About the project
Australia’s immigration policies are some of the harshest in the world and have been repeatedly condemned by the UN. In October 2017 Australia once again came under scrutiny for its treatment of asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea. The Australian Government closed the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre in an attempt to force detainees to move to the new and unfinished centre in Lorengau. Asylum seekers responded with a silent protest.
Photos and videos began coming out of Manus of men standing silently, their arms crossed above their heads, hands in fists, staring at the camera. It was both peaceful and powerful, a statement about incarceration and resistance.
Despite the crisis unfolding, I found that many people both in Australia and overseas had never heard about Manus Island. Media access to immigration detention centres is restricted, but I wanted to do something to amplify the voices of the men on Manus. I decided to film one person for every man detained on Manus Island and cut the footage together into a video.
In seeking people to participate in this project I have found the conversations around immigration policy just as important as the footage. I hope that as technology evolves we will continue to find new ways to make a positive impact around the world.
– Benita de Wit (Project Director)
Benita de Wit
New York Producer
New York Videographers
New York Production Assistant
Laurence Rosier Staines