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Australia Uses Harsh Graphic Novel To Ward Off Refugees

| 11 Feb 2014 20:42
Australia graphic novel

The government of Australia is using a rather horrific graphic novel to warn potential asylum-seekers that they are not welcome.

Australia's reputation as a place that doesn't care for immigrants who didn't get there at least 100 years ago has been bolstered by the recent release of a graphic novel aimed at potential asylum-seekers, warning them that the journey to the land down under is costly and perilous, and even if they do make it they'll be treated like crap once they get there.

The novel, originally published late last year, is almost entirely dialog-free but appears aimed primarily at Afghans. It begins with the tale of a young, presumably poor mechanic who's hornswoggled into paying big bucks to a human smuggler in order to gain entry into the promised land of Australia. But the reality of the journey turns out to be far worse than what was promised, and things only go downhill when the dangerously overloaded boat carrying the refugees is intercepted by an Australian warship.

This is the part of the comic that really floors me, because it very clearly indicates that refugee claimants will be treated like garbage by Australian authorities: flown to a remote island and forced to live in hot, crowded tents infested with biting insects, all under the watchful eye of intimidating, black-hatted guards. It's like a Jack Chick tract, except Hell is Australia - and believe it or not, it's an official Australian government publication, part of a campaign aimed at deterring asylum seekers called, "No way. They will not make Australia home."

Will it convince a few potential refugees to stay where they? Maybe - but it also shines a stark and very ugly light on Australia's immigration policies and its treatment of people fleeing horrific lives in other parts of the world. The Operation Sovereign Borders graphic novel can be read in full here.

Source: The Guardian

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