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We Are Looking After Each Other
Rain comes. In his voice messages, Aziz sounds unwell – but speaks at length about how, in spite of their living conditions, the men finally feel they have some control over their lives. He tells Michael about how they're cooperating with each other, too – splitting duties like security and the daily cleaning of the compound.
'We don't always want to get the attention of the people about the hardship,' he explains. 'We are just paying the price for our freedom.'
Abdul Aziz Muhamat
'We are managing our lives. You know, it's been 21 days now, three weeks … it's become normal for us.'
In this update
Abdul Aziz Muhamat
Our theme music was composed by Raya Slavin.
'The situation is critical’: cholera fears on Manus as water and medicine run out', by Ben Doherty, Guardian Australia, accessed 21 November 2017
'Refugees Trapped Far from Home, Farther from Deliverance', by Damien Cave, New York Times, accessed 21 November 2017
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.
This short update was edited and mixed by Jon Tjhia.
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.
Abdul Aziz Muhamat is a 24-year-old man from Darfur, Sudan. He is from the Zaghawa ethnicity, and with his family, he fled his village to a refugee camp. He arrived in Australia by boat in 2013 and was taken to Manus Island, where he remains.
Michael Green is a journalist in Melbourne. He has written about environmental and social issues for the Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Nature, Nautilus, Smith Journal, Right Now and Overland, among others. He is the coordinator of Behind the Wire, and has been working on a book of people’s stories from detention called They Cannot Take the Sky, which will be published in March 2017 by Allen & Unwin. He is also producing an exhibition at Melbourne’s Immigration Museum based on the stories in the book, which will open on 17 March 2017.
All messages as part of this discussion and any opinions, advice, statements, or other information contained in any messages or transmitted by any third party are the responsibility of the author of that message and not the Wheeler Centre.
From Behind the Wire and the Wheeler Centre, The Messenger brings you into the Australian immigration detention centre on Manus Island – and reveals, in intimate detail, one man's experience of what it's really like to flee tragedy and seek asylum by boat.