The Australian Solution: A model for necropolitics at the border 7c - Fake Horoscopes


Sombre Warning or Wishful Drowning?


The Journey is one of a sequence of advertising campaigns, all designed to frighten intending asylum seekers from seeking refuge in Australia. These campaigns range from the terrifying to the grotesque, such as the fake horoscopes purporting to warn Sri Lankans of a range of dire consequences if they try to seek refuge in Australia.

In June 2000, then Minister for Immigration, Philip Ruddock, released a triple video set (The Trip, The Reception and Experiences and Expectations of Travellers) which portrayed the difficulties of the journey to Australia and showed Australia as a land beset by deadly fauna and a harsh environment. In his 2011 article, ‘Dying to come to Australia,’ Jon Stratton describes these videos as an anti-tourism campaign directed at prospective asylum seekers (Stratton, 2011), juxtaposing it with the notorious ‘Where the hell are you?’ tourist campaign conceptualised by then ad man, and current Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison.

Another short film, Left Behind,  features a chilling soundtrack that simulates the last gasps for breath and final heartbeats of an asylum seeker meeting a lonely death by drowning at the bottom of the sea. The lushly evocative short film, with its visuals of engulfing waves, stands as an instance of the wishful sinking or wishful drowning that characterizes official attitudes towards asylum seekers and refugees.


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