13 A Stranger in Geneva
Aziz in the snow, in Switzerland — Photo: Michael Green
'Hard to imagine. Start your life again. Have your own house, your own family.'– Abdul Aziz Muhamat
Incredibly, Aziz is in Switzerland. And he’s just won a major international award for human rights defenders.
He’s swamped with attention and adoration, briefings and business cards. But he is only allowed to be in Geneva for three short weeks. Then he has to return to Manus Island – back to the dangerous situation he’s being celebrated for campaigning against.
In this episode, we follow Aziz as he negotiates meetings with diplomats and speeches to the UN. He struggles with an unexpected, oppressive dilemma – should he board a plane back to his brothers on Manus, or seek yet another uncertain path to safety and freedom?Transcript
A transcript of this episode is available here (PDF format).
In this episode
Abdul Aziz MuhamatMichael Green Peggy Hicks Michael Khambatta
Our theme music was composed by Raya Slavin. Music used in this episode was produced by Hour House (Mark Leacy and Sam Kenna), except for 'I am the Changer', by Cotton Jones.
The Messenger is a co-production of Behind the Wire and the Wheeler Centre. This episode was originally commissioned and produced for the ABC Radio National programme, Earshot. It was produced by Michael Green. The supervising producer was Lyn Gallacher. The sound engineer was Melissa May.
Narration by Michael Green. Additional editing and mixing by Jon Tjhia.
André Dao, Jon Tjhia, Hannah Reich, Bec Fary and Sophie Black. Also Camilla Chapman, Cecilia Cannon and Sean Cole, and Behind the Wire's many participants and volunteers.
The Wheeler Centre
Broadside: Necessary Truths: Fatima Bhutto and Mona Eltahawy
Sisonke Msimang, Fatima Bhutto and Mona Eltahawy on stage at Melbourne Town Hall — Photo: Sophie Quick
'The role of artists is never to celebrate power.'Fatima Bhutto
There's a million reasons why we're told to keep quiet on difficult subjects: propriety and decorum, convention and status, fear of retribution. When women try to introduce nuance into certain public debates, it doesn't usually go well for them. Western media conglomerates are often more interested in protecting power than interrogating it. If a woman offers an unvarnished analysis of power structures, or a contrary view, it's often framed as ugly, inappropriate or ungrateful.
In this episode, recorded at the inaugural Broadside festival of feminist ideas, two of the world’s most fearless, most honest, most forthright voices – Fatima Bhutto and Mona Eltahawy – unpick the challenges and pitfalls of a life of truth. With host Sisonke Msimang, they discuss artistry, the west, power and biography.
Who Gave You Permission?: Speaking Up and Speaking Out
When we’re described as ‘speaking out’, what people really mean is we’re ‘speaking out of turn’ – and that we do not have the authority to do so. Behaving well means accepting things as they are, and sticking your neck out if you’re not a white guy requires the knowledge that you may be seen as difficult, and unlikeable.
Solid Air: Australian Spoken Word Poetry
If poetry is enjoying a resurgence of interest right now, it's partly because spoken word has given the whole art form a powerful shot in the arm, on both the stage and the page.
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The Wheeler Centre
Beyond Your Command: Youth Activism Today
Paige Burton, Maiysha Moin and Lawrence Reginald Chang at the Wheeler Centre
On the streets, on the airwaves and online – a new generation of young Australian activists are speaking up and demanding action on climate change, Indigenous self-determination, queer rights and more.
In this conversation, we hear from leading young Australian voices across intersecting political movements – Paige Burton, Lawrence Reginald Chang and Maiysha Moin. They discuss the tide of youth activism sweeping many parts of the globe, and the increasing appetite for challenging the status quo here at home. What would this country look like if young people were seen, heard and taken seriously? What does advocacy look like for young people whose voices haven’t traditionally been sought? And how might we change our political institutions to ensure the future is not hostage to the whims and debts of the presently powerful?
Presented in partnership with the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare.
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