I’ll Be Your First Mate is a collaborative organisation that provides an artistic space for people to engage in discussions about asylum seekers in new, creative ways. We want this site to become a hub where all people can creatively add to the conversation.
We invite people to contribute art that can be shared across our networks. This art can be in any medium—painting, sketch, poem, short story, animation, film, song and so on.
Visual artworks have the option of being sold as prints on our online redbubble store and 100% of proceeds from these sales goes to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) in Melbourne. While we welcome the opportunity to raise funds for the ASRC, our primary aim is to contribute to a cultural change by creating and sharing art about asylum seeking and global migration more broadly.
The project is Australian-based; however, the refugee crisis is a global issue and IBYFM therefore hopes to connect with people from all over the world.
The need for spaces that allow dialogue on the topic of migration has become more important than ever in Australia following a particularly intense period of politicising regarding refugees. We want to unpack this political rhetoric through creative conversation and investigation, so as to ensure that:
- The recent attempts to stifle or thwart news about boat arrivals, asylum seeker visa processing and conditions of offshore detention centres are constantly challenged. Everyone has the right to be given accurate, cohesive information on matters that affect their livelihood and humanity.
- All positions, understandings and arguments about asylum seekers are constantly engaged with and interrogated. This means detangling information about asylum seekers from the catastrophic language commonly associated with it in media and government debates. But it also means asking questions about how we, as supporters of asylum seekers, enter the debate and position our own arguments.