You may have noticed (or not) that I have been a bit silent over the last few weeks. This has not been for the want, or lack of material, to write – it has been just so full on getting ready to do the best possible work to show these people’s plight (those that seek refuge in our country) and try and visually educate the average Australian as to how much we have let them down.
Tim Costello sums things up quite well in his article “Australia’s humanity is the casualty of repugnant asylum politics”in today’s Sydney Morning Herald. He relates a hypothetical story where “asks students to consider whether a person wearing new shoes and a suit has a responsibility to wade into a nearby pond, thus ruining their clothes, if they see a child in that pond having difficulty swimming.” Later he goes on to pose: “Rather, it should concern every Australian that there are children in our detention centres who are living unhappy lives: lives behind bars, lives that were already blighted in some way by the circumstances which pushed their families from their homes, lives that are suspended….In a democracy like Australia, politicians take their cue from what they understand to be public opinion…So when we as a nation, as citizens, as respondents to opinion polls are either complacent about this issue or complicit in the punitive approach to asylum seekers, we have lost something that sits at the core of a decent society. How did this happen?” (my highlight)
read the full article on: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/australias-humanity-is-the-casualty-of-repugnant-asylum-politics-20130816-2s07x.html
This is the very point we (Jackie & I ) are trying to get people to realize with this exhibition. Our moral compass has gone wrong being muddied by cheap cliches and biased jingoism. We need to wake up and get educated and experience what is happening, especially the suffering of people brought about by our own actions.
Once you wake up to what is going on – then it is up to each individual to make a difference.
The attached image is of 100 Tears. It is an ephemeral piece of ice and light, and will only be live on the opening night. After that there will be a video playing of it. Each of the 17 frozen teardrops suspended in mid fall represent 100 children in detention. The latest figures we have from May show that there are over 17oo children locked up. This is appalling – and sooo sad at the same time. We have done this.
Opening: Wed 21st August; 6-8pm
Hours: Mon- Sat; 11-4
Where: McGlade Gallery, Australian Catholic University, Strathfield
Posted in: 100 Tears, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, asylum seekers, Australian Catholic University, Australian failure, Chidzey, compassion, exhibition, fire & ice, illegal immigrant, Jackie Benney, moral compass, sculpture, Tim Costello, Villawood Detention Centre