Atong Atem

June 2018

Atong Atem is a South Sudanese artist and writer from Bor living in Narrm Melbourne. Born in Ethiopia she spent her first years in a Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp before moving to Australia as a child. Atem’s photos explore the experiences of young immigrants, and how they knit together the different cultures that surround them. Her work explores migrant narratives, postcolonial practices in the diaspora, the relationship between public and private spaces and identity through portraiture. Atem’s distinctive artistic practice combines both photography and hand painting, incorporating bold color and pattern inspired by her South Sudanese background. Atong Atem studied painting at Sydney College of the Arts in 2012 before furthering her studies at RMIT. Her work has been featured in i-D and Okayafrica and was recently exhibited at The Brisbane Powerhouse Museum, where she won the inaugural MELT Portrait Prize.