Like a shell
that waves pound to the cliffs,
-fatigue and fracture-
fled from the mountains of death
I landed on the Island of terror.
~ Golestan Hatami, 2022 participant - from Miscarriage of Injustice
Translated by Saba Vasefi
Writing from a new generation of women with experiences of detention in Australia.
Writing in Resistance was founded, edited, and translated by journalist scholar and poet Dr Saba Vasefi. Since 2021, in collaboration with Red Room Poetry, the project publishes poems by women with experience of living in Australia’s offshore processing regime on Nauru. Their poetry resists and documents the intersection of displacement and the detention system.
Writing in Resistance continues to foreground the importance of marginalised testimonies by featuring the poetic expressions of women and non-binaries with the experience of displacement or living in Australia’s offshore indefinite detention regime. Their writing subverts invisible borders of exclusions to reveal multifaceted colonial dimensions of exilic life as well as the continuities of symbolic violence and structural oppression.
To honour these voices, throughout 2023, Red Room Poetry commissioned and published a series of poems by Iranian female poets who have all experienced life as refugees, migrants or in forced detention in Australia. Writing workshops were also held with Villawood Immigration Detention Centre.
The focus of this work was the Women, Life Freedom movement in Iran. The commissioned poems, community workshops in detention and the event held on 20 September at Art Gallery of NSW celebrated Iranian women's resistance against the gender apartheid regime.