Manus Recording Project Collective

where are you today;

archive.

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  • 31.07.20 (play)
    Yasin, drinking green tea and looking through the window, watching cars go by, for Eid.

    You are an unknown distance from Yasin, who recorded this 279 days and 22 hours ago.

    289 messages sent, listened 386 times in 183 locations:
    two in Adelaide , eight in Auckland , two in Ballarat , one in Bendigo , three in Brisbane City , two in Hobart , one in London , one in Long Beach , 66 in Melbourne , one in Mildura , two in Perth , 13 in Sydney and four in Wollongong
  • 01.08.20 (play)
    Samad, waking up in his room in Gordon, Port Moresby.

    You are an unknown distance from Samad, who recorded this 279 days and 12 hours ago.

    270 messages sent, listened 282 times in 137 locations:
    four in Auckland , one in Ballarat , three in Brisbane City , one in Hobart , one in Maungakiekie-Tāmaki , 42 in Melbourne , one in Mildura , two in Perth , 26 in Sydney and one in Wollongong
  • 01.08.20 (play)
    Farhad Bandesh, walking from his room to the lounge room and kitchen of Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation.

    You are an unknown distance from Farhad Bandesh, who recorded this 278 days ago.

    399 messages sent, listened 377 times in 126 locations:
    two in Adelaide , 21 in Brisbane City , two in Hobart , one in London , 39 in Melbourne , one in Mildura , one in Perth , seven in Sydney and two in Wollongong
  • 03.08.20 (play)
    Thanush, listening to a guided meditation and talking about painting.

    You are an unknown distance from Thanush, who recorded this 276 days and four hours ago.

    434 messages sent, listened 345 times in 169 locations:
    one in Adelaide , eight in Brisbane City , two in Coffs Harbour , one in Gold Coast City , one in Hobart , 70 in Melbourne , one in Mildura , one in Perth , nine in Sydney , one in Whau and four in Wollongong
  • 04.08.20 (play)
    Farhad Rahmati, playing pool with a friend.

    You are an unknown distance from Farhad Rahmati, who recorded this 275 days and five hours ago.

    464 messages sent, listened 310 times in 113 locations:
    four in Adelaide , one in Auckland , seven in Brisbane City , one in Gold Coast City , one in Hobart , two in London , one in Los Angeles , 32 in Melbourne , one in Mildura , one in Perth , 12 in Sydney and one in Wollongong
  • 05.08.20 (play)
    Shamindan, listening to a song that reminds him of home.

    You are an unknown distance from Shamindan, who recorded this 20 hours ago.

    493 messages sent, listened 318 times in 118 locations:
    two in Adelaide , seven in Brisbane City , two in Gold Coast City , one in Hobart , one in Los Angeles , 36 in Melbourne , one in Mildura , three in Newcastle , one in Perth , 13 in Sydney and one in Wollongong
  • 06.08.20 (play)
    Yasin, playing FIFA 20 with his roommate.

    You are an unknown distance from Yasin, who recorded this two hours ago.

    484 messages sent, listened 294 times in 99 locations:
    one in Adelaide , five in Brisbane City , four in Caboolture , one in Cleveland , one in Gold Coast City , one in Hobart , 31 in Melbourne , one in Mildura , one in Newcastle and eight in Sydney
  • 06.08.20 (play)
    Samad, watching the second day of the Test match between Pakistan and England.

    You are an unknown distance from Samad, who recorded this 273 days and 22 hours ago.

    501 messages sent, listened 119 times in 60 locations:
    one in Adelaide , one in Brisbane City , one in Caboolture , one in Gold Coast City , 21 in Melbourne , one in Mildura , two in Orange , one in Perth , four in Sydney and one in Wollongong
  • 08.08.20 (play)
    Farhad Bandesh, teaching his fellow detainee English.

    You are an unknown distance from Farhad Bandesh, who recorded this 271 days and eight hours ago.

    525 messages sent, listened 301 times in 96 locations:
    one in Adelaide , four in Auckland , three in Brisbane City , two in Gold Coast City , 40 in Melbourne , one in Mildura , one in Perth , nine in Sydney and one in Wollongong
  • 09.08.20 (play)
    Thanush, giving his friend Sinna a haircut.

    You are an unknown distance from Thanush, who recorded this 270 days and eight hours ago.

    528 messages sent, listened 339 times in 118 locations:
    one in Adelaide , two in Brisbane City , one in Gold Coast City , 29 in Melbourne , two in Mildura , one in Perth , 13 in Sydney and one in Wollongong
  • 09.08.20 (play)
    Farhad Rahmati, sitting by the fence in the evening and listening to the birds.

    You are an unknown distance from Farhad Rahmati, who recorded this 270 days and one hour ago.

    537 messages sent, listened 270 times in 118 locations:
    one in Auckland , four in Brisbane City , two in Gold Coast City , two in Hobart , 46 in Melbourne , one in Mildura , four in Perth , ten in Sydney , one in Waitākere Ranges , one in Whanganui , two in Whau and two in Wollongong
  • 12.08.20 (play)
    Shamindan, sitting in front of the Shady Rest Hotel and then going for a walk.

    You are an unknown distance from Shamindan, who recorded this 267 days and 11 hours ago.

    579 messages sent, listened 237 times in 78 locations:
    one in Adelaide , three in Brisbane City , one in Gold Coast City , 29 in Melbourne , two in Mildura , ten in Sydney and one in Wollongong
  • 12.08.20 (play)
    Yasin, listening to ABC Country and working out at the hotel gym.

    You are an unknown distance from Yasin, who recorded this 267 days and three hours ago.

    1132 messages sent, listened 230 times in 81 locations:
    one in Adelaide , five in Brisbane City , one in Gold Coast City , 27 in Melbourne , 15 in Sydney , one in Wollongong and one in 臺南市
  • 14.08.20 (play)
    Samad, boxing.

    You are an unknown distance from Samad, who recorded this 266 days and 12 hours ago.

    568 messages sent, listened 144 times in 73 locations:
    three in Brisbane City , 26 in Melbourne , one in Port Moresby , seven in Sydney and one in Wollongong
  • 15.08.20 (play)
    Farhad Bandesh, walking the yard and feeding pigeons.

    You are an unknown distance from Farhad, who recorded this 264 days and four hours ago.

    599 messages sent, listened 237 times in 80 locations:
    one in Auckland , one in Brisbane City , one in London , 28 in Melbourne , two in Perth , eight in Sydney and one in Wollongong
  • 16.08.20 (play)
    Thanush, playing cards with his friends.

    You are an unknown distance from Thanush, who recorded this 263 days and ten hours ago.

    591 messages sent, listened 130 times in 66 locations:
    two in Auckland , two in Brisbane City , one in Gold Coast City , 26 in Melbourne , three in Sydney and one in Wollongong
  • 16.08.20 (play)
    Farhad Rahmati, working out with a friend and thinking about the future and freedom.

    You are an unknown distance from Farhad Rahmati, who recorded this 263 days and three hours ago.

    573 messages sent, listened 146 times in 71 locations:
    one in Adelaide , two in Brisbane City , one in Gold Coast City , one in Kaipātiki , 24 in Melbourne , one in Perth , eight in Sydney and two in Wollongong
  • 18.08.20 (play)
    Shamindan, in his room, doing nothing.

    You are an unknown distance from Shamindan, who recorded this 261 days and eight hours ago.

    620 messages sent, listened 176 times in 85 locations:
    one in Adelaide , two in Auckland , three in Brisbane City , one in Cleveland , one in Kolkata , three in London , two in Los Angeles , 20 in Melbourne , one in Mildura , one in Quezon City , seven in Sydney and three in Wollongong
  • 18.08.20 (play)
    Yasin, playing pool and listening to music.

    You are an unknown distance from Yasin, who recorded this 261 days and 23 hours ago.

    632 messages sent, listened 120 times in 69 locations:
    one in Adelaide , two in Brisbane City , one in Hobart , one in London , one in Los Angeles , 13 in Melbourne and nine in Sydney
  • 18.08.20 (play)
    Samad, missing friends and family, looking at the sky and listening to sad songs.

    You are an unknown distance from Samad, who recorded this 261 days and 20 hours ago.

    642 messages sent, listened 144 times in 72 locations:
    one in Adelaide , three in Brisbane City , one in City of London , one in London , one in Los Angeles , 19 in Melbourne , seven in Sydney and one in Wollongong
  • 21.08.20 (play)
    Thanush, doing abdominal exercises with an activity officer.

    You are an unknown distance from Thanush, who recorded this 258 days and five hours ago.

    682 messages sent, listened 105 times in 72 locations:
    one in Adelaide , one in Auckland , one in Brisbane City , one in Broome , one in Gosford , 21 in Melbourne , one in Mildura , nine in Sydney and one in Wollongong
  • 21.08.20 (play)
    Farhad Bandesh, listening to a very old Kurdish folk song.

    You are an unknown distance from Farhad, who recorded this 258 days and two hours ago.

    652 messages sent, listened 163 times in 78 locations:
    one in Adelaide , one in Alice Springs , three in Auckland , five in Brisbane City , one in Broome , one in Kolkata , 23 in Melbourne , one in Mildura , two in Sydney and one in Wollongong
  • 22.08.20 (play)
    Farhad Rahmati, playing ping pong while waiting in the queue for nightly medication.

    You are an unknown distance from Farhad Rahmati, who recorded this 257 days and 23 hours ago.

    680 messages sent, listened 132 times in 57 locations:
    one in Adelaide , one in Auckland , one in Brisbane City , 20 in Melbourne , six in Sydney , one in Whau and one in Wollongong
  • 24.08.20 (play)
    Yasin, chatting with two friends, one still waiting in PNG and another who has been resettled in the USA.

    You are an unknown distance from Yasin, who recorded this 255 days and three hours ago.

    692 messages sent, listened 112 times in 57 locations:
    one in Adelaide , one in Auckland , two in Brisbane City , one in Broome , one in Gosford , 16 in Melbourne , one in Norwich and seven in Sydney
  • 24.08.20 (play)
    Thanush, listening to meditation music.

    You are an unknown distance from Thanush, who recorded this 255 days and 23 hours ago.

    687 messages sent, listened 159 times in 65 locations:
    two in Brisbane City , two in Broome , one in Lincoln , one in London , 23 in Melbourne , three in Norwich , six in Sydney and three in Wollongong
  • 25.08.20 (play)
    Shamindan, having a shower.

    You are an unknown distance from Shamindan, who recorded this 254 days ago.

    689 messages sent, listened 107 times in 52 locations:
    one in Brisbane City , one in Kolkata , 14 in Melbourne , seven in Sydney and three in Wollongong
  • 24.08.20 (play)
    Samad, making breakfast after working out.

    You are an unknown distance from Samad, who recorded this 255 days and ten hours ago.

    689 messages sent, listened 98 times in 39 locations:
    two in Brisbane City , 11 in Melbourne , three in Sydney and one in Wollongong
  • 27.08.20 (play)
    Farhad Bandesh, waking up and having breakfast.

    You are an unknown distance from Farhad, who recorded this 252 days and ten hours ago.

    701 messages sent, listened 130 times in 51 locations:
    three in Brisbane City , one in Kolkata , 16 in Melbourne , one in Norwich , two in Perth and ten in Sydney
  • 28.08.20 (play)
    Farhad Rahmati and others, watching Discovery Turbo channel and discussing what kinds of cars to buy when they’re released.

    You are an unknown distance from Farhad Rahmati, who recorded this 251 days and three hours ago.

    688 messages sent, listened 85 times in 38 locations:
    one in Adelaide , 11 in Melbourne , one in Norwich and eight in Sydney
  • 28.08.20 (play)
    Shamindan, eating dinner alone. This is the final recording of ‘where are you today’.

    You are an unknown distance from Shamindan, who recorded this 251 days and 23 hours ago.

    686 messages sent, listened 147 times in 69 locations:
    one in London , 23 in Melbourne , two in Norwich and 12 in Sydney
About

Throughout August 2020, subscribers received a text message every day with a new ten-minute audio recording from Farhad Bandesh, Farhad Rahmati, Samad Abdul, Shamindan Kanapathi, Thanush Selvraj or Yasin Abdallah.

These men, seeking asylum by boat, were forcibly transferred to Manus Island by the Australian government nearly seven years ago. Now, they are held in hotels or detention centres in Port Moresby, Melbourne or Brisbane.

Mantra Hotel, Preston. Photo by Yasin Abdallah Mantra Hotel, Preston. Photo by Yasin Abdallah

‘For this recording, of course, there will be people who find it boring, and they won’t want to listen. But there are many people here, who just sit down and try to understand. They close their eyes, just to imagine the people in Manus, and try to make a connection with the men, in Manus. And that’s why I think this work is very interesting … it takes the audience inside the prison camp, just to live with them for a while. To witness their lives. Another thing really that is very important, is that this system treats us in a way where we do not exist. But we do exist. Sometimes we exist in Australia, through these artworks, you know. That part is very surreal. That is the important thing about this work. That it allows us to say: here we are.’

Behrouz Boochani, in conversation
with André Dao about how are you today,
3 December 2019.

  • [8:36 pm, 16/11/2019] Michael Green:
    How are things in the hotel?
  • [7:01 pm, 17/11/2019] Yasin Abdallah:
    Still waiting ...
Above: Mantra Hotel, Preston. Photo by Yasin Abdallah

Biographies

FARHAD BANDESH is a 38-year-old Kurdish musician, painter and poet who was detained on Manus Island for six years, and now for more than a year in the Mantra Hotel and Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA). Before seeking asylum, he worked as a guitar maker. He has no formal art training; whilst in detention, he has produced solo and collaborative works of music, art and writing. He loves nature and is a keen gardener; his sisters now look after his plants.

FARHAD RAHMATI is a civil engineer from Khorramabad City in Iran. He was forcibly sent to Manus Island in 2013 and then evacuated to Australia in 2019 to be treated for a heart condition he developed in PNG. He was held at Kangaroo Point Central Hotel for eight months, where, from his balcony, he watched people walking their dogs on the outside. In June, he was moved to Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation (BITA).

SAMAD ABDUL was detained in an Aus­tralian run off­shore deten­tion centre on Manus for five years. For the last two years he has been in Port Moresby, where he is still not free. He loves cricket and his only dream was to be a pro­fes­sional crick­eter but politi­cians have taken his dream and used him as a polit­i­cal pris­oner. Although his seven years will not come back, he now wants to be a social worker to help those who are in pain.


SHAMIN­DAN KANA­P­ATHI is a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee. In Sri Lanka he was a mar­ket­ing exec­u­tive and a stu­dent. He was detained on Manus Island for six years and is now held in Port Moresby.

THANUSH SELVRAJ is a 32-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil refugee who fled persecution. In Sri Lanka he was a painter, artist, hairdresser, phone and computer repairer, photo and video editor and a student. He was detained on Manus Island before being transferred to Port Moresby hotel detention. From PNG he was transferred to the Mantra Hotel in Preston, Melbourne. He is currently being held in MITA with no hope of his freedom.

YASIN ABDALLAH is a 24-year-old man from Darfur, Sudan, from the Zaghawa ethnicity. He arrived in Australia by boat in 2013 and was taken to Manus Island. He has been detained in Mantra Hotel in Preston, Melbourne, for one year. When he was a teenager in Sudan, he used to fix cars with his uncle. He wants to be a mechanical engineer.


ANDRÉ DAO is a writer of fic­tion and non-fic­tion. He is the co-founder of Behind the Wire, an oral his­tory project doc­u­ment­ing people’s expe­ri­ence of immi­gra­tion deten­tion.

JON TJHIA is a radio-maker, artist and writer. As the Wheeler Centre’s senior dig­i­tal editor, he col­lab­o­ra­ted with Behind the Wire to pro­duce The Mes­sen­ger. He’s a co-founder of Paper Radio and the Aus­tralian Audio Guide.

MICHAEL GREEN is a writer, radio-maker and pro­ducer. He was the host of The Mes­sen­ger pod­cast, which won the 2017 Walk­ley Award for Radio/​Audio fea­ture. He trav­elled to Manus Island twice.


Two members of the Manus Recording Project Collective, who made recordings for how are you today (2018), are no longer detained by the Australian government. ABDUL AZIZ MUHAMAT is now in Geneva, where he was granted asylum by Switzerland. BEHROUZ BOOCHANI is now in Christchurch, where he was granted asylum by New Zealand. A third member of the collective, KAZEM KAZEMI, is still being detained at Kangaroo Point Central Hotel in Brisbane. Kazem decided not to make recordings for where are you today.