Type
Article
Category
Refugees

Freedom Street—Azizah’s story

There are close to 14,000 refugees held indefinitely across Indonesia. Most of them live in open Community Detention Centres, while the rest are fully destitute, living the community without any kind of support. In the city of Makassar, hundreds of them live in one particular street.

Today we are bringing you an excerpt from Freedom Street, a feature-length documentary that explores the plight of Joniad, Ashfaq and Azizah, three such refugees trapped in Indonesia as a consequence of Australia’s deterrence policies. The documentary tells their moving stories whilst deconstructing Australia’s cruel border protection policy in a series of conversations with various experts, illuminating the issue in its historical and contemporary context.

This is Azizah’s testimony.

Nur Azizah is a stateless Refugee. She was born in Malaysia in 2001 and has been stuck in Indonesia since 2012. Azizah has grown up in a complex domestic environment, leaving her and her younger brother fending for themselves for most of her life. She has survived many life’s challenges including mental health, sexual and physical harassment, and exploitation.

Despite all that, she has managed to continue her studies in refugee-run schools, as well as to find her community of friends, and has succeeded in almost completely immersing herself in the Indonesian community—as well as taking care of the family. Now living with her son, she’s a more-determined-than-ever ambitious young woman who loves to read and inspire other women to do better and to stand up for their rights.

*

Call to action: Freedom Street is an ongoing project, funded primarily through donations. While the documentary has been completed, we still need to fundraise to cover our cost for marketing and distribution. Come and attend our screening in person or online in the next coming months to support us. Or you can make a tax-deductible donation through the Documentary Australia Foundation (tax-deductible). Why have our tax money used to oppress refugees? Why not instead get tax deductions by supporting the project that challenges the cruelty that our government has done for them?

Our next screening will be at 6pm on the 15 February 2022, at the University of Canberra Refectory. For more up to date information you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram,  Twitter and YouTube. You can also visit the film’s website

Our Documentary is ready for Screening in your community. We would like to start reaching out to communities around Australia, for an in person event and online! We are now open to organise and discuss ways on how we can best engage with your community. So please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via our email at pioneeroffreedomstreet@gmail.com

 

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.

Alfred Pek is a filmmaker, video journalist, director, and an aspiring storyteller, adventurer, and explorer of pluralism and intersections of identities. Having diverse life experiences in Indonesia and then Australia has motivated him to tell stories that matter to broader social contexts in order to inspire actions and move human hearts.

More by

Comments

Leave a Reply to Johnny Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.