Phoebe Parsons: ‘I Stopped These’

The ‘I Stopped These’ trophy, currently sitting on the desk of Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, is emblematic of the country’s deep-rooted antipathy towards refugees and the satisfaction accompanying their immobilisation. My painting seeks to highlight the racialised ideology behind Australia’s offshore detention system; an apparatus of neocolonialism. The contours of the detainee’s face reference kyriarchy; the interlocking social, political and economic systems that work to oppress and silence. Without intending to perpetuate disempowering refugee narratives, the painting illustrates the obscuring and omitting of refugee experiences within Australia’s political discourse, and the psychological implications on those detained.