words@bld50 monthly talks


Asylum seekers and representation with film-maker Steve Thomas - Thursday 6 June 2013

Date: Thursday 6 June, 2013 
Time: 7.00pm
Venue: Hub Building Seminar Room, Victorian College of the Arts (Southbank campus), 234 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Mis-representations of so-called 'boat people' as 'illegal' and 'queue jumpers' continue to abound in Australian populist politics today, with both major parties appealing to misplaced fears and repeatedly advancing policies that have been denounced as flagrant violations of human rights. Australian Mental health researcher Pat McGorrie described the Howard-era detention centres of the 1990's as 'factories of mental illness'. With the recent government policy move to allow asylum seekers to live in the community on a benefit below the poverty line, and no rights to work, have we really made much progress?

Please join us for a discussion with film-maker Steve Thomas and some of his collaborators on Steve's current project 'Freedom Stories', along with a special preview screening of the film's trailer. The film explores the lives of Australians who have spent time in detention, as former asylum seekers.

Steve's previous film, 'Hope', documented the story of Amal, a survivor of the SIEV X disaster in 2001. Steve has been making documentaries as an independent writer, director and producer for many years. He has won numerous awards including an AFI Award for Best TV Documentary (The Hillmen – A Soccer Fable) and several ATOM Awards for Best Documentary, Social & Issues (most recently for Hope).

Please take note of the shift in location - we're in a different room at the VCA this time, not the usual Elisabeth Murdoch Building.

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