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    Hunar x The Staging Post - Food, Film and Conversation with Muzafar, Nagina and Jolyon

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    The Staging Post x Hunar and ITS

    Hunar is teaming up with our Redfern friends, Improv Theatre Sydney, to bring you a very special evening of food, film and conversation. 

    Join us for an immersive screening of the acclaimed documentary, The Staging Post, a documentary on what happened when Australia 'stopped the boats' ten years ago.  

    Prior to the film, feast on Afghan kitchen favourites from Bamiyan Restaurant as we listen to the classics of Ahmed Zahir and experience photographic and video works from the Ciasarua Refugee Learning Centre as part of a one night only projection installation by the filmmakers.

    Following the screening of 'The Staging Post', we are honoured to have film makers and protagonists Muzafar Ali, Nagina Zahra and Jolyon Hoff with us in Sydney for a post film conversation. Together, we will unpack the film and think through the long lasting impacts of Australia's Operation Sovereign Borders immigration policy ten years on, and the importance of the arts in in reconstructing social identities unbound by narratives of trauma. 

    Saturday September 30, 2023

    Doors open from 7pm

    7pm        Food (included in ticket price)
    8-9pm     Film Screening 
    9pm        Conversation

    Improv Theatre Sydney, 44-54 Botany Rd, Redfern NSW 2016


    The Staging Post follows Muzafar Ali and Khadim Dai, two Afghan Hazara refugees, left in limbo in Indonesia following the controversial Australian Operation Sovereign Borders immigration policy of 2013.

    Amongst the community of refugees gathered an hour south of Jakarta in the village of Cisarua, a place known as the 'staging post' for boats embarking on the journey for the offshore Australian territory of Christmas Island, photographer Muzafar meets young budding film-maker Khadim and encourages him to begin filming his life with his mobile phone.

    Through their eyes, we see Muzafar and Khadim create community, co-found the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre, and in doing so, launch a refugee-led education revolution in Indonesia. This humble beginning has grown into 10 refugee-managed schools with 100 volunteer teachers and more than 1500 students, and the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre continues to educate both children and parents to this day.  

    The Staging Post cuts through the deep and toxic politicisation of the refugee experience to bring us a compelling story of the importance of friendship and community, and the power of agency and solidarity.

    This feature documentary was the 14th most successful documentary at the Australian Box Office in 2017, and was awarded Highly Commended as ‘Best Stand-Alone Documentary’ by the Australian Director’s Guild in 2018.


    Muzafar Ali is a former refugee from Afghanistan, currently living in Adelaide where he is a student at the University of South Australia. 

    In Afghanistan, he worked for the United Nations, supporting the disbandment of illegal armed groups and promoting human rights. He became a well-known photographer while working in remote and rarely visited areas of Afghanistan.

    Later he was forced to leave and made his way to Indonesia, where he co-founded the first refugee-managed school in Indonesia, the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre.

    Muzafar is a passionate refugee advocate and regularly speaks for and to refugees in Australia and internationally. His life as a refugee in Indonesia is featured in documentary, The Staging Post.

    The Staging Post has given me the opportunity to tell my story and my people’s story.” - Muzafar

    Nagina Zahra is a former Hazara refugee from Afghanistan and a mother of two girls. In 2014 when refugees in Indonesia established their first school, Nagina was one of its first teachers. She changed the lives of many young women when she started football, swimming, and sports activities in the community. Now in Australia, she is in her final year of an education degree and is already a highly regarded teacher. She is a passionate public speaker on behalf of refugees, refugee children and education.

    Jolyon Hoff is an Australian documentary filmmaker. He was living in Jakarta when Australia ‘stopped the boats’. Following the announcement of Operation Sovereign Border, Jolyon travelled to Cisarua where he almost immediately met Muzafar and Khadim.

    The film helps us to tell the story to Australians and we love the deep human and personal connections it has created, and is still creating.” - Jolyon

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