Writing in Exile
‘As a Kurd, I was stateless until I became an Australian, and Australia is the only official home I have, because Kurdistan does not exist on a map.’
Journalist Roza Germian lived through war for most of her childhood. In 1991, when Germian was 10, she was one of more than one million Kurds who fled Saddam Hussein's Iraq following…
How to Teach and Learn Consent
There was 'no means no'. Then 'yes means yes'. Now, we have notions of 'enthusiastic consent' and 'continued consent'. Sexual consent might seem like a simple thing to understand, but the continued prevalence of harassment and sexual assault tells us it's anything but.
Is our culture sending mixed messages? Can the tricky terrain of consent ever be reduced to a…
We Are Here: Stories of Home, Place and Belonging
Homelessness can take many guises – sleeping rough, yes, but also couch-surfing, squatting, or staying in a refuge, boarding house or caravan park. The same can be said of the people who experience homelessness. Not defined simply by their predicament, they’re a diverse group. They may be siblings, parents, grandparents; people who study or work; people who’ve moved or migrated, yet…
The Wheeler Centre
Never the Less: Disability, Displacement and Human Rights
Photo: Jon Tjhia
More than a billion people live with some form of disability. That’s about 15% of the world's population and yet across the globe, people with disabilities face regular contraventions of their basic rights. These range from egregious abuses – such as being put in shackles – to basic barriers to education, employment, safety and inclusion.
'Having people around you think that you have no future … that's the challenge that people with disabilities face.'Nujeen Mustafa
In this conversation, presented in partnership with Human Rights Watch, we focus on some key issues and priorities relating to disability rights in the region and in conflict zones. Hear from Shantha Rau Barriga from Human Rights Watch, and from author and disability rights advocate Nujeen Mustafa. Nujeen's book, Nujeen: One Girl's Incredible Journey from War-torn Syria in a Wheelchair, tells the story of her extraordinary journey from Syria to Germany in a wheelchair – a journey she undertook in 2014 at the age of 16.
The pair discuss Nujeen’s personal story and speak more broadly on issues of displacement, detention, disability and human rights. Hosted by David Manne.
The Wheeler Centre
Writing in Exile: Samah Sabawi
Samah Sabawi at the Wheeler Centre
‘For Palestinian writers, we write for our lives,’ Samah Sabawi has written. ‘We write to exist.’
Sabawi is an award-winning playwright, author, essayist and poet. She’s also a policy advisor for Palestinian policy network Al-Shabaka, and the second featured speaker in our PEN Writing in Exile series.
Sabawi's family left Palestine following Israel's occupation of the Gaza Strip when she was a baby in 1967. She’s lived and worked across the globe throughout her life, but retains strong ties to the place of her birth. In Australia, she’s perhaps best known for her play, Tales of a City by the Sea, which won two Drama Victoria awards in 2016 and has also been rapturously received by audiences in Palestine, Canada and Malaysia. In the same year, the prolific Sabawi contributed to the anthology I Remember My Name, which received Middle East Monitor’s 2016 Palestine Book Award. Her most recent play, THEM, premieres later in May 2019 at the La Mama Courthouse.
Sabawi’s writing is concerned with displacement, conflict and diaspora. ‘Through writing our stories, our poems and songs,’ she has written, ‘we reconstruct our erased past, assert our present and try to shape our future.’ Appearing live at the Wheeler Centre, she talks to Sami Shah about writing for her life.
Presented in partnership with PEN Melbourne.
Right Time: Why We Need an Australian Charter of Human Rights
Australia is the only western democracy without a Charter of Human Rights or an equivalent legal protection. What’s holding us back?
For this discussion, we’re bringing together three panellists – Kristen Hilton, Teela Reid and Gillian Triggs – to discuss the push for a federal Charter of Human Rights. Hosted by Lee Carnie, they’ll outline glaring problem areas in Australia’s…
Anything and everything in Human rights from across our archives.
This is an extract from a report by Bridget Chappell in the 85th edition of Voiceworks, the quarterly magazine of Wheeler Centre resident organisation Express Media, out now.
The guards of Sulaimaniya Prison women’s wing wear high heels.
It’s a small wing, homier in appearance than its adjacent counterpart for male prisoners. Glimpses of men, slumped and crowded, sneak past me on the…
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