We’ve been watching a Netflix series called ‘Stateless’ over the last week or so. It’s about the treatment of refugees in Australia, and it set in a detention camp. It’s not an easy watch as it is ‘inspired by real events’, and therefor has some basis in fact.
Linked with that, we watched the first programme in a series featuring Miriam Margolyes, where she goes on a road trip round Australia to celebrate her new Australian citizenship.
She admits to having a limited, idealised idea of what it means to be Australian, and has her eyes opened to the history of the Aboriginal peoples and the plight of refugees seeking asylum in Australia.
The sadness, repeated over and over again throughout history is the forced displacement of people through colonisation, and because of ethnic and religious difference.
She meets a man from Afghanistan, and a family from the Karen people of Myanmar, who are both in Australia as a result of discrimination and persecution.
it seems ironic that the Australian immigration system is so stacked against refugees when the history of the country is tainted by the genocide of the Aboriginal peoples.
The same of course is true of America, whose history includes so many examples of the abuse of power in land grabbing – primarily from the First Nation American peoples.
And it seems that we are no better, witness the treatment of many who seek asylum in this country and who spend years in detention centres, let alone the scandal of the forced deportation to the Caribbean of those who are from families of the Windrush generation.