Launch of #CallToAccount film


Call to Account:

A film in which citizens respond to the iniquities of immigration detention

During Human Rights Week 2015, a list of charges was compiled against the Australian state calling it to account for its role in grave violations of the human rights of people seeking asylum and of refugees. Further information: on the film can be accessed here.

In 2019, as conditions in our offshore prisons continue to deteriorate, with harrowing accounts of self harm and hopelessness experienced by people who have now been in detention for over six years, this short film is being made publicly available for download for the first time.


To commemorate World Refugee Day on June 20, we are inviting people all over Australia to:
  • Host a pop-up screening of this  moving 20-minute film in your workplace, or with your local community. (Please contact us at if you wish to have access to downloadable version) 
  • Take a photo of yourself, if possible wearing black and carrying a sprig of olive, holding up a sign with one of the charges. Send us the image to upload to this page or share on social media
  • Record a video or take a photo of your pop-up screening to upload to this page or share on social media
  • Update the 2015 charge sheet by sending us your additions to the charges
  • Contribute a flower or olive sprig to the Museum of Freedom and Tolerance WA’s garden of healing project

Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites (RAPBS), with support from the Refugee Rights Action Network WA (RRAN WA) and RAC Melbourne, were joined by people from various walks of life to stage readings of the list of charges. The readings called to account the Australian government for perpetrating  human rights violations against asylum seekers and refugees, both in detention centres and in the precarious conditions people are forced to endure under other unlivable terms, such as temporary protection visas.

Calls to account were performed and filmed in Melbourne, Fremantle and Sydney, and compiled into a documentary by Steve Thomas, with subsequent editing by Kenta McGrath.

The film premiered at Curtin University in 2016 at a screening attended by then Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs, and has been shown at several conferences in Australia and New Zealand.

An article about the film by Suvendrini Perera and Joseph Pugliese appears in the book Visualizing Human Rights ed. Jane Lyden. Access the chapter here.

Call to Account… can be understood… as [what Colin Gordon describes as] a ‘performatively enacted…right of citizenship…a dialogue of the governed with governments, mediated via an international public space’– in this context, the international public space afforded by International Human Rights Day. The ‘solidarity of the governed’ who participated in the event includes non-citizens and never-to-be citizens (asylum seekers, permanent residents, temporary visa holders) as well as citizens, who collectively interpellate the Australian state in the terms of the international human rights conventions and treaties to which it is legally bound.

 ‘Between Spectacle and Secret’  2018 by  Suvendrini Perera and Joseph Pugliese



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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are respectfully advised that this website contains images of and references to deceased persons.

All viewers are respectfully advised that the site contains images of and references to the deaths in custody of Indigenous peoples, Black people and refugees that may cause distress.