11 September 2019

Friday film screenings in Moruya and Bega launch Refugee Week

| Ian Campbell
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The eyes of Behrouz Boochani from the cover of his book 'No Friend But the Mountains' Photo: charisseaadair.wordpress.com

The eyes of Behrouz Boochani from the cover of his book ‘No Friend But the Mountains’ Photo: charisseaadair.wordpress.com

Refugee Week launches this weekend across Australia and the Eurobodalla and Bega Valley are with the first communities to step forward and acknowledge the issues facing refugees and celebrate the contribution made by refugees to Australian society.

Tonight (June 14) the Bega Valley Rural Australians for Refugees invite you to a film screening and dinner and film

The film ‘Chauka Please Tell Us The Time’ was shot on a mobile phone by refugee Behrouz Boochani,
who has been imprisoned on Manus Island for the last 6 years.

Filmmaker Arash Kamali Sarvestani and journalist Behrouz Boochani share a love of cinema. They decided to create a record of daily life in the Manus Island Detention Centre.

Boochani secretly captured footage on his mobile phone, sending it to The Netherlands to be shaped into a film.

He captured detainees phoning anxious relatives, ambulances arriving and fences being erected around the ramshackle camp. Their intention was to document the situation so that in the future no political leader can present a distorted version of their life.

A ‘Chauka’ is the official bird of Manus, a local treasure found only on the island; that calls at the same time each day. It is also the name given to the solitary confinement prison within the Manus Detention Centre which the interviewees in the film all focus on.

Boochani recently wone the Victorian Premiers Award for Literature for his book ‘No Friend But the Mountains’ which details his journey from Iran to Manus Island and life in detention. Like the film, Boochani’s mobile phone was key in getting his story to the world. The 300 page booked was compiled from Whats App messages sent to translator Omid Tofighian.

Tonight’s event starts with dinner at 6 pm in the Mumbulla School Hall, Bega Street, Bega. After the film screening, there will be a conversation to direct action on how best to support people in detention and advocate for changes to Australia’s approach to refugees.

Tickets are $15 to $25, bookings via – [email protected]

Detail from Lachie Hinton’s 2019 work Portrait of Saji. Photo: Supplied.

Detail from Lachie Hinton’s 2019 work Portrait of Saji. Photo: Supplied.

In the Eurobodalla, Lachie Hinton’s exhibition ‘LIMBOLAND’ opens at The Bas in Moruya.

Hinton is no stranger to tension – the political tension of national borders crossed, the personal tension of life in detention; Hinton observes, captures, then retells the ebb and flow of crisis through painting and drawing, photojournalism and film.

Eurobodalla Shire Council’s Arts Coordinator Indi Carmichael says the exhibition is Hinton’s response to two significant immigration events.

“LIMBOLAND presents in full Hinton’s work around both the 2016 European refugee crisis and Australia’s offshore detention program,” Ms Carmichael says.

“We’re excited to present this thoughtful and thought provoking exhibition, which builds on Hinton’s previous work exploring the effect of social and political forces on the human experience.

“Hinton is no stranger to zones of tension. He’s previously presented work based on the experience of Sydney’s prostitutes and daily life in isolated North Korea.”

The exhibition open’s tonight (June 14) as a powerful lead into Refugee Week.

“This exhibition isn’t just for the arty types. It’s for anyone who wonders what it is to be human when forces outside of your control overtake your life,” Ms Carmichael says.

“As a part of the opening, we’ll be screening the 2018 documentary LIMBOLAND, which Hinton produced in collaboration with photojournalist Mridula Amin when the pair travelled to Nauru to document the lives of people indefinitely detained for over five years.

“On Saturday (June 15) there’s an opportunity for the broader community to really get involved.

“We’ll have a panel discussion with the Refugee Action Collective Eurobodalla including a former Manus Island support worker and a recent refugee to Australia.

“Following the panel is our ‘Share a Meal, Share a Story’ event, from 12.30pm. It’s about people coming together to share food and share conversation.”

LIMBOLAND opens at The Bas in Moruya between 6 pm and 8 pm tonight (June 14). Saturday’s panel discussion starts at 11 am followed by ‘Share a Meal, Share a Story’ at 12.30pm.

The exhibition runs until Sunday, July 7.

The Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre (The Bas) is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm on the corner of Vulcan and Campbell Streets, Moruya.

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