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#7 A Small Village

I have got energy, so … why can’t I just keep in touch with the outside world?’


Photo of Abdul Aziz Muhamat on his phone

Photo: Michael Green

Even though Aziz is in detention, far away from both his home and from the country whose government is holding him, he’s on his phone all day. He’s sending messages to Michael, or he’s on Facebook with friends and activists, or he’s following the latest news in Australia.

He’s hyperconnected. But his connection to the outside world is complicated and, despite their constant communication, Michael and Aziz never really get to have a regular, real-time conversation.

In this episode, Aziz observes his third Ramadan inside detention. Fasting during the day, he sends Michael messages late into the night. And, along with many of the men on Manus, the Australian federal election campaign raises Aziz’s hopes. On election night, Aziz and his fellow detainees follow the news forensically to try to make sense of the result and what, if anything, it means for the future of the detention centre.

Meanwhile, Michael investigates the possibility of travelling to Manus Island. Could they really meet face to face?


A transcript of this episode is available here (Adobe PDF format).

In this episode

  • Abdul Aziz Muhamat
  • Michael Green

Our theme music was composed by Raya Slavin. Music used in this episode includes ‘Nook & Cranny’ and ‘Grandiflora’ by Biosphere, ‘Pilot’ by Markus Guentner, ‘Ba Ba’ by Sigur Rós, ‘Our’ by Actress, ‘Render 4’ by Cologne Tape, ‘I Found the End’ by Broadcast, ‘Them, Their’ by Jan Jelinek, ‘Passage’ by Oren Ambarchi and ‘Caroline’ by the Babies, with sundry additional music by Jon Tjhia.

More information

The Messenger is a co-production of Behind the Wire and the Wheeler Centre. It’s produced by Michael Green, André Dao, Hannah Reich and Bec Fary, with Jon Tjhia and Sophie Black at the Wheeler Centre.

Narration by Michael Green. With reporting by Abdul Aziz Muhamat. Additional fact checking by the Guardian‘s Ben Doherty; transcription by Claire McGregor, Tiarne Cook, Lina Lettau and many more​. This episode was edited and mixed by Bec Fary and Jon Tjhia.

Thank you

Dana Affleck, Angelica Neville and Sienna Merope. Also to Behind the Wire’s many participants and volunteers. Behind the Wire is supported by the Bertha Foundation.

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