Literature & Ideas Salon: On Migration and Detention

Literature & Ideas Salon: On Migration and Detention

In a fortunate gap between mid-year lockdowns, RMIT Culture hosted On Migration and Detention, with writers Shokoofeh Azar and Zana Fraillon.

In the June event, International Booker Prize nominated author Shokoofeh Azar and multi-award winning author Zana Fraillon shared their experiences writing about migration, detention and inhumane border policies, with host Astrid Edwards, Program Manager of RMIT’s Associate Degree of Professional Writing and Editing and host of the popular The Garret: Writers on Writing and Anonymous Was A Woman podcasts.

The panel was introduced by RMIT novelist, essayist and academic Michelle Aung Thin.

In addition to appearing at the event, RMIT Culture commissioned Shokoofeh Azar to write an essay. Her piece, The Seventh Way: We find ourselves in the Escape, can be found in The Capitol's Journal here.

A recording of the event can be found on RMIT Culture's Youtube channel here.

On Migration and Dentention was presented by RMIT Culture, in partnership with The Capitol and Writing and Publishing at RMIT.

Astrid Edwards, Michelle Aung Thin, Ali Barker, Zana Fraillon and Shokoofeh Azar pose facing direct to the camera with their arms around each others' backs. They're all smiling. L-R: Astrid Edwards, Michelle Aung Thin, RMIT Culture Partnered Projects Manager Ali Barker, Zana Fraillon, Shokoofeh Azar. Photo: Tom Hogan.

About the speakers

Shokoofeh Azar moved to Australia as a political refugee in 2010. She is a journalist and author of essays, articles, short stories and children's books. She is the first Iranian woman to hitchhike the entire length of the Silk Road. The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree, originally written in Farsi, was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize and Australia’s Stella Prize, as well as nominated for The PEN American and National Award.

Zana Fraillon is an internationally acclaimed, multi-award-winning author of books for children and young adults. Her work has been published in over 15 countries and is in development for both stage and screen. Her book The Bone Sparrow explores a refugee child’s experience being born in an Australian permanent detention centre. It won the 2017 ABIA Book of the Year for Older Children, and Readings Young Adult Book Prize 2017.

On Migration and Detention was hosted by Astrid Edwards, Program Manager of RMIT’s Associate Degree of Professional Writing and Editing. Astrid Edwards is an interviewer, podcaster and advocate. She is a bibliophile and hosts two bookish podcasts – The Garret: Writers on Writing and Anonymous Was A Woman. She serves as the Chair of Melbourne Writers Festival.

07 October 2021


07 October 2021


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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.