RETURN TO ESCAPE FROM WOOMERA

APPLESPIEL


WED 24 OCT, 7 – 10PM
THURS 25 OCT, 7 – 10PM
FRI 26 OCT, 7 – 10PM
SAT 27 OCT, 7 – 10PM
SUN 28 OCT, 4 – 7PM

 

Fifteen years ago, a group of Australians made Escape From Woomera: a politically explosive video game that put players in the shoes of a refugee held in immigration detention. Applespiel invite you to play Escape from Woomera in this specially-commissioned live gaming and performance experience. Each night, the artists create a live commentary to accompany the gameplay alongside human rights advocates, refugees and the creators of the original game, exploring the contemporary significance of this cultural intervention.

 

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  • GUEST SPEAKERS: WEDNESDAY 24 OCTOBER

     

    Kate Wild is an investigative journalist whose work with distinguished teams at the ABC has been recognised with three Walkley Awards and a Logie. Her reports from Darwin, where she lived from 2010 to 2016, laid the groundwork for a Four Corners story on juvenile detention that prompted the calling of a Royal Commission. Like Elijah Holcombe, Kate grew up in country New South Wales; she now lives and works in Sydney. Waiting for Elijah is her first book.

  • Morteza Poorvadi is a 34 year-old, former ‘boat person’ who landed on Christmas Island after fleeing Iran.  He spent four uncertain years in detention during which he converted to Christianity, escaped from Woomera Detention Centre, sparked the riot that burned down the Port Hedland Detention Centre, and famously sewed his lips together in the Villawood Detention Centre.

     

     

     

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  • GUEST SPEAKERS: THURSDAY 25 OCTOBER

     

    Julian Burnside AO QC is an Australian barrister who practises principally in commercial litigation, trade practices and administrative law. He is also a human rights and refugee advocate, and author. He is married to artist Kate Durham.

  • Creatrix Tiara is a writer, performance artist, producer, media-maker and activist. Tiara is interested in how games and interactive experiences can help people build empathy for experiences and perspectives outside their own. She has made two games about immigration: Here’s Your Fuckin’ Papers (like Papers Please but from the other side, also mainly annoying mini games) and What The @*)(@# Do They Need Now?, a semi-autobiographical game about the US Travel Ban.

     

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  • GUEST SPEAKERS: FRIDAY 26 OCTOBER

     

    Creatrix Tiara is a writer, performance artist, producer, media-maker and activist. Tiara is interested in how games and interactive experiences can help people build empathy for experiences and perspectives outside their own. She has made two games about immigration: Here’s Your Fuckin’ Papers (like Papers Please but from the other side, also mainly annoying mini games) and What The @*)(@# Do They Need Now?, a semi-autobiographical game about the US Travel Ban.

     

  • Safdar Ahmed is a Sydney-based comic artist. He is a founding member of the community art organisation, Refugee Art Project, for which he conducts regular workshops with asylum seekers and refugees in Western Sydney.

  • Bjorn Stewart is a Sydney based actor, writer and director. He was a writer and cast member of the Logie nominated series Black Comedy and has performed in other Australian comedy’s including Comedy Channel’s The Slot, ABC’s Get Krack!n, Wham Bam Thank You Mam and the darkly comic schlock horror flick Red Christmas. Bjorn has written and directed the short film I’m Gonna Make It through the First Breaks Metro Screen Initiative; and directed the short film Last Drinks at Frida’s. His theatre credits include productions such as Brothers Wreck, Coranderrk, Thomas and the Upside Down River and The Dark Room. Bjorn is one of the founding members of the Cope ST collective that works in pushing boundaries in theatre and online content.

     

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  • GUEST SPEAKERS: SATURDAY 27 OCTOBER 

     

    Dr Sarah Mares is a child and family psychiatrist, and Conjoint Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychiatry at the UNSW. She has a long commitment to supporting the wellbeing of infants, children and their families, and to asylum seeker and refugee mental health. In 2002 Sarah first met children and families detained in Woomera IDC after seeking asylum. In the last 15 years she has worked with people held in many other Australian immigration detention facilities and those who were previously detained and now live in the community.

  • Caroline Wake is a writer, researcher and teacher. Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, she researches the politics of performance, with interests in migration and documentation. She is Editor of Performance Paradigm, Associate Editor of Performance Research, Guest Editor – with Emma Cox – of a special issue on “Envisioning Asylum / Engendering Crisis” for Research in Drama Education (2018), and an Editorial Board Member of Imagined Theatres. She is also editor, with Bryoni Trezise, of Visions and Revisions: Performance, Memory, Trauma (Museum Tusculanum Press, 2013) and author of articles in International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, Theatre Research International, New Theatre Quarterly, and Modern Drama, among others.

     

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  • GUEST SPEAKERS: SUNDAY 28 OCTOBER

     

    Mahdi Mohommadi is a feminist theatre worker from Afghanistan. He came to Australia in 2013 by boat and since his arrival has been making theatre in Australia about women in Afghanistan and refugee rights. Recently he has been working with PYT Fairfield, his latest show was Tribunal, which was performed in the Opera House in June.

  • Hassan Sabbagh is a 73 year old Iraqi Australian who was tortured and imprisoned under Saddam’s regime. Escaping from jail in Iraq he fled to Syria and then to Australia arriving by boat in December 1999. He spent a total of four years and 3 months in detention; 13 months in Woomera and the remainder in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre. In Australia he lost contact with his wife and six children. Since his release from detention in 2003 he has taught himself English and obtained a Masters of Commerce/Banking degree from UNSW. Today Hassan is an accomplished painter; scenes of old Sydney town, Iraq as it once was, religious themes and paintings with a political message are all part of his portfolio.

     

    BOOK NOW

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  • DISCOVER MORE: REALTIME ARTICLE

    Find out how it all began as RealTime turn back the clock and revisit the controversy that surrounded the development of the video game in 2003 – from front page stories in Sydney Morning Herald to critical commentary from Australian politicians.

     

    READ THE ARTICLE
  • DISCOVER MORE: SPOTLIGHT ON APPLESPIEL

    Check out our interview with artist collective Applespiel where we discover more about their creative practice and the consultation process which has informed their return to the controversial video game.

     

    READ THE INTERVIEW
  • DISCOVER MORE: GAME PREVIEW

    Before you play the game in the live e-sports experience at Liveworks, check out the walk-through which traces Woomera detention centre based interviews with former detainees and activists, existing press reports, and a copy of the facility’s floor plan obtained from a member of the Department of Immigration.

     

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