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Barat Ali Batoor's Talk on Asylum Seekers Discusses the Hazara People

 - Apr 14, 2015
In his talk on asylum seekers, Barat Ali Batoor shares his powerful story trying to escape the persecution. Born in exile, the documentary filmmaker is a member of the Hazara, a displaced ethnic group. The speaker was born in Pakistan after his parents fled from Afghanistan. In 2005 he returned as a photojournalist but had to leave after receiving death threats for his work. In his absence, his hometown became extremely dangerous for the Hazara people and he felt forced to turn to a human smuggler to get out. The talk on asylum seekers describes the extreme conditions surrounding this journey, including being one of 93 people hiding beneath deck in an old fishing boat.

Although the speaker notes he was one of the lucky to eventually be granted asylum officially, the topic has become politicized, lost its human face, demonized and then presented to Australians. He hopes to raise awareness of those like him who are suffering.