Play portrays ordeal of seeking asylum in Australia 

February 12, 2017 - 18:39

TEHRAN – A play premiered on Sunday at the Qashqai Hall of Tehran’s City Theater Complex, turning the spotlight on asylum seekers caged in the regional processing centers of Manus and Nauru in Australia.

Writer/director Nazanin Sahamizadeh explained in a press release that she got the idea for the play titled “Manus” from a news report about the refugees at the centers published almost two years ago.  

She uses verbatim theater, a form of documentary theater in which a play is constructed from the precise words spoken by people interviewed about a particular event or topic, to stage the play.

The play was written based on interviews with asylum seekers held in the Manus and Nauru camps.

Elsa Firuzazar, Ehsan Karami, Ehsan Bayatfar, Ebrahim Azizi, Hamidreza Mohammadi, Nasrin Nakisa and Narges Niksirat are the members of the cast for the play, which will run until March 20 

Over that past decade, many people fled their homeland in an attempt to reach safety in Australia.

According to the Independent, Australian authorities announced a planned closure of the Manus Regional Processing Center last August after Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court ruled that the detention of migrants on the island of Manus was illegal and violated the country’s constitution.

The rule was issued following reports of inhumane conditions and human rights violations in the Manus camp.

The authorities’ announcement came after documents detailing more than 2,000 incidents of sexual abuse, assault and suicide were leaked from another detention center on Nauru island, where women and children are held.

Hamid Kehazai, a 24-year-old Iranian asylum seeker, died of an infected wound at the Manus Regional Processing Center last September.

Photo: A poster for “Manus”


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