Lee Grant – Sudanese Portraits from Suburbia

By Lee Grant
Sudanese family outside Australian home in formal wear

I started working on this project about the Sudanese diaspora in Australia after photographing a family for another project set in the suburbs. According to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Sudanese community is currently one of the fastest growing groups in Australia. In the last few years many Sudanese migrants have moved into the area where I live and I’ve watched their integration into our community.

After making my first portrait of a family who’d been in Australia for 4 years, I suddenly had many other families asking me to make portraits of them too. Throughout the process of photographing I heard many stories as to how and why they’d arrived here. As a mother with my own family I find it impossible not to be moved. Stories of immense courage and sacrifice but also of hope for a brighter future in Australia.

Two young Sudanese girls in formal dress

 Copyright Lee Grant

Sudanese mother and baby before white background

Copyright Lee Grant

Sudanese couple holding hands in armchairs

Copyright Lee Grant

Sudanese girls in matching white dress with mother

Copyright Lee Grant

Sudanese family outside Australian home in formal wear

Copyright Lee Grant

Sudanese brothers sharing armchair

Copyright Lee Grant

Sudanese children playing in suburban Australian street

Copyright Lee Grant

Sudanese boy holding bicycle in suburban Australian street

Copyright Lee Grant

Sudanese mother nursing baby

Copyright Lee Grant

Sudanese mother holding young daughter

Copyright Lee Grant

As I negotiate my engagement with the community, my aim with this project is to continue working on the series of portraits but to also evolve it into a larger body about identity, displacement and belonging as well as the process of integration and citizenship in the context of the Australian suburbs. In making this portrait of my new neighbours I hope to find some measure of understanding that transcends culture and language, and that I can share with my fellow Australians for the present and into the future.


Lee Grant is an Australian photographer. She recently completed a Masters at the ANU School of Art. More of her work can be found here.

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  • Rose

    These photographs are incredible. So beautiful.

  • Zora

    This is really beautiful work. Congrats Lee and Right Now on publishing it.

  • Sarah

    Well done Lee, very engrossing and beautiful portrait work. I am curious as to why you chose to have your subjects look so sombre? Was this deliberate? Cheers.

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