GO BACK to where you came from

Post Date: Jul 2nd, 2011 | Categories: Advocacy | COMMENT

In this groundbreaking three part TV series, six ordinary Australians agree to challenge their preconceived notions about refugees and asylum seekers by embarking on a confronting 25-day journey. Tracing in reverse the journeys that refugees have taken to reach Australia, they travel to some of the most dangerous and desperate corners of the world, with no idea what is in store for them along the way.

Deprived of their wallets, phones and passports, they board a leaky refugee boat, are rescued mid-ocean, experience immigration raids in Malaysia, live in a Kenyan refugee camp and visit slums in Jordan before ultimately making it to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iraq, protected by UN Peacekeepers and the US military. For some of them it’s their first time abroad. For all of them, it’s an epic journey and the most challenging experience of their lives.

It’s compulsive viewing for the same reasons the debate on refugees is: there are no easy answers. And the search for what scraps of truth and meaning in the debate is never predictable. Here is a television show that mixes documentary insights into the life of refugees with the character drama of the best shows going around. The only difference is, it’s not scripted. Certainly not forced.
Go Back to Where You Came From” takes six ordinary Australians – a life guard, a horsewoman, a country music singer, an unemployed woman and so on – and asks them to go on a confronting journey in reverse. From meeting refugee families that have settled here in Australia, by boat and otherwise, and then tracing the steps back to Africa, Jordan and Iraq, through Malaysia.

Importantly for the credibility of the show, not everybody will change their minds. But they do change their perspective. Volunteers start the show visiting settled refugees in Australia, on their couches and in their homes. It’s an easy transition into what is to come: a leaky boat journey from Darwin, witnessing an asylum seeker raid in Malaysia and navigating the vast refugee camps of Africa and the horrid injuries of bomb survivors in Jordan, where many Iraqi refugees have fled. There are real moments of tears, for the volunteers and likely for most of you watching at home.

Click here to watch online: http://www.sbs.com.au/shows/goback

Go Back to where you came from
Go Back to where you came from