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.'
'We are managing our lives. You know, it's been 21 days now, three weeks … it's become normal for us.'Abdul Aziz Muhamat
Photo: Manus AlertIn 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.
State of Play: Political Art in 2017
In Australia for a residency with the Melbourne Fringe, Forest Fringe co-directors Andy Field and Deborah Pearson discuss with host Emily Sexton the intersection of art and politics. Is art inherently political? When are artists seen as legitimate political commentators and when are they dismissed? And, in this politically heated moment in the UK, what do Field and Pearson want…
The Wheeler Centre
Black Lives Matter: In Conversation
In February 2012, an unarmed African-American high-school student, Trayvon Martin, was shot dead in Sanford, Florida. His death was a flashpoint in American race relations, sparking protests across the United States and the beginning of a totally new kind of civil-rights movement: #blacklivesmatter.
Left to right: Jack Latimore, Patrisse Cullors and Rodney Diverlus — Photo: Jon Tjhia
The movement – founded by Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza – fights for justice and dignity for black people. Diffuse, inclusive and multifaceted, #blacklivesmatter has built momentum online and, crucially, on the ground. Its activists have enjoyed wins in court rooms, in the media, on the streets and in Barack Obama’s White House. The message has resonated across the globe, with large turnouts for rallies not just across the US but also in Brazil, Australia, South Africa and other countries.
In Australia to collect the Sydney Peace Prize, two of Black Lives Matter’s founders and leaders – Cullors, and Toronto BLM Chapter co-founder Rodney Diverlus – talk with Jack Latimore about the achievements and broader goals of #blacklivesmatter … and how we can translate the lessons of the movement to face and fight entrenched inequality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia (with whom they've spent significant amounts of time ahead of this conversation).
Among other topics, they discuss the importance of sustained activism, inclusive and nuanced ideas of 'blackness', and an empowering movement unconstrained by national borders or charismatic leadership.
(Note: This podcast episode contains a discussion of online abuse, which includes strong language.)Alicia Garza on Black Lives Matter Watch
Due to illness, Alicia Garza was unable to join us for this event. In lieu of her appearance, she recorded a short video message covering some of her thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement, and explaining why looking after one's health is important to organisers.
Photo: Jon Tjhia
Margin for Error
Fury reflects on the pitfalls and paradoxes of tokenism for marginalised writers.
The Wheeler Centre
Behind Closed Doors: Youth Detention in Australia
Karly Warner, Shahleena Musk, Eddie Cubillo and Antoinette Braybrook
In July last year, Four Corners broadcast an investigation into the mistreatment of children in Northern Territory youth detention centres. The report included appalling images of teenager Dylan Voller in a mechanical restraint chair at the Alice Springs Detention Centre. The images provided a snapshot of what has been well documented in past reports and the subject of longstanding advocacy by lawyers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups working in the sector.
The report was the catalyst for the calling of a Royal Commission to investigate serious allegations of mistreatment and abuse of children within the youth detention and child protection systems of the NT (now due to be handed down this November). Indigenous children account for more than half of all Australian children in juvenile detention; this is an issue that both reflects and further entrenches racial inequality.
At this discussion, our panelists explore the connection between over-imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and over-imprisonment of the Indigenous adult population. What are effective prevention and diversion strategies for young people – and what roles could NGOs, families and communities play?
Presented in partnership with Change the Record.
The Wheeler Centre
Coming Back Out: Elder LGBTI+
Older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex (LGBTI) people remember an era of state-sanctioned stigma and discrimination that might be hard for younger people to fathom. It wasn’t until 1997 that sex between men, for example, was decriminalised in every Australian state and territory.
For many older LGBTI+ people, the world they live in today is drastically different to the world they inhabited in the past. Getting older can sometimes mean both a feeling of invisibility and, conversely, an increased sense of surveillance. For LGBTI+ people, those propositions can pose a particular set of problems.
How can we respect the diverse sexual orientations of older Australians? How can LGBTI+ elders know and assert their rights as they navigate the complex, confusing and sometimes intimidating aged care system? And how important is visibility of LGBTI+ older people – for individuals and for the broader Australian population?
Find out in this discussion hosted by Tristan Meecham, and featuring artist and activist Lois Weaver, Val's LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care coordinator Pauline Crameri, Boston-based LGBT ageing researcher Bob Linscott and LGBTI elder Heather Morgan.
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