When Ammar Yonis took a photograph in his aunty’s living room, he couldn’t have imagined that the picture would win him a Victorian Multicultural Commission Award and be one of 24 photos displayed in the Capturing Culture exhibition at Melbourne’s Immigration Museum.
The 25-year-old creative from Truganina said “it felt great” to win his most notable achievement to date.
“I got a lot of love, especially from people based in Wyndham, to see that a photograph taken by someone from the Western Suburbs is in the Immigration Museum and then on top of that has won the prize for the category ‘daily life’,” Yonis said.
“I’m a Harari-Australian, to be able to put my work…alongside other people’s work from various multicultural backgrounds, it makes you appreciate how many different communities are in Melbourne as well.”
Yonis said he’s been approached by people who reiterated how strongly the picture resonated with them.
“I think you can see it in your own home, obviously the interior is going to be different from one house to the next, but I feel like you can remember a moment when you’re in the living room and you’re amongst people that you love,” he said.
“For a lot of people, for myself as well, these are moments that I really cherish…It’s not going out to a barbecue or exploring, or going on a hike, but just in that home, everyone’s being able to be comfortable around each other.
“I think the image itself just has that atmosphere about it, that you can look at it and remember a time like that.”
Yonis said he’s “very intentional” with the kind of photos he decides to take and is passionate about using his talent to create meaningful conversations.
“I’ve been dedicating time to exploring certain stories and narratives through photography,” he said.
“Most of the time that I do pick up the camera, it is to create a series, create a short story that is part of the dialogue.”
The Capturing Culture: Multicultural Victoria in Focus exhibition will be held at the Immigration Museum until Sunday, June 26.