The Rohingya boat people are stranded out at sea, they are kept in refugee camps, they are buried in mass graves.
While I was thinking about these people I had a sudden memory of a childhood movie, Dumbo. Dumbo loses his mother and he is shunned when he looks for support elsewhere, but then he finds a friend in the smallest of creatures and together they go on a journey that ends with him regaining his dignity and being reunited with his mother. I couldn’t help thinking that the Rohingya people and other refugees are suffering through this same story; they have no motherland, they are shunned by others, but who will be their friend? Will anyone play the part of the mouse? And is there any way for them to regain their dignity and have a happy future in their homeland or somewhere else?
I don’t know who these people are, all I know is that they are human beings. Barat Ali Batoor is a photo journalist who fled Afghanistan after receiving death threats. His country of origin was not safe so he and his family put their money together and decided that he would be the one to go to Australia. He gives a face to ‘illegal immigrants’ by talking about his attempt to be smuggled into Australia in a TED Talk. Below is a photo that Barat took on the fishing boat that he was smuggled in.
Check out more of Barat’s photos here