Re-writing The Mistakes Of The Fraser Government

UTP is excited to announce that we will partner with Haven for Artists in Lebanon to support Michael Mohammed Ahmad and Omar Sakr to develop speculative novellas that reflect on the Lebanese migration to Australia.

In November 2016, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton argued that the Fraser Government made a ‘mistake’ by resettling Lebanese refugees. “The advice I have is that out of the last 33 people who have been charged with terrorist related offences in this country, 22 of those people are from second and third generation Lebanese-Muslim background,” Dutton said.

In the context of these comments, UTP will engage three Lebanese-Australian writers from Western Sydney in a project which re-writes the dominant narratives around the lives of second-generation Lebanese-Australian citizens.

The project will include a six-month residency at UTP and a 3-week residency at the Haven for Artists in Beirut, Lebanon. Throughout this period, the writers will develop a series of speculative novellas for publication and oral storytelling performances (a literary form known as ‘hakawati’ in Arabic), centred around themes of diaspora, migration, nationalism, multiculturalism and belonging.