About

We are a writers collective that builds community and mentorship with refugee and migrant background writers. Our collective was founded to train new writers who are refugees in Indonesia towards professional publication and forge relationships between writers across islands.

the archipelago online magazine is a home for new literature and art that explores migration, identity and decolonisation. Our content will always be free, and is funded by you, our readers through memberships. We are a registered non-profit organisation in Australia, Create Archipelago Ltd, whose vision is to amplify the creative work of Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) creators and build an engaged readership that expands community conversations.

the archipelago is created between West Java and the stolen lands belonging to the Durramurragal people of the Eora nation. We pay our respect to their Elders, past, present and future, and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded and colonial violence continues here today.

We publish new writing and art every month. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see our latest content.

Our team

Warsan Weedhsan

Warsan Weedhsan is a writer. She is the co-founder of the Sisterhood Women’s Empowerment Centre in Jakarta which runs skills training and wellbeing programs for refugee women. Warsan’s writing aims to uncover the social and cultural problems facing refugees and to support women to stand against discrimination.

Kieren Kresevic Salazar

Kieren Kresevic Salazar is a writer who has been collaborating with writers in the refugee community in Indonesia since 2018. He is a Pforzheimer Public Service Fellow at Harvard University. Kieren is based in Eora country. He holds a degree in Comparative Literature from Harvard.

JN Joniad

JN Joniad is a Rohingya journalist. He is a student of political science and human rights activist. He was formerly an Engineering and Physics student in Myanmar, before being forced to flee to Indonesia. Joniad contributes to film and publishing accounts of refugees searching for a safe and durable solution.

Our name

“When the smugglers told me I will be travelling to Indonesia a few hours before I arrived to Khartoum airport, the word ألأرخبيل archipelago jumped to my mind.

Geography lessons in high school emerged on my view. I thought they were taking me to the edge of the globe, not only in the east, but the east itself. I understood that, in this archipelago, I will get back my life and my dreams, and I did. It’s become the heart of my world.

This archipelago is my lifeline, it’s as great as my ambition, it’s as unique as my destination. I suggested the archipelago as a name for our magazine for it will be the icon that illuminates my road to free my thoughts and achieve my dreams to be a writer. I picked this name for it can unify us as writers with different goals, countries, attitudes, as it unifies its islands.” Mahdi Zain, Darfurian writer.

 

“Archipelagos are ways of thinking spatially about entangled relationships. They show relationships across islands, reorganising space away from static divisions like nation and continent, and instead creating fluid networks of interconnection.

Archipelagos unravel the fictions that construct contemporary borders. To give just one common example, the longstanding trade along the Malay Road between Yolngu people in Northern Australia and Makassans in Indonesia reveals how the present day separation of Australia and Asia that animates the exclusion of refugees forms part of the same colonial violence that continues to exert itself on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

I had just spent the last year studying islands and archipelagic thinking. When I asked our writers to name our group and Mahdi Zain suggested archipelago, I knew we had our name.

Our writers collective is itself a series of archipelagos. Our intention is to bring you into relationship with the archipelago, forging proactive connections together across islands and space.” Kieren Kresevic Salazar

For graphic design projects reach out to Hazara designer Mahdi Graphist who completed the graphic design for our logo ([email protected]).

For web design projects reach out to SMART (Skilled Migrant & Refugee Technicians) who completed our map and website.