I have a notebook at home. It has written across the front ‘Things to Remember’. It has little bits and pieces I want to keep in mind; books I’d like to read, things I want to research, people I need to call, appointments I need to keep.
I have another notebook at home. It has written across the front ‘Things to Repress’. I’m not going to share with you, right now, the things I have written in there, at least, not in full. One of the things I have in there is a note about the fact that the Australian government, the government which ostensibly represents me on an international platform, locks away those who have fled their home countries under fear of imminent death or persecution. A government who has decided the most reasonable way to deal with the issue of asylum seekers is to cause them so much pain and suffering that it deters others from even trying to reach our shores.
Briefly, one of the things that Bar(r)ed Subjects was to learn how to have better conversations and engagement around topics that challenge, confront, or disturb us. It’s our hope that this film provokes conversations; lots of them, long ones and heated ones. Ones where people feel uncomfortable, frustrated, and even angry.
Because without these conversations, all the empathy in the world won’t change the material conditions of those who are currently suffering at our hands.