Not just my stories

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre presents Not Just My Story as part of the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival.

When do you tell your story and why? What happens to your sense of self when you’re under suspicion? Stories of persecution, family, resilience and love are explored by 30 asylum seekers through physical theatre, story telling, movement and music.

Directed by Catherine Simmonds
Choreography by Yumi Umiumare
Dramaturg by Arnold Zable
Sound design by Myles Mumford

Not Just My Story is a special opportunity for audiences to encounter the human face of compelling asylum seeker stories. Weaving together the moments, memories and voices of the performers, we challenge the popular narrative of seeking asylum in Australia. Not Just My Story will open your heart to the potential of our shared humanity.

When:Saturday May 14 2011 5:00 AM – Sunday May 15 2011 11:00 AMWhere:St. Martins Youth Arts Centre, 44 St. Martins Lane, South Yarra, VIC, 3141Contact:Asylum Seeker Resource Centre


This event is not organized by Amnesty International Australia but by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and all inquiries should be directed to them.



Quote from Pozible campaign

“Not just my story” evolved in consultation with the 22 (protagonists) of JOAW.  “We feel so lucky to have been touched by the creative work but we need to give that opportunity to other people and we could help to open the door for new asylum seekers.”  The events that lead a person to be named as an “Asylum Seeker” are inevitably infused with tragedy. 

“Not just my story” will actively research the symbols, dreams and intimate details within the tragedy, with the aim to extract and portray the experiences that create universal resonance.  Our participant asylum seekers have largely been represented and judged within legal frameworks where they’ve had to prove their ‘truth’ time and time again. 

“Not just my story” aims to explore the vulnerabilities and contradictions that occur when telling a story, – what happens to ones sense of ‘truth’ when under suspicion?  In this project we will also emphasize the positive experiences and memories of our participants, for example the love stories, celebrations, and creative imagination of our participants, thus exploring the expression of the multidimensional person who hashumour, is a musician, actor, poet and dancer.  Our aim is to transmit a different image of asylum seekers neither just as ‘poor things’ or the nastier stereotype and to deconstruct the common media representation.  The ‘protagonists’ who were in JOAW also wish to investigate issues of cultural integration and settlement post “Permanent Residency” – “You get the visa and then you’re all alone.  I didn’t have work experience I needed to get a job. But I came from a country where there’s no technology, no cars, no basic stuff.”  “In Dandenong there is the perception that because Sudanese young men congregate together, that they are therefore a gang.  It’s important to combat those perceptions in the public, also in the police force where there’s a lot of racism”