SAM Seminar: Refugees in the Media: access and control

Man crouches with camera
Beyond Refuge: dialogues (2019) by CuriousWorks, image by Samia Halabi

This event is part of UNSW Diversity Fest.
Organised by Dr Valentina Baú as a collaboration between UNSW School of the Arts & Media SAM Seminar Series and UNSW Forced Migration Research Network.

Refugees and asylum seekers enter the media through different doors: from the news, to cinema, and in many non-mainstream channels. This panel explores these entry points for refugees in the media through presentations on three different forms of access: indirect access – this involves the representation of refugees and asylum seekers provided by the news media through journalist reporting, which offers little control on the part of those who are represented; mediated access – this refers to the narrative created around refugees and asylum seekers through documentaries, in which parties work together; and direct access – this sees asylum seekers and refugees taking the camera in their own hands; here, power is held by the storytellers. Through the case studies presented, the panel will offer a lens for reflection on the different dimensions of access and control for refugees in the media.


  • Valentina Baú, Senior Lecturer, UNSW Sydney
  • Sukhmani Khorana, Senior Lecturer, University of Wollongong
  • Daisy Montalvo, Artist in Residence, CuriousWorks

This panel will be chaired by Matt Levinson, Head of Communications & Public Affairs at Australia for UNHCR.

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SAM Seminar Series

This series provides a showcase and forum for local as well as international scholars, researchers, industry practitioners and creative artists – ranging from early-career to well-established – to present on their work. No need to book, all welcome!

Find out more and see the full program.
Enquiries contact: SAM Seminar Convenor, John Attridge

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