I like to live out in nature as much as possible so I made a home for Boat 04 in my humble back yard…
I also wanted to try to photograph the boat in ways that represented and respected the difficult journey that some asylum seekers make.
After reading about your project, I thought about why people actually go to all the trouble of coming overseas to our country and now I realise that it is mostly because they want to start again in a country that is free of war and mass poverty. I took the picture in front of my mini zen garden because it represents the people coming from foreign countries such as Indonesia and Sri Lanka. I commend you on starting this project and here’s hoping all goes well for you!
I received boat 91 from the lovely Liz, with the touching story of Chaman Shah Nasiri inside. As someone who has never really felt a connection to the refugee situation that Australia faces, reading this story has made me think about the people around me in a whole different light. As a result, I’ve placed the boat on my favourite table in my study, alongside other objects I consider precious.
I thought I’d try and represent what I think of the whole asylum seeker issue. I put the bin over the boat, to represent the obvious mandatory detention and lack of freedom that the refugees receive once they arrive in Australia. The light is used to show that there is so much focus on the boats – where they have come from, who is on them and where they are going. There is so much attention given to the impacts on Australia, as if it is such a great threat to the security of the country. Various items from my room are lined up around the bin to show that there are so many people that are in this debate, yet the only people without a voice seem to be the refugees themselves. Symbols of money, culture, lifestyle, health, survival and luxury represent the fact that each of us here has so much. And we comment and weigh into the debate with the full knowledge that we won’t have to get on an overcrowded boat tomorrow with our children, because there isn’t a risk that a bomb might get dropped on our head, or that we are going to be persecuted for our religious, ethnic, racial or sexual identity. People are seem so threatened by refugees who with their families have gotten on a boat, and risked danger and death in order to seek a better lifestyle. Meanwhile, we have to listen to politicians and read articles in the media that highlight how “frequently” boats are arriving, that we must “stop the boats”. This talk is justified with blanket statements on the “inhumanity” of letting people come in the first place. I’m pretty sure the people that get on the boats have a much stronger grasp of what they have to gain and lose than anybody here does. A stronger border security policy, or turning away the boats doesn’t solve any issues. I would challenge any person who is so concerned about the potential security threat of boat people, to do some research, step outside the square and stop and think for one minute. We are so, so extremely lucky to not have to face adversity like that. It is extremely sad that there is such a negative rhetoric and campaign against the plight of these people. I would love to see a speedy integration process, in which people that arrive in Australia are able to be immersed into the community where they and their children can interact and become Australians like the rest of us. We are supposed to be a country that prides itself on sticking up for the underdog, the Aussie Battler, giving everyone a fair go. When did this all stop?
Always oscillating wildly.
Been to the restaurant?
Seriously though, fuck my life.
Still stout, still single, still shit-kicking.
Career choices. Coffee choices. Christmas card choices.
Feeling the burn of existential ripples.
Till my ego calls again,
I’ll dry my hands.
Make more choices.