Louisa Bufarde­ci
Cold Stor­age (ware­hous­ing asy­lum seekers)

1st – 24th November 2001
Anna Schwartz Gallery

what? I can’t see you

You shall know that no one is ille­gal. It is a con­tra­dic­tion in itself. Peo­ple can be beau­ti­ful or even more beau­ti­ful. They can be just or unjust. But ille­gal? How can some­one be illegal?”

Elie Wiesell

For twelve weeks now black plas­tic sheets hang out­side the win­dow between the bars and the con­struc­tion that takes place at Maribynong. The con­struc­tion being the ele­va­tion of a new fence. The rein­force­ment to match the cur­rent anx­i­ety which radi­ates — Aus­tralians are threat­ened by us.

I can push the win­dow up a lit­tle, but my fin­gers do not reach between the bars to move the plas­tic. I do not know what the peo­ple who work to build this fence look like, and this room for five peo­ple has no air. The win­dow is open but air can­not pass through.

As the work­ers dig the fence struc­ture into the ground we can­not see how deep it is placed, how deep it goes. It seems that they have thought of this. I realise only after won­der­ing about this for hours, why this black plas­tic blocks my win­dow. We can­not see where the work­ers will leave their tools, we can­not make con­tact with them. We remain invis­i­ble like we do not exist.

I have been here for 16 months, my case is under review. I have been told that I am many things. My friends say to me — you are always hap­py, despite all of these things you can remain pos­i­tive. I do not feel this anymore.

notes from an internee

Maribynong Deten­tion Cen­tre A sub­ur­ban con­cen­tra­tion camp  Mel­bourne Australia  Octo­ber 282001

No One Is Illegal

Images

Louisa Bufarde­ci

Cold Stor­age, 2001