Straight Out of Brisbane / Refugee Action Collective :: Jennifer Lyons-Reid

19th November 2002 The Winery, West End, Brisbane.


Screening of the documentary Holiday Camp

Screening of the documentary Holiday Camp

…how is your liberation bound up with mine ?
In November 2002, Jennifer, from the film collective Drive by Shooting, was supported by the ANAT Conference and Workshop Fund to attend the Straight Out Of Brisbane Festival, where a screening of the documentary Holiday Camp (and forum) was organized by the Brisbane Refugee Action Collective.

Holiday Camp is a controversial and cutting edge anti-racist film, and combined with a panel/discussion afterwards, uses this form of popular-culture as a brilliant tool‚ to share ideas. It supports local involvement, a place where art and activism can intersect. The presence of the filmmakers at the screening provided a link for the audience to de-construct the narrative, content and consumption‚ of this media.

…in what ways do we participate in a culture of mass media dominated communication?
Easter 2002: the networked villages witness a broadcasting frenzy, as scenes from the outbreak from the Woomera detention centre (read prison) flash around the world. A media story of international significance with lingering images burnt into our collective iconic memory; protest, escape and border clashes.

…were you there ? how much did you really see?
Many people, who were positioned on the outside of the Woomera detention fence were jettisoned into the horrifying realisation, that freedom is a construction – we can take it for granted but when we are forced to consider what freedom really means to ourselves and others, our reality changes. Ignorance, as a weapon of mass construction, allows a privileged few to determine the plight of others.

…but how is our liberation bound together?
Freedom is an advertisement, where we all remain contained within an increasingly fortified global community. Our main agenda during the making of Holiday Camp was to question how we can participate in a culture of mass media dominated communication and contribute a creative perspective on the international discourse about migration and the increasing border panic within the ‘western world’.


Screening of the documentary Holiday Camp

Screening of the documentary Holiday Camp

Holiday Camp is a 47-minute documentary investigating the current Australian immigration policies in the context of 200 years of colonisation. The unique documentary style adopted, juxtaposes challenging images, interviews, and personal experiences to engage the audience in a satirical de-construction of racism.

Drive by Shooting/ tallstoreez productionz, is a three-person Australian/ German film collective, based in Adelaide, and Hamburg. We have toured the film throughout Europe (50 cities) and in Australia (10 screenings in 5 major cities) and we have been notified of screenings throughout Europe, UK, Canada and Australia.

At the November Brisbane screening/workshop of Holiday Camp, an audience of 80 joined the film-makers and panel, comprised of Frederika Steen (facilitator), Hassan Ghulam (President of the Hasara Society), Madonna Abella (psychologist) and Tim Collins (activist). The discussions explored our understandings about eyewitness media, documentary film narratives, editing manipulation and political activism.

The audience participated in a discussion about how we can each make a difference, including suggestions of further screenings in Queensland, and how to develop the film as an educational kit.

The screening made it possible for the filmmakers to meet with other artist/activists, including Pandora Karavan, a Brisbane photographer who was the principle organizer of the event.

In Europe, independent filmmakers attend the screenings as a catalyst for a political discussion. Solidarity is expressed across groups; small villages paying travel costs, accommodation and meals for the presenters, who provide the evenings resource, in the tradition of travelling performance troupes.

We were impressed by the snowball effect of touring the film – each screening provided information about local activities, sharing of knowledge, experience and skills as well as creative feedback concerning the film and other art projects.

International no-border-conference, Strasbourg, France (19- 30 July’02)
German no-border-conference, Jena, Germany (25-30 June ’02)
The second European PGA-conference in Leiden, Netherlands (1-4 September ’02)
BORDERPANIC-conference in Sydney, Australia (11 September ’02)
ElectroFringe, Newcastle, Australia (3 October ’02)
Mercury Cinema, Adelaide (27 September + 5 November ’02)
Straight out of Brisbane Festival (19 November ’02)
Transmediale03, Berlin, Germany (4 February ’03)

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