Artist statement: Behrouz is a Kurdish-Iranian journalist, writer and filmmaker. He fled Iran in 2013 seeking asylum, and arrived on the shores of Australia on his thirtieth birthday – four days after the Rudd Government announced its offshore detention plan.
I sent this portrait to Behrouz after I returned from Manus in April 2018, and called him. I said, This is you, Behrouz, with your passion, your fire, and your writer’s hands. It symbolises your resistance. He heard this, and paused. You are right, he said. But I do not see myself in this picture. I only see a refugee. Someone whose identity has been taken from him. A bare life, standing there beyond the borders of Australia, waiting and staring. He fell silent, then said … This image scares me.
2018 BOWNESS PHOTOGRAPHY PRIZE WINNER