Narratives from Australia’s Offshore Refugee Prisons: Creative Resistance, Collaboration and Experimentation

  • Omid Tofighian, lecturer, researcher and community advocate; Elahe Zivardar, artist, architectural designer, journalist and documentary filmmaker
    Coach House, Green College, UBC and livestreamed

    Tuesday, March 19, 5-6:30pm, with reception to follow
    in the series
    Green College Special Event
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  • Livestream link:
    https://ubc.ca.panopto.com/Panopto
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    Creative and collective resistance from inside Australia’s refugee prisons has manifested in multiple forms: protests, journalism, creative writing, social media activism, hunger strikes, visual arts, cinema, music, photography and many other examples. In order to reclaim their identities, maintain dignity and survive (physically, mentally and emotionally) refugees have drawn on cultural heritage, their individual aesthetic sensibilities and skills, complex and relational knowledge systems and embodied critical insights into the realities of state violence. This talk explores the unique ways different refugees collaborate with activists, creatives, scholars and intellectuals outside the prisons. Various forms of original art, journalism and literature examine and expose the ruthless nature of border violence and the brutally surreal experience of being exiled and tortured by a liberal democracy such as Australia.

    This event is co-organized with the UBC Centre for Migration Studies Border Research Group and the UBC Ahmadian Lectures.


    Omid Tofighian is an award-winning lecturer, researcher and community advocate, combining philosophy with interests in citizen media, popular culture, displacement and discrimination. He is adjunct lecturer at University of New South Wales and honorary research fellow at Birkbeck Law, University of London. His publications include Myth and Philosophy in Platonic Dialogues (Palgrave 2016); translation of Behrouz Boochani's multi-award-winning autobiographical novel No Friend but the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison (Picador 2018); co-editor of special issues for journals Literature and Aesthetics (2011), Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media (2019) and Southerly (2021); and co-translator/co-editor of Freedom, Only Freedom: The Prison Writings of Behrouz Boochani (Bloomsbury 2023).

     

     

     


    An award-winning Iranian artist, architectural designer, journalist and documentary film maker, Elahe Zivardar currently lives in Arizona, United States, where she obtained refugee status in 2019. After fleeing Iran, Elahe Zivardar was detained on the remote island of the Republic of Nauru for attempting to seek asylum in Australia from 2013 to 2019. During her detention in Nauru, she was highly active in using photos and video to document the horrific treatment and conditions endured by people seeking asylum and imprisoned offshore. An artist using diverse techniques including painting, photography and documentary filmmaking, Elahe Zivardar seeks to depict and raise awareness on how refugee, stateless and migrant minorities are treated throughout the migration process, especially at borders. In addition to her artwork, she is active as an advisor to international refugee rights campaigns and organizations in Australia, the UK and US.

     

     

     


     

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When
March 19th, 2024 from  5:00 PM to  6:30 PM
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Short Title Narratives from Australia’s Offshore Refugee Prisons: Creative Resistance, Collaboration and Experimentation
Speaker (new) Omid Tofighian, lecturer, researcher and community advocate; Elahe Zivardar, artist, architectural designer, journalist and documentary filmmaker
Short Speaker Omid Tofighian and Elahe Zivardar
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