The Boat – interactive storytelling

Nearly 40 years ago my folks escaped South Vietnam on a boat, leaving behind loved ones, bloody memories and an oppressive regime intent on hurting those who fought against it. My Ba, who is my best mate and hero, wasted his youth in a long, senseless war that he wishes to, but can never forget. He won’t ever talk about the war in detail but I have been able to get a sense of what he went though, by reading his early poetry.

I get why it’s hard for many people to empathise with randoms who rock up to our pristine shores in a shitty boat – but there are genuine and compelling reasons why people choose (or have no choice but to) leave everything and risk their lives for an uncertain future in a foreign land where they don’t know anyone, can’t speak the language and don’t always feel welcome.

The Boat is an awesome piece of storytelling, although not the easiest to watch. You can check out other content SBS has put up as well, to mark 40 years since the fall of Saigon.

Click here to check out The Boat, an interactive graphic novel by Nam Le and Matt Huynh: http://www.sbs.com.au/theboat/

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COLD WAR CAB RIDE

A fun Friday night exchange between a Cab driver and a resident in Sydney, Australia..

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The context: A dude with 2 girls jump into a cab in Sydney..

Dude: “We’re headed to Cleveland Street, just make a right and shoot down Elizabeth Street”

Cabbie: “Where are you going? When you get into a cab you’re supposed to tell them the name and address of where you’re going”

Dude: “Oh is that how that works? I’ll remember that for next time”

Cabbie: “You people.. no one else in the world acts like people from your country”

Dude: “Oh really? Where are your from? Your country seems to specialize in passive aggression”

Cabbie: “Yeah well I’m from Russia”

Dude: “Aggh then we’d make a great team, loud obnoxious American with a passive aggressive Russian, we’d be best friends!”

Silence prevails until the destination is reached.

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JAILBREAK RADIO – a radio lifeline for inmates

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Jailbreak Radio gives a voice to some of the most isolated people in Australian society – prison inmates, their families and friends. It connects prisoners to the outside community through powerful music, poetry and stories. Below are inspiring stories and music clips from some talented artists who also happen to be very familiar with the prison system.

 

RADICAL SON – ex inmate

“There’s a saying ‘happy as a pig in shit’. I remember being in prison and brothers getting out and offending so they could get back in…there’s a threat inside but there’s a violence out here as well,” says Radical Son, Aboriginal Tongan musician.

In the latest episode of Jailbreak Radio we hear about Radical Son’s journey from solitary confinement to singer songwriter and releasing debut album “Cause ‘n Affect”, grappling his demons and his inner turmoil, thoughts, feelings and emotions, searching for answers to why he was so angry and violent, leading to jail time.

Cause ‘n Affect incorporates the sounds of soul, hip hop, reggae and r n b, features legendary Indigenous Australian musician Archie Roach and a seven piece band complete with horn section. Radical Son tells his stories honestly and courageously, and in his interview on Jailbreak he speaks of how he struggles to fit a story into a three minute song. National radio station Triple J recently featured Cause ‘n Affect as best album.

Radical Son’s lesson from his life journey is something we can all learn from:

“I’m not a religious man but I believe that there is a higher power within ourselves. This thing that is called love, which can do so much…You know if I want to stop drug and alcohol abuse – a part of that…would require us to then love ourselves enough where we can say, you know what, my body is the temple, this is the thing that needs respecting.”

Below is Radical Son’s music clip “Human Behaviour”.

Continue reading…

Ego Saunters in the Dark
Skipping by alleys
Trodding through parks
The Being floats slightly above
Dawning humility,
Pierced with love
Gravity, quietly
meeting both
abiding by its sacred oath
To balance land
To balance sea
To balance all that we can’t see
Yet it still breaks
and breeds mistakes
Birds then fly below the snakes
Earth becomes a concave hole
Ego floats above the soul