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Ally Zlatar

As a woman who has come from a family of displaced origins (fled former Yugoslavia) I know the struggles of forming an identity as a migrant woman. Growing up in a new country with a family not accustomed to the cultural traditions of the new land was incredibly difficult for me and countless others. From an outsider's perspective, people can imagine the trials and tribulations of language barriers, lack of education and cultural behaviours. However, it is more profound than many perceive.

There is an eminent issue that is facing displaced persons, and that is the lack of authentic representation. There is to focus on the external physical ramifications of their experience i.e. displacement, social impact, and social struggles. Still, there is a dire need to examine the internalised psychological and emotional struggles that they experience. At times, the reality of living with a 'divergent body' deriving from a background of conflict can be unbearable. It is incredibly difficult to express how such a story can impact the self-identity and self-image of someone trying to settle in a new location. This work aims to enlighten the public on what it is genuinely like to endure hardship as a migrant and share not only my experiences but also help avails others to share theirs.

Artist's Bio

Ally Zlatar is an artist and activist who founded The Starving Artist and The Starving Artist Scholarship Fund. Her "This Body of Mine" campaign has globally supported individuals and artists from refugee-seeking backgrounds. Zlatar has been recognized for her humanitarian work, winning The Princess Diana Legacy Award, King Hamad Award for Youth Empowerment, and a Y20 Award Finalist for Diversity and Inclusion. Zlatar explores illness, vulnerability, and authenticity through auto-ethnographic experiences and art as a catalyst for change-making.

Instagram @allyzlatar


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