“Over the last few years, the Australian government has been leaning hard into an anti-refugee plan known as “the Pacific Solution.” Created to stop the arrival of boats filled with asylum seekers from countries like Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, the Pacific Solution is a program that reads like something out of Donald Trump’s playbook: deter refugees from trying to enter your country by capturing every single one and indefinitely locking them up in a detainment camp on a remote island. It’s cruel, but as shown in the new documentary Chasing Asylum, it has worked with shocking effectiveness. […]
In Chasing Asylum, Australian director Eva Orner breaks the veil of secrecy around the camps with a compilation of footage that was illegally recorded by whistleblowers and social workers inside the detention centers. VICE spoke with her in Toronto, before the film’s premiere at Hot Docs, to hear more about what went into the film and the repercussions of blowing the whistle on an entire country.”
Two reports from the Center for Immigration Studies are discussed; Janice Kepharts’s “Immigration & Terrorism: Moving Beyond the 9/11 Staff Report on Terrorist Travel” and James R. Edwards’ “Keeping Extremist Out: The History of Ideological Exclusion and Need For Its Revival.” Both reports are centered on efforts to prevent further attacks on American soil and were released on August 30, 2005. A panel, including the authors of the papers, as well as commentators Mark Kirkorian and Steven A. Camarota discussed such topics as monitoring tracking immigrants within the United States, civil rights and law enforcement issues, as well as threats posed to various parts on the nation’s infrastructure. Members of the panel also talked broadly about the nature of terrorism and past government responses to terrorist threats. Following their remarks, panelists responded to questions and comments from members of the audience. Mr. Krikorian moderated the event.
“Immigrant Nation explores our connections to immigration, past and present, through storytelling. At the heart of the project is a simple idea: the U.S. is a nation shaped by immigration, and most families have personal story about it. These stories, whether they happened generations ago or quite recently, are not often shared. We want to bring them to the surface – exploring the interconnectedness of these narratives.
Immigrant Nation has three components: the web site, a series of short documentary films, and live events in schools, museums, libraries, film festivals and other public spaces designed to engage diverse communities in sharing their immigrant stories.”
“A study of media coverage, released today, looked at how migrant voices and experiences were framed in the run-up to last year’s election and came up with findings that, even if not entirely new, cast yet more light on a subject of continuing public interest.
Their overarching concern is about the lack of migrant voices in stories. Though the report doesn’t put it like this, it is clear from the research that they are, too often, “the disappeared.”
The researchers found that migrants were referenced in only 15% of newspaper articles on migration and that 85% of articles did not have a migrant perspective.
They also found evidence that migrant voices were more likely to be included in stories which tended to be more positive and sympathetic towards migrants. Most of these presented the migrant as a victim in need of sympathy and support.
By contrast, migrant voices were less likely to be present in stories that were negative about migration and migrants.
The authors argue that presenting migrants as victims was doubly problematic: it failed to reflect the varied lives of most migrants; and victimhood tended to reinforce stereotypes “that are not helpful in the longer term.”
Objects Through Time
Migration Heritage Centre, Australia
Online since 2010
“Objects through Time traces the history of migration of people, technology and ideas to our shores through a collection significant objects, spanning a 60,000 year time frame.
It begins with the first migrants, the Aboriginal people who discovered and settled Australia, the Macassan and European explorers, sailors and navigators who mapped it and the waves of 19th and 20th century migrants who built it. All these people have written the story of modern Australia. The story concludes with the Friendship Stick made especially by Aboriginal artists Gavin Flick, Alana and Jai Rose for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
This fascinating and thought provoking exhibition examines key events in the long history of migration to Australia through objects that speak to us about our past. It explores important places and events in Australian migration history and introduces the people who have shaped Australia’s rich and diverse cultural identity.”
Visit the website to learn more and to explore the exhibition.
From the creator, Eduard Buturuga-Pascu: “Just before 2014 started, the media, encouraged by the PM started to spread disinformation about Romanians and Bulgarians immigrants, suggesting a ‘flow’ or a ‘wave’ is imminent. I’m trying to suggest that this is not true, and although immigration has to be sorted out, Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants will not flood.”
It tells the story of immigration in France through the lens of historiography, corroborated by over 350 archival documents that can be found in the museum’s collection.
The video project consists of seven sections, including the prologue. It can be navigated by clicking on the distinct periods that appear in chronological order, in the fashion of a timeline. Each era has a video of approximately five minutes dedicated to it.
Immigrants, the film asserts “were indispensable in the markets, in business, in the cultural landscape.” Yet not all were prominent, many came as artisans and farmers.The film notes that the French Revolution transforms the perception of who is a ‘foreigner and who is from the nation. It proclaims that all who are born in France are to be considered nationals. It identifies early industrial era waves of immigrants, such as German political and religious exiles, Jewish immigrants fleeing Tsarist persecution, both of which are accompanied with archival images depicting their presence in France.
Of course, historicizing the immigrant in France is bold when the subject is such a contentious contemporary political debate.
BEIJING — China is pushing ahead with a sweeping plan to move 250 million rural residents into newly constructed towns and cities over the next dozen years — a transformative event that could set off a new wave of growth or saddle the country with problems for generations to come.
The government, often by fiat, is replacing small rural homes with high-rises, paving over vast swaths of farmland and drastically altering the lives of rural dwellers. So large is the scale that the number of brand-new Chinese city dwellers will approach the total urban population of the United States — in a country already bursting with megacities.