These are the records of EXCISED, a sea-kayaking and road odyssey around Australia and into the ‘excised zone’.
Join us – Simon Keenan, David Corlett and friends (some of whom may be Very Important and very familiar to observers of Australian politics!) – over the next two and a half months as we travel to the frontlines of Australia’s response to asylum seekers who arrive without official authorisation by boat.
Our journey will take us to the human implications of Australia’s little understood policy of excision. Excision is the basis for Australia’s ‘offshore processing’ regime – a regime that is immune from important checks and balances that help ensure that people who need protection actually get it. Excision means that asylum seekers cannot apply for protection within Australia and sets up a system that has led to Australia returning refugees to persecution and other serious human rights violations. Some have been killed. Every island across Australia’s north, some 5000 in total, has been ‘excised’ from Australia’s migration zone.
EXCISED will take us around the whole of the Australian mainland – from the Surf Coast in Victoria to South Australia (home to the Woomera and Baxter detention centres) and on to Perth; to the excised territories of Christmas Island and the Western Australian coast; across to the Northern Territory and to Melville Island (which has been excised, unexcised and excised again); and over to Queensland where Magnetic Island and the cultural icons that are the Whitsundays have also been cut out of the migration zone.
Come with us on this adventure: witness some of Australia’s most awe-inspiring coastline; meet some amazing (and maybe some not-so-amazing) people; hear stories that will put a smile on your face and others that will have you in tears. Share our story too, as we make this frantic 15,000 km journey in an effort to publicise the little understood policy of excision and its devastating human implications. It is a personal journey into the unknown as we learn not only about policy and practice, but also about ourselves as individuals and each other.
We hope that you will come back to the EXCISED journals and that you find them stimulating, moving, inspiring, fun and entertaining. Read the written word, listen to the audio recordings and watch footage captured from the surf to the street. And in all this, we hope that we might be able to explore how Australia might respond to some of the world’s most vulnerable people in a way that reveals our own and their full humanity.
Let us know what you think. Send us a message. Share your ideas and thoughts...we’re really keen that you might also come along for the journey!! And do tell your friends about the EXCISED odyssey.
Simon Keenan and David Corlett