This image was posted to ‘Mums for refugees’ with the caption “choices”. The cartoon by political cartoonist Khalid Albiah highlights hard and desperate choices that refugees are being forced to make. Mums for refugees is an Australian advocating for refugees help and support in Australia. This image posted on their Facebook page highlights them sharing their advocacy for refugees and a call for help for refugees.
The image presents a positive advocacy for helping refugees. This image is very differently to a photograph as it poses a question to the viewer. Weather posing this as a question is more effective at penetrating the viewer conscious and gaining more empathy? I do think Albiah does this successful.
The choice of specifically these 2 images both of children, from internationally recognized refugees stories affected by opposing plights of this war allows Albiah to make this argument more successful as it poses the harsh cruel reality of both situations. If it had been about a lesser-known story, no focused on children would this cartoon be as evocative and effective?
The simplicity of this cartoon is powerful. As it does not characterize but plays off two very real events that took place and poses it with a questions to the audience. The factual nature of the images present and the question being posed to the audience leaves it up to the viewer to make a judgment of the proposition put forward which in turn evokes a stronger sense empathy as you are forced to self analyze the question more than tacking say a more one side image on its face value.
This image was also posted to Mums for Refugees as part of World Refugee Day 2016. Mums for refugees was part of the 100 day protest on Nauru posting photos of refugees mainly women and children holding signs in protest, asking for help and thanking M4R. This is just one of those images which was posted. The images are candid in nature, which speaks to the truth and messages of plea by the detained refugees. Their messages are also personally written emphasizing there own voice within the matter and giving validity to the message. This idea of seeing the message from the source plays into this idea of truth and a desire to believe the message more as it has not be altered either dramatized or ‘diluted; through the source stream.
This is an interesting image mainly because of who it was release by; Australian Associated Press (AAP). This brings into the question the reasoning for this shot and this type of shot. It calls into questions the strategic release of this image to present boat asylum seekers coming to Australia in a particular light. Part of Operation Relex which goal is to restrictive circulation of imagery on this issue state; we wants to ensure no “sympathy or cause misgiving about aggressive new border protection regime would find its way into the public domain” and to not “Humanize the refugees” spoken by Defense minister Peter Reith. This highlights the government desire to essentially use propaganda towards the Australian public.
Presenting un-relatable images of the situation coupled with a removal of the handling practices around this images being presented in the Operation Relex pose worry for creating a polarized and negative view of asylum seekers and a lack of empathy for there experiences that they are being subjected to. This image plays into this idea, as we don’t see the human come through in the image, which we would otherwise connect to. Instead this image is more a display of a situation making it less emotive and therefore more removed from evoking empathy.
This images play as a good contrast to the image above. This image was produced by project Safecom who are an advocate for refugee’s preventing discrimination and providing assistive services, while the image above was produced to the general public by the Australian Associate Press. Comparing these two images; in image 4 we are able to distinguish and relate to the people of the shot. In comparison image 3 in which you could not even distinguish gender or age. The close and candid nature of the shot creates a connection with the audience to the people. This connection that they are human doing normal human things like us “drinking milk” helps to create this level of empathy that they are just like us.
Released by Australian Boarder Force in communication to offshore audiences, this image is in reference to the tough new boarder protection measures being implemented. This shot is part of the Australia’s anti-immigration ad mainly targeting boat immigrants and people smuggler, acting as a deterrent message. It’s a message to mainly asylum seekers and secondarily people smugglers who are considering the journey to Australia. Posed as a deterrent that you will no be settled in Australia is you attempt this journey. This message is coupled with a man in an army uniform using a stern voice to convey this message. Which ads to the formal and seriousness of the message being of valid authority from the Australian government.
This is a panel from the department of immigration’s graphic novel (DIBP). This is a visual account of the DIBP of the journey of an asylum seeker by boat. It portrays the difficult and unsafe and overcrowded journey on boats. In this particular panel you can see the protagonist who used to be a mechanic is forced to hand over his phone on the boat and looks lonely and scared due to the overcrowded boat portrayed in the top panel.
In the images the only face that is highly visible and drawn in great detail is the protagonist. Weather this is to detract from the humanness of all asylum seekers or to bring focus to the protagonist would be a personal distinction.
Overall the story is one of warning about the different perils faced within this journey. Although released by the Department of Immigration and boarder Protection the images of this panel do seem to reflect numerous visual and documented accounts of boat asylum seeker journeys including the taking of phones, over crowding boats and the unwanted nature of the journey by asylum seekers; all depicted in this panel.
Produced on The Global Mail the comic books introduction recalls the personal risk the former Serco employee takes by sharing his recounts after signing a confidentiality agreement reflects the validity of the claims due to the risk involved in what him speaking out. As a former Serco employee his ability to recount on these events would be highly knowledgeable and not diluted as it is a direct source. These images are part of a personal recount narrative from an ex Serco employee “At work inside our detention centres” suggesting the truthful and factual nature of the story.
The imagery is highly metaphorical and contains many more layers of meaning past the initial words of the story. The two panels I chose to share both play into the mental health state of asylum seekers held in detention. It conveys a very dire situation of alluding to Australia’s hand in creating mental illness through the detaining asylum seekers (top image). While the bottom image express more the effects and handling (or poor handling) of mental illness in detention.
The images are confronting in there nature as they pull into question the handling of the situation of mental healthy and also the conditions in detention by the Australian government.
I chose to include this artwork as the artist, Sina Pourhovaye, was a refugee who lived in the detention centers did it. This brings a sense of emotive realism to the image as you connect these emotions to the feelings experienced by the artist. The article about the art exhibition for asylum seekers states ‘this is a great way for the artists to speak through there artwork’, as without them there voice would not be heard.
This for me was a very interesting cartoon because in all my other research I had not come across any negative comments of the UNHCR to date. Also as this cartoon is by Mahmoud Salameh a Syrian refugee who was detained by Australia I find there view point of UNHCR very interesting and unique. I do think the cartoon is unclear though weather the UNHCR in intentional or unintentional the lure for asylum seekers into detention. It would be interesting to know which interpretation the cartoonist means. Overall I do think Salameh paints an interesting picture of his perspective of UNHCR being not the same positive outcome for asylum seekers and perceive (in my opinion) by a majority of people.
This image is definitely powerful and unique as I haven’t seen this particular perspective before in my research. Is would be interesting to know who is controlling the rope tied to the stick as this is unknown to the viewer. This political cartoon does successfully question the effectiveness of the UNHCR in the eyes of asylum seekers being held in detention as well as portray the desperation of asylum seekers who struggle into a maybe an equally worse situation than there current situation. This is emphasized by the detention center and black houses and crows, which usually connote a meaning of death and foreshadowing the bad.
I chose this image, as it was a really good example of a candid moment for asylum seekers fleeing by boat. It also evokes through the close and intimate nature of the shot with the subject’s faces and personal emotions a level of connection with the audience as you able to explore the little scenes within the shot and empathize their situation.
Antonio Masiello has done a great job at capturing very candid shots of the struggle and plight of the journey of asylum seekers. One that is real, raw and blunt. The moment captured in this particular shot although overall a sad one does show an interesting story of strength and care as everyone seems to be helping one another although in such a difficult situation themselves.
It shows people doing what they have to do to survive, which I think make this shot highly evocative, and relatable and also powerful shot for the audience to connect to. It is also very obvious Masiello who is a photojournalist is very focused on capturing the story of the people and a natural and unaltered images. This idea plays into the validity and also our ability to connect with the image much more.
The Stakeholders Process:
AAP, (2016). Asylum seekers on board Tampa. [image] Available at: https://theconversation.com/friday-essay-worth-a-thousand-words-how-photos-shape-attitudes-to-refugees-62705 [Accessed 25 Aug. 2016].
Albiah, K. (2016). Choose. Sydney: Refugees for Mums.
Australian boarder force, (2016). No way will you call Australia home. Available at: http://www.dw.com/en/first-of-australias-outsourced-refugees-arrive-in-cambodia/a-18495988 [Accessed 25 Aug. 2016].
DIBP, (2016). A panel from the Department of Immigration’s graphic novel. [image] Available at: https://theconversation.com/the-medium-and-the-message-comics-about-asylum-seekers-23168 [Accessed 25 Aug. 2016].
Masiello, A. (2016). Arriving in Turkey. [image] Available at: http://antoniomasiello.photoshelter.com/portfolio/G0000KFS.oxpkA2U/I0000Lbty5Q.5t.A [Accessed 25 Aug. 2016].
Purhovaye, S. (2016). Behind a wire fence. [Oil canvas] Melbourne: Richmonds Gallery.
Refugees for mums, (2016). Protest on Manus Island. [image].
Salameh, M. (2016). The refugee art project. [Cartoon] online: http://therefugeeartproject.com/home/the-cartoons-of-mahmoud-salameh/.
Smith, J. (2016). Child drinking milk. [image] Available at: https://theconversation.com/friday-essay-worth-a-thousand-words-how-photos-shape-attitudes-to-refugees-62705 [Accessed 24 Aug. 2016].
wallman, S. (2016). A guards story. [cartoon] The Global Mail.
You must be logged in to post a comment.