Friday, November 01, 2013

The Untold Story

I read an interview recently with the science fiction writer Iain Banks in which he said something that has been making me think ever since. He said,

"Living in a gated community and employing hired muscle to keep you comfy does not mean you live in a little utopia. It means you live in a dystopia and happen to be one of the privileged."

This seems to me to be the perfect analogy for countries in the so called first world. We employ hired muscle in the form of immigration controls to keep us comfy in our little dystopias. To perpetuate the myth that we actually live in utopias the last thing that we want to hear is the personal stories of those 'others' that we are so desperate to keep out.

Whatever our personal views on immigration are the stories of migrants deserve to be told. I haven't seen the migrant's story better told than in the Global Mail's new mapped interactive report on Hussain's Journey.

Filmmaker Matt Abbott gave Muhammad Hussain, a Hazara Pakistani about to set out on a journey to seek asylum in Australia, a video camera and asked him to film his experiences. The Global Mail's mapped report starts off with Matt Abbot's own recordings of Muhammad Hussain's family and life in Karachi.

When Muhammad set off on his dangerous journey to Australia he took over the filming himself. The mapped report of this journey allows you to view his experiences in safe houses, in smugglers’ homes and the final stretch across the ocean in a rickety boat.

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