Home from home

From a home to a home:

A new project from the artists and makers of the wonderful Flyway Print Exchange http://www.theflywayprintexchange.info/ seeks ‘to create compassion and understanding for both the human travellers who come to our country in the hope of finding a safe haven and for the shorebirds that rely on our coastal wetlands’.



More information and image at https://australianculturalfund.org.au/projects/from-a-home-to-a-home-a-story-of-migration/

‘No-one leaves home, unless home is the mouth of a shark’:

Young British poets speak out for the flightpaths and arrivals of refugees at https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/sep/16/poets-speak-out-for-refugees-

Born in flight

 25 December 2015

 Born overnight

‘And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.’ Luke 2.7

wasserman inn syrians

Cartoon by Dan Wasserman for the Boston Globe at https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/11/26/editorial-cartoons-room-inn/kRBsPK4n1NfHXgC7MuIq4J/story.html

Born in flight


Liqaa, baby Limar and husband Basel in Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan

See https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-09-05-two-million-refugees-sweet-baby-born


Born at height

Ciconia_ciconia_juv_smallHuman-made nests welcome migratory White storks in Poland

Image at wikipedia.org

Fighting for rights

from Refugee Blues by W H Auden

Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there’s no place for us, my dear, yet there’s no place for us.

Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you’ll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.

In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
Every spring it blossoms anew;
Old passports can’t do that, my dear, old passports can’t do that.

The consul banged the table and said:
‘If you’ve got no passport, you’re officially dead’;
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.

Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
Asked me politely to return next year:
But where shall we go today, my dear, but where shall we go today?

Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said:
‘If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread’;
He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me…




Flying in the face of fairness

Australia pays to keep asylum seekers away

See http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/jun/15/any-payments-to-people-smugglers-may-have-broken-australian-law

From Australia’s National Anthem Advance Australia Fair

‘For those who’ve come across the seas

We’ve boundless plains to share…’

no way

Try to Praise the Mutilated World

…You must praise the mutilated world.

You watched the stylish yachts and ships;

one of them had a long trip ahead of it,

while salty oblivion awaited others.

You’ve seen the refugees going nowhere,

you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.

You should praise the mutilated world…

by Adam Zagajewski

Listen to the poem at http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/247934


Defining Zugunruhe

From the German ‘zug’, meaning movement or migration and ‘unruhe’, meaning anxiety, unrest; used by German and English speakers to describe ‘migratory restlessness’, especially in birds.

Gathering before the flight from Roebuck Bay, Western Australia

Gathering before the flight from Roebuck Bay, Western Australia

Gathering before the flight from Heathrow

Gathering before the flight from London Heathrow

Photos Ricki Coughlan/Broome Bird Observatory; David Levene/theguardian.com

Describing Zugunruhe

‘…the evening, the night and the morning, [it is] as if they feel in themselves then something I do not know what which obliges them to leave the place where they are…And it is this instinct and inner guide that makes them fly by a favourable wind directly to the place where they want to go.’

from Traité du Rossignol (A Treatise on the Nightingale), Anon, 1707. Quoted in The Wisdom of Birds: An Illustrated History of Ornithology, Tim Birkhead, Bloomsbury (2008)

Observing Zugunruhe

Annual migration of red crabs, Christmas Island, Indian Ocean

Annual migration of red crabs, Christmas Island, Indian Ocean, Australia

Asylum seekers on board SS Tampa, heading from Christmas Island, Indian Ocean, Austraiia

Asylum seekers on board MV Tampa, heading for Christmas Island, Indian Ocean, Australia 2001

Migrants arriving in Australia 1954

Migrants arriving in Australia 1954

Photos: Allison K Shaw/National Geographic; uncredited/www.abc.net.au; uncredited/Australian National Archives

Articulating Zugunruhe

‘…is this how this country is going to answer you

and your immodest demands for a different world,

and a better life, and complete comprehension

of both at last, and immediately..?’

 from Arrival at Santos by Elizabeth Bishop

Numbers’ game

Birds on the move worldwide

  • 50 million migratory waterbirds use the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF)
  • 700 sites recognised as internationally important to migratory waterbirds along the flyway
  • 22 countries are on the route of the EAAF
  • 16 countries belong to the EAAF partnership: Australia; Bangladesh; China; Indonesia; Japan; Malaysia; Mongolia; New Zealand; North Korea; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Russia; Singapore; South Korea; Thailand

Source: East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership www.eaaflyway.net

Asian Flyways

People on the move worldwide

  • 214 million estimated number of international migrants
  • 27.5 million internally displaced people
  • 15.4 million refugees

Source: International Organisation for Migration www.iom.net

Asylum-seekers on the move towards Australia

  • 300 asylum-seeker boats headed for Australia in 2013 with
  • 20,587 asylum-seekers on board

Source: Weekly report of Operation Sovereign Borders by the Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, 3 January 2014 www.minister.immi.gov.au

Image courtesy Mutari via Wikimedia Commons

Image by Mutari via Wikimedia Commons