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    Nobody's Sons: Migrant Protest at Bonegilla

    An MMV (Multicultural Museums of Victoria) event: Co.As.It. Museo Italiano in collaboration with the Hellenic Museum. In partnership with La Mama Theatre. Presentation of HISTORIES OF CONTROVERSY: BONEGILLA MIGRANT CENTRE by ALEXANDRA DELLIOS, followed by Q&A with the author. With readings from the play HOTEL BONEGILLA by TES LYSSIOTIS, with CARMELINA DI GUGLIELMO, JAMES HARVY, ROBBIE MICALE, EVA TORKKOLA, ALEX TSITSOPOULOS and LOUKIA VASSILIADES, directed by LAURENCE STRANGIO. HISTORIES OF CONTROVERSY: BONEGILLA MIGRANT CENTRE - Bonegilla was a point of reception and temporary accommodation for approximately 320,000 post-war refugees and assisted migrants who arrived in Australia between 1947 and 1971. Its function was integral to the post-war immigration scheme, officially lauded as an economic and cultural success. However, considerable hardships were endured at Bonegilla, particularly during times of economic and political insecurity. Enforced family separation, poor standards of care, child malnutrition, and organised migrant protest need to be recognised as part of the Bonegilla story. Histories of Controversy: Bonegilla Migrant Centre gives this alternative picture, revealing the centre’s history as one of containment, control, deprivation and political discontent. In this talk, author Alexandra Dellios will explore the events and outcomes of the 1952 and 1961 riots over unemployment that occurred at Bonegilla and in other immigration centres across the country. Italian migrants and their hardships are most prominent in public retellings of these riots, and Alexandra will focus on their experiences of, and resistance to government control and surveillance. The politics of the Cold War, and the role of ASIO, as well as left-wing trade unions allied with the Italian migrant cause, are also a key part of this story. HOTEL BONEGILLA - Tes Lyssiotis wrote and directed Hotel Bonegilla for La Mama in August 1983 with a cast of 6. In 1997 Tes directed Hotel Bonegilla at Hot House Theatre (Wodonga) as a community production for the 50th Anniversary of the Bonegilla Reunion Festival, with a cast of 32, most of whom had direct family connections to the Migrant Camp. The play draws on the personal stories and experiences of people who made Australia their home. Hotel Bonegilla is a tale about immigration that still resonates because Bonegilla epitomises what has become the main trait of the 21st century: the movement of people between countries. At the centre of the play is the potent image of the suitcase which helped shape the playwright’s vision, for inside the suitcase are the dreams and the heart of the migrant.

    Date July 12, 2017 - July 12, 2017
    Time 6:30pm - 8:30pm
    Co.As.It. Museo Italiano