Learning Centre

Pargat and Lovepreet's story at Altona Meadows Library and Learning Centre

Pargat and Lovepreet's story at Altona Meadows Library and Learning Centre

Behind this smile, 2015 

The Behind This Smile community art project was developed as part of the Racism. It Stops with Me Campaign with the aim to promote the value of cultural diversity in Hobsons Bay and to challenge cultural stereotypes.

Local residents from diverse backgrounds shared their stories and portraits. They were ready to stand up and let us know what they have learnt from their experience of racism. They want us to know who they are and what made them who they are. They believe that ultimately this is what will bring change; knowing each other and seeing the world and everyone in it as they do… as one big family.

Wendy Murray, the artist working on the project, developed the conceptual theme of the artwork in response to participants’ stories – investigating what’s behind that smile.

Behind This Smile artwork reflects the diverse cultural histories of the Hobsons Bay area and begins a positive conversation about the impact of racism on the individual.

The images are displayed at the following locations: Altona Library, Altona Meadows Library and Learning Centre, Altona North Community Library, Williamstown Library and Laverton Community Hub as well as on council flags. 

(Info from the Official Project website - visit the site

'Behind this smile is a good Australian who loves his country' Mohamed's Story at Laverton Community Hub 

'Behind this smile is a good Australian
who loves his country'

Mohamed's Story at Laverton Community Hub 

'Behind this smile I see my people trying to change themselves to fit in'  Akon's Story at Altona North Library

'Behind this smile I see my people trying to change themselves to fit in'  Akon's Story at Altona North Library

'Behind this smile I think it’s ok to be different but we should all be treated the same' - Darleen Installing Darleen's Story at Laverton Community Hub

'Behind this smile I think it’s ok to be different
but we should all be treated the same' - Darleen

Installing Darleen's Story at Laverton Community Hub

'Behind this smile my faith defines me and my way of life' Fatima's Story at Altona North Library

'Behind this smile my faith defines me and my way of life' Fatima's Story at Altona North Library

share your story

Grab a Behind This Smile postcard from libraries and tell us what you think about the images, stories and share your story or join in the conversation on Instagram at #behindthissmile

Special thanks to all the strong, beautiful, sensitive people who helped make this project powerful and amazing.

Project Installed: March 2015. Several of the libraries and community venues have requested the portraits and stories remain. Moderate changes were made in early 2016 but the works still remain strong and well supported by the Hobsons Bay Community. 
Site installations: Medium: Large format solvent print on clear vinyl Printer: Industrial Art Sign Co. Melbourne, Australia
Postcards: Set of 12
Flags: Set of 24 (1 each of portraits and stories)

Rebecca's Story (left), Akon's Story (middle) and Bridget's Story (right)

Rebecca's Story (left), Akon's Story (middle) and Bridget's Story (right)