Image: Jasimin Carter, In My Shoes, 2013, from the series
Abstract, 2013, graphite on paper 175 x100cm
With his art installation The Boat, Vietnamese-Australian artist Dacchi Dang has created a life-sized model of the 15-metre fishing vessel on which he travelled to this country in 1984.
The work is part of Me, The Road and I and brings alive the experiences of many asylum seekers on their journey to Australia, says exhibition curator Virginia Settre.
“To actually be in that space and see the size of it makes the whole concept very real – it is a very moving piece,” she says.
“It’s covered in a blue fabric and, for a 15-metre boat, sits very silently in the gallery. It’s almost like a ghost ship. It has this gorgeous presence and is a bit haunting.
“When you go inside – you can actually walk inside it – and you realise how small it is, you think, ‘Wow, they had 139 people on it’.
“Even when there’s a couple of other people inside it already feels crowded. You … begin to realise just how treacherous the journey was – and is. It’s really frightening and it begins to bring that home.” – Illawarra Mercury
It certainly made me think. Speaking of thinking, see this post on the so-called PNG “solution”.
Personally, my wish is that asylum seekers be processed in Australia with the view of having them settled in Australia. But neither do I endorse people smuggling nor like the idea that people drown because of the people smugglers.
The thread that follows is worth looking through, and I personally share the view expressed above. Don’t forget that SBS1 will screen a three hour marathon on Tuesday night – the entirety of Series 2 of the brilliant Go Back to Where You Came From – the one with Angry Anderson and Peter Reith.
And of course, speaking of television, you must not miss Episode 3 of First Footprints on ABC1 tonight!
Some comments from YouTube:
- This is one of the most powerful documentaries I’ve seen in a long time. And it’s tremendously well made. Right now there are less than 500 views — we should all spread the word so that it’s seen by more people around the globe!
- Thank you for uploading, Michael! This episode every bit as enjoyable as Ep.01. I am now impatient for Ep.03. Wonderful series!
Finally and anticlimactically, I did an ego-Google yesterday and discovered this:
All Works by
- 1 Neos Young Writers Neil Whitfield (editor), Richard James Allen(editor), 1981-1985 periodical (1 issues)
- 2 From Yellow Earth to Eucalypt : Stories and Poems from China and Australia Neil Whitfield (editor), 1995 anthology poetry autobiography
Neil Whitfield studied at the University of Sydney before becoming an English and History teacher at Cronulla, Dapto, and Wollongong. He also taught in Sydney at Fort Street, Sydney Boys and Sydney Girls High Schools. He edited the little magazine Neos: Young Writers from 1981 to 1985. He later became a prolific blogger, often writing about education and ESL topics. His blogs, including Floating Life and Neil’s Second Decade, have been archived by the NLA’s PANDORA archive.