Reflection & Proposal
In our last lesson I ran through the initial stages of my final proposal. With assistance from my classmates and tutor I managed to finalise a problem statement and the direction for my final project. I got positive feedback regarding my area of interest and have thus begun thinking about how to visualise the project. My issue is centred on promoting the voices of people in offshore detention, emphasising their narratives using original content from social media platforms and in turn, enforcing a sense of connection and tangibility to these narratives. To maintain a focus on the stories of people in offshore immigration centres, the piece will focus on language, in particular through unadulterated and self-directed refugee stories. I will contrast these stories with mainstream media narratives and official statements given by the Australian government. This lends itself to a generative printed project resolved using typographic detailing. It was suggested that I might want to use older projects from last year to influence my resolve, for example the book TL;DR. Using this idea of a publication design, I’ve furthered the resolve into a newspaper format, reinforcing notions of the media and how it influences public perception.
Project title: Voices in Manus
Practice type: Poetic Generative Data
Since the early 2000s, the Australian government and the media have politicised refugees and asylum seeker issues. Our government and legal system have engendered a societal complacency on these issues, through the introduction of mandatory offshore processing, an effective media blackout within the detention centres, and other measures that place the plight of refugees outside of the public spotlight. Our media, often depicting asylum seekers as ‘swarms’ and ‘masses’, has successfully alienated their experience from Australian society, to the point where the majority of Australians believe that they are unworthy of our help. If racist attitudes towards those seeking asylum aren’t challenged, these attitudes will continue to proliferate and become further normalised amongst a larger proportion of the community.
In my project I hope to shift public perception and attitudes towards refugee and asylum seekers by focusing on refugees’ subjectivity, recognising and acknowledging the sense of identity that has been robbed from them. To achieve this I will be exploring ways to visualise and compare the stories of people in offshore immigration detention with official statements and comments from prominent members of the Australian government, who have shaped this issue in the past few decades. The resolve will be in the form of a publication design. I will be exploring how to visualise key messages through various typographic techniques, and a range of materials. The power in this project lies in creating a sense of tangibility to the experiences of refugees, who are too often overlooked and sidelined. It therefore aims engage an audience that might otherwise be disinterested or disengaged from the issue.
Wallman, S, A Guard’s Tale (2014)