This series of images describes the isolation of voicing an opinion that conflicts with the majority. The protest (in which I participated as both protester and photographer) was against the treatment of asylum seekers and the government’s attempts to silence criticism of their refugee policy. Fragmented details, snapped rather than composed, evoke a voyeuristic quality. Faces with mouths taped shut suggest loneliness, shame and fear. Constriction and censorship, suggesting a loss of freedom; not just the refugees’, but our loss of freedom of expression.
Over the past five years I’ve noticed that those who express negative opinions, not necessarily untrue, about facets of Australia, are generally shouted down. I feel that society is losing its sense of humanity and that the Australian ideal of a ‘fair go’ is being diminished. Deception and mass paranoia have allowed the asylum seekers issue to be misunderstood. Whilst these images won’t change that, I hope they will contribute to raising an awareness of the refugees’ situation.