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Invisible Picture Show

Directed By: Tim Travers Hawkins
Produced By: Faction Films + Andy Noble
Released : 2013
Duration: 11 min

As the world becomes more interconnected the nation state system finds itself under threat from increased mobility and people’s desire to migrate. In order to preserve the integrity of our borders governments are increasingly turning to detention centres to deal with so-called ‘irregular migrants’: who cross borders without the permission of the countries they are entering.

There is a huge increase in the number of children making such journeys, either alone, with parents or in the hands of traffickers and exploiters. Many states now detain children who enter their countries without the correct documentation.

Invisible Picture Show features the stories of children from very different origins: Sri Lanka, Syria, Ghana, and El Salvador. Their places of detention are equally diverse, including Australia, Greece, USA, and South Africa. Regardless of where they are their stories have much in common.

You enter the world of the detention centre: long white corridors, dank cells, sterile canteens. Within the spaces phones ring. When you answer the calls you hear fragments of interviews made over the phone with the children being held in detention facilities.

As they speak ghostly images begin to flicker over the walls, occupying the spaces and bringing their words to life.