Guest artist for Overland 234: Hoda Afshar


Artist’s Statement – cover

Edris – Manus Island (2018)

Edris is a Kurdish-Iranian refugee. He arrived at Australia’s shores in 2013 when he was only eighteen, before being sent to Manus Island – to Camp Delta, the harshest of all of Australia’s prison camps, as they call them there.

Edris reminded me immediately of my younger brother in Iran. He described to me what being statelessness means, and how his dream of one day having an ID card sent him on this journey. He told me how his detention on Manus had become a nightmare equal to the one that he fled.

I asked Edris what he will do with his freedom, if ever that day comes. He went silent, and looked away. Then he shyly replied, ‘I don’t know how freedom feels. I haven’t even seen it in my dreams yet.’

Later, when I returned from Manus and processed the films, this portrait of Edris came out blurry and vague. All that was left on the negative was the trace of his body, and that undreamt dream of his.


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Back cover art




Hoda Afshar

Hoda Afshar was born in Tehran and is now based in Melbourne. Through her art practice, Hoda explores the nature and possibilities of documentary image-making. Her work has been widely exhibited locally and internationally, and published online and in print.

More by Hoda Afshar ›

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