It seems like every day we hear of some new tragedy at sea. We hear about Operation Sovereign Borders extending into Indonesia and Malaysia. We see slave-like conditions created by cruel visa rules. Every day people's hopes and attempts at a future are destroyed by Australia's shifting border practices. These are moments in an ongoing and brutal assertion of sovereignty by a regime built on stolen land and the ongoing dispossession of Indigenous peoples. A lot of us are feeling hopeless about the state of politics around the Australian border.
It is now, in this moment, that we want to organise, think, and speak together. The border is not a natural or inevitable thing. What can a cross-border, a no-border, a pro-refugee and migrant politics look like in Australia, today? Whose actions have come to count as political? Which actions, movements, and struggles are being ignored? How can we break from the language that defines the discussion now? – 'genuine refugees' 'economic migrants' 'dodgy international students' and '457 workers taking Aussie jobs'
We don’t have the answers: this forum is about discussing these questions and building solidarity and the potential for resistance.
Lia Incognita is a Shanghainese/Melburnian writer, performer and mediamaker who co-hosts Queering the Air on 3CR Community Radio.
Dawood arrived in Australia in 2011, having lived illegally in Quetta, Pakistan, for many decades, where he was a politically active Marxist. Dawood is an Afghan Hazara who arrived in Australia by boat and was subsequently recognised as a refugee.
Ruben Blake is a co-ordinatior of the Freedom Flotilla to West Papua, an unprecedented act of creative resistance that challenged the borders between Australia, West Papua and PNG in many directions.
Kaneez Raza is a student from Pakistan. She is here on a scholarship (endeavour award) from the Australian government and is now studying Nursing. She is a Hazara by ethnicity.
Angela Mitropoulos (University of Sydney) was a founding member of xborder in 2000, and involved in producing noborder media for Woomera2002 and the Flotilla to Nauru in 2004. She has written extensively on borders and some of her most recent writings can be found in Contract and Contagion: From Biopolitics to Oikonomia (London: Minor Compositions/Autonomedia). Her current book project is titled Infrastructures of Uncommon Forms.
Held in Trades Hall, Melbourne.