Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
13 March 2013
Filmmaker and lawyer Jessie Taylor will join Sydney Ideas for a screening of the award-winning documentary, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, as part of its official national tour. After the film, she will join a panel of experts to discuss the film within the context of human rights.
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a documentary that tells the stories of asylum seekers who made the impossible decision to become 'boat people'.
In the film, Taylor and Ali Reza Sadiqi travelled across Indonesia and met with 250 asylum seekers in jails, detention centres and hostels. Through candid interviews, hidden camera footage and in the words of asylum seekers themselves, the story of the refugee is told. What pushes people to leave home? What do they leave behind? What do they fear? Why did they choose this path? And what does it take to turn someone into a 'boat person'?
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with Taylor. Other panellists will be: Dr Susan Banki, lecturer in human rights at the University of Sydney; and Najeeba Wazefadost, a former 'boat person'.
Taylor is a barrister and outspoken refugee advocate. She works in administrative law, crime, compensation, mental health, human rights and equal opportunity, and migration. Last year she was the subject of an episode of ABC's Australian Story, which described her experiences visiting and researching Indonesian refugee detention camps.
She is also the author of the report Behind Australian Doors: Examining the Conditions of Detention of Asylum Seekers in Indonesia, which she wrote after a fact-finding mission to Indonesia in July 2009.
Prior to travelling to Indonesia, Jessie worked on the National Human Rights Consultation as a researcher and writer and in 2007 wrote and produced the film We Will Be Remembered For This, which explored the government's mandatory immigration detention policy. She is also a foster mother to a teenage boy who travelled to Australia alone as a refugee from Afghanistan.
Dr Susan Banki, is a Lecturer in Human Rights, University of Sydney. Susan's research interests lie in the political, institutional and legal contexts that explain the roots of international human rights violations. Susan has conducted extensive field research in Thailand, Nepal, Bangladesh and Japan on refugee/migrant protection, statelessness and border control. She is currently investigating the local, regional and international mechanisms (and the interactions between them) that serve as potential levers for change.
Najeeba Wazefadost, is President of Hazara Women of Australia and a refugee advocate. Since arriving in Australia by boat as a refugee from Afghanistan, Najeeba graduated from a Bachelor of Medical Science at the University of Western Sydney and is now studying a second degree at the University of Technology, Sydney. Najeeba has been involved in a number of organisations such as ChilOut (Children out of Detention), Amnesty International, Bamiyan Association and is now the president of Hazara Women of Australia, advocating for the rights of women, refugees and the release of children from detention centres.
Dr Laura Beth Bugg, is a Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney. Laura Beth's research interests are the intersection of religion, place and welfare governance.
What: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, a Sydney Ideas event
When: 6 to 8pm, Thursday 14 March
Cost: Free event, registration required
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