Australia's insidious relationship with racism is well-documented. You don't have to look too hard in the back catalogues of Australian history to find evidence of it either. Most of us can easily recount the distressing scenes that washed across our television screens in 2005 when Cronulla was overrun by white men. Nor could we ignore the rise in anti-asian sentiment that coursed through this country as Covid-19 made its way to our shores. Indigenous folk and people of colour contend with this reality every day; and it's their voices that are being spotlighted in Amazon Prime's forthcoming docuseries Unheard.
Partnering with LADbible and with funding from Screen Australia, Amazon Prime Video will release a six episode series that confronts systemic racism and racial violence in Australia. As you may have gathered from the title, Unheard will plunge into the experiences of communities on the margins; those whose stories are rarely given space in mainstream media. Every episode begins with a story of discrimination, led by the person who experienced it first hand. For those of us continuing to do our anti-racist work, Unheard should rise to the top of your watch list.
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What originally began as a campaign from LADbible Australia in February 2021, has been extended on utilising LADbible’s global audience of almost a billion and Australian audience of 11.8 million to support their campaign partners; the National Justice Project, Human Rights Commission, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, The Refugee Council of Australia, Change.org, African Women Australia, Asian Australian Alliance, Islamophobia Register Australia, Deadly Connections Community and Justice Services and All Together Now.
Each episode comes at the issue of racism from a different intersectional perspective. What does this mean? Expect important and timely conversations about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in custody, Islamophobic attacks on muslim women — who are targeted due to their hyper-visibility and the experience of being Black in Australia. Every episode is helmed by members of the communities in question; think familiar faces like Olivia Suleimon and Dan Mansour, as well as Ellen Dedes-Vallas, Cathy Vu and Jack Steele.
Interviews are blended with archival footage and vivid animations, while weaved through it all are snippets from podcasts, images, phone conversations and old news clippings. The result? A searing portrayal of life as a BIPOC in Australia.
“The opportunity to program this compelling investigative series is significant to us,” said Tyler Bern, Head of Content, Amazon Prime Video Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
“UNHEARD is a necessary action and awareness series that is globally relevant to Prime members in Australia and makes them aware of social injustice locally. We are very proud to be involved with LADbible Australia on this production and showcasing this important documentary series," Bern continued.
Unheard premieres in Australia, USA, UK, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand on Amazon Prime Video October 29 and is one that should not be missed, especially by white Australians.