For the 129th man on Manus Island

Dear Prime Minister,

On behalf of the 129th refugee on Manus Island I present the words of Mr Sha Sarwari, an Australian citizen, a Hazara and former refugee from Afghanistan. His video art work 'Suspended' was exhibited at Brisbane's 'Jugglers Art Space' in September 2016.

Even for me, living in Australia for the past 15 years, I haven’t found my foothold in my life here.
When I see my fellow refugees … it renews my memory that I don’t belong here, I have to go back one day, so it doesn’t let me settle.

Mr Sarwari's black and white video, "Suspended" shows an origami boat made of newspaper drifting on the ocean, going forwards and backwards in an infinite loop.

Suspended in a wave, going backwards and forwards and backwards and there’s no ending is to do with my own memory.
Also to do with the people that are living in detention centres for the past few years now in Manus Island and Nauru, places like that, it’s been mentioned to them time and time again that you have to go back, you have to go back.
In the media, they say that if you come by boat you won’t be settled here, you will never end up in Australia, so this narrative has made me and my fellow refugees like they don’t feel settled.

He used a newspaper boat to also critique media coverage on asylum seekers.

Going with the policy of the government most of the time, not resisting, not telling the truth, not putting a light on the issue from both sides, and dehumanising the refugees.
It’s a kind of stigma attached to being boat people.

I don’t care, I tell whoever I meet that I came by boat, but there are people who want to hide that.
It’s refugees that say no to war, no to violence, no to killing … they run away towards peace, so the countries that are on the side of peace, they should welcome [refugees] and make a peaceful force out of them.

Mr Turnbull, bring the refugees on Manus Island and Nauru to Australia and welcome them to be part of the force for peace.