This time, we’re brainstorming the specific issue of asylum seeker by asking Who, What, Where, When and Why for each idea. We came up with few potential focuses on the topic: overburdening developing countries, public indifferent, Islamophobia and prejudice, and the indefinite state of asylum seekers.
Who does the problem affects?
- Refugees and asylum seekers
- Public: that have been manipulated by media and Australia Government. Many people don’t know the truth and take side based on majority opinion.
- Media: as a medium to create propaganda by Government.
- Communities: who are trying to help asylum seeker and change the immigration policy
- Third world countries: overburdened by First world countries as they tried to send more asylum seeker to developing countries.
What are the boundaries of the problem?
- A lack of awareness and understanding: confusion between refugees and illegal immigrants. Many people still think that refugees are coming to Australia to seek prosperity.
- Fear of multiculturalism: Welcoming refugees means to open our heart to people who has completely different culture and public tend to avoid it.
- Security threat: People tend to associate Muslim and refugees.
- Humanitarian organization that dedicated themselves for empowering and helping refugees are nowhere to be found or heard. They exist but many of their voices couldn’t reach the public.
When does the problem occur? When does it need to be fixed?
The issue is directly affect refugees and Government who is dealing with the influx of Syrian refugees. The growing number is stated to be the biggest since World War II. Refugees and asylum seeker’s replacement has been a difficult issue for some countries in Europe. Refugees will keep coming and eventually this crisis would become one of the worst global issue if this isn’t going to be addressed quickly.
Where is the problem occurring?
The issue is happening around the world, including Canada, European countries, Australia, few developing countries. As Australia responded coldly to asylum seekers, European countries are having discussion to follow Australia path. Many countries are being more selective towards asylum seeker and some are starting to deter asylum seekers to developing countries. Australia has been reported sending asylum seeker to Cambodia where the country itself doesn’t have enough resources to support its own people.
Why is it important?
- The indefinite state: Breach of human rights.
- Mental health: Helping the refugees to recover from their trauma and start a new life in Australia.
- Prejudice: Growing Islamophobia sentiment towards Muslim in society will affect refugees and slow their progress to fit into society.
- Detention center – indefinite state for asylum seekers. (human rights)
- Strict refugee policy of Australia has become an example for other countries. (propaganda)
- Media and public opinion are affecting each other. (awareness)
- Islamophobia and strong prejudice of refugees in Australian community. (education)
- Influx of asylum seeker but what defines legitimate and illegal asylum seekers.
- Poetic Map: showcasing the emotion and response of one particular question and opinion on asylum seekers and refugees issues. The question will be displayed in public and anyone can react to either the original statement or additional statements from people.
- Using Virtual Reality Technology to recreate the atmosphere of asylum seekers’ journey on the boat. People who have been experience similar events could relate themselves and share empathetic insights.
- Educate the public using a telephone box installation. The idea was take from my previous interview with a refugee where he highlighted the effectiveness of story to change people’s perspective in a second.
We are familiar with the huge number of asylum seekers and refugees, however, it might be interesting to portray their emotion and experience. My design proposal is an installation that shape like a telephone box. Inside there is telephone and a chair where a person can listen to selected refugees’ story. The person also can write a question and send it to be answered later. The reply will be sent via email.
The design aim is to raise awareness on our society as well as challenge public’s perception on asylum seekers and refugees. I want to share their feeling and pass it to public and let their view be changed. I believe that as long as the issue isn’t affecting us directly, people will remain being indifferent. From the design, people would hopefully be able to foster empathetic response and lead to action.
The design will not offer any solution for refugees and asylum seekers issue that are still on detention center, but it can be used as an intervention to break down the prejudice and minimise the gap between native Australian and people with migrant background. The chance to change Australia migration policy is almost impossible however, we can address the issue that is close in our daily life and available in the society at basic level. Refugees can share their stories and people will listen.