Guardian Australia launches new podcast on refugees

Guardian Australia has launched a new podcast called ‘The Wait’, about refugees in Indonesia waiting to come into Australia.

The announcement:

Guardian Australia has today launched The Wait, a new podcast series telling the story of the forgotten refugees indefinitely stranded in Indonesia as a result of Australia’s border crackdown.

The narrative series, two years in the making, is told through the eyes of 29-year-old Iranian refugee Mozhgan Moarefizadeh, who has been stranded with her family in Jakarta for most of her adult life — with no right to work, study, marry, travel, or hold a bank account, and an uncertain future.

Over five 40-minute episodes, Moarefizadeh, alongside Australian journalist Nicole Curby, explores how Australia’s immigration policy has essentially created a proxy border in Indonesia, trapping thousands like her in a state of limbo with restricted rights.

From a disused army barracks to a forgotten church garden and the hills above Jakarta, the two hosts speak with the people trapped in a permanent grey zone, telling their surprising stories through compelling interviews, field reporting, conversations and audio diaries.

Curby said, “When I met Mozhgan three years ago she flipped everything I thought I knew about refugees on its head.

“I became captivated by her story and the world that she opened up to me. Mozhgan took me to meet her friends and community, brought me into her darkest moments, and I knew that this was a story that had to be heard.

“As the impacts of Australia’s border policy stretch further from our shores, they become harder to see. The boats have stopped, but we aren’t hearing the rest of the story. The series is the first in-depth exploration of how the consequences of Australia’s border are being pushed over the horizon and into Indonesia.”

Moarefizadeh said, “I wanted to connect with people on a personal level, so they can relate to us and feel that we’re as normal as they are. But we just happen to be caught in these circumstances.

“It could happen to anyone. As soon as I tell people I’m a refugee they look at me as though I have horns in my head. They’re shocked because I’m so far from what they think a refugee is, or should be. Either that, or they pity me.”

The series, supported by the Walkley Foundation and the Judith Nielsen Institute, will be released as part of Guardian Australia’s flagship Full Story podcast. The first two episodes are available to listen to now.

Miles Martignoni, Guardian Australia’s Head of Audio, said, “Full Story exists to explain the context behind the news to our listeners and The Wait’s focus on how our immigration policies affect refugees in other countries fits perfectly.

“There are very few places for documentary makers to have work like this played to an established audience in Australia. It’s been a privilege to work with Mozhgan, Nicole and Michael to get this series out there to as many people as possible.”

The show’s supervising producer is Michael Green, host and producer of the Walkley-Award winning podcast, The Messenger, about life in detention on Manus Island.

The Wait is produced by Nicole Curby, Mozhgan Moarefizadeh, Michael Green and Bec Fary, with Miles Martignoni from The Guardian.

You can listen to the wait in the Full Story podcast, subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any other podcasting app.

Source: Guardian Australia media release


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