Resistance and visibility: How technology has promoted activism from Australia's black sites


  • Michelle Bui



activism, political prisoners, refugees


The rise of social media platforms and online communication channels has strengthened the ability of Australia’s political prisoners to form connections with the world beyond the fences. People who were previously rendered invisible by the Australian Immigration Department are now increasingly participating in public forums and gaining access to platforms through which they are able to reclaim control over how their experiences are recorded and represented. Technology has permitted the documentation and transmission of actions of resistance from within Australia’s immigration prisons in the form of written testimonies, photos, videos and audio recordings. Access to information and the ability to develop strong connections and working relationships has in turn impacted upon how community based activists articulate solidarity. The increase in information associated with these relatively new communication channels, which include Facebook and other messaging applications have not yet manifest in substantive policy change; however, they have presented serious challenges to the standard operating procedures of the immigration detention regime. This paper will explore examples of how technology has promoted activism from Australia's black sites and some of the actors involved in the creation and dissemination of this work.