Australia’s Operation Sovereign Borders fiercely demarcates the coastline of Australia as a closed border to any outsiders – boasted loudly and clearly through “NO WAY YOU WILL MAKE AUSTRALIA HOME” campaign posters. Such hostility unashamedly communicates the limits of the Australian Government’s care for those seeking refuge.
What is most puzzling about such vehement exclusion is that Australia is a nation created by colonisers who have perpetually asserted that they have a privileged right to exclusively claim it as their own. Borders are designed and constructed by a privileged few to exclude and disadvantage many. Through the enactment of borders, they define people, place and activity.
Through clever utilisation of metaphor and analogy, arts activist Scotia Monkivitch devised walked performances and installations to poetically engage the public in dialogue on border politics during the G20 Brisbane 2014, titled Walking Borders: Arts activism for refugee rights.
By walking the restricted and declared zones of Brisbane during G20 and placing paper boats along these borders, a plea for Australia’s abhorrent treatment of asylum seekers to cease was made perpetually visible throughout the G20 summit. The relationality of walking and the poetic symbolism of the fragility of the paper boat provoked many to respond and support the plea to international delegates and media...