|This account contains my modeling.|
This content is intended for mature audiences.
or, enter your birth date.*
And my writing.
Enjoy. I love creating it all.
These were the tapes of asylum seeker hearings and every hearing I transcribed ended with asylum being denied, which was why this group now had the tapes, so as to assemble a defence for a re-hearing. (They could not be called ‘re-trials’ because, apparently, the refugee was not on ‘trial’ despite all evidence to the contrary.)
Look, the horror of the individual cases does blur together. The voices were coming from a compound in the middle of a desert via webcam, through a translator sitting in a room in Adelaide with a thick Middle Eastern accent, through a tape recorder and into my ears. I know there were rapes, death threats, dead families, torture and humiliation. What I remember more clearly than the terror was the bureaucracy. We were swimming in it.
“Please place your hand on the Quran and swear – ”
“He says to me, ‘you know! You are a Muslim. You tell them!’”
“He has not washed. He cannot touch the Quran when he has not washed.”
They tried for quite a while, these men in Adelaide, to wash the hands of a man in Woomera but in the end the request proved too complicated for the system and they had to proceed without an oath. He was handcuffed, you see. For the whole five hour hearing. This was not usual practice but he was ‘a trouble maker’.
This exchange has stuck with me for twelve years. The irony of expecting a man to be devout enough to swear an oath on his holy book without taking into account the needs of a devout man. A devout, hand-cuffed man in the middle of a desert. And yes, there were moments of humanity. Moments when men pleaded for their freedom and safety but it was the bureaucratic inhumanity that I most clearly retain.
And in the end, appropriately enough, my job vanished in a cloud of bureaucracy: the group lost access to tapes. New rules dictated that, instead of being given to the defence team, they would be sent to Sweden (I think Sweden, somewhere a very, very long way away) where an accent analyser would determine that perhaps the man came from a town two towns over from the town he said he came from. That he was a liar because his accent told a slightly different story than his words did.
The morning after Howard was re-elected for his third term I went for a walk. I wandered through the suburbs and asked, “Who are the people voting for this system? Do they know? I hope they don’t because what does that say of my countrymen and women if they know and still say ‘do it.’”
I grew up in the driest state in the driest continent in the world and yet my neighbour still watered her concrete driveway every night in summer. I suppose she must have found it soothing; her and the hose and the hot night air.
But this is no way to introduce myself.
I am a theatre director, award-winning playwright and chronic story-teller. I'm a scruffy red-haired hippy and full-time artist. I was a photographer first, then a model and then a photographer again. I shoot self-portraits, am a prolific playwright and theatre-maker and a passionate loud mouth about politics, humane treatment of refugees, gun control, sexual freedom, LGBT youth and mental health. In 2013 I will be completing my Masters of Performance Writing at the Victorian College of the Arts, where I previously undertook Post-Grad studies in theatre direction. Because this is the main part of my work, I post here less than I used to but I love your company here on DA.
I tell stories to anyone who will linger long enough to hear.
Note: I don't tolerate sexist or demeaning comments and will probably mock you publicly if you leave sexually explicate comments. I take my art seriously.
Current Residence: Melbourne, Australia
Favourite photographer: Eckyducky, AlexanderB
Favourite style of art: Contemporary theatre
Personal Quote: 'Keep Left and be considerate' Australian road rules but I think it applies to all manner of things.