Welcome to Woomera
In the early 2000s, Woomera was synonymous with what the Australian government called its “immigration reception and processing centre”. Once heralded as a model of suburban living, this historic town was reviled as a ‘desert jail’.
By 2003, the refugee detention centre had closed and the town was also in danger of closing. The purpose-built military defence village 500 kilometres north of Adelaide that once boasted 6000 residents had dwindled to a couple of hundred. Those who remained faced an uncertain future.
Their dilemma was a far cry from the late 1940s when the vast rocket range was first created in the outback to accommodate Britain’s atomic weapons tests or later, when the Americans based themselves at nearby Nurrungar to track global missile launches.
The screening is supported by National Film and Sound Archive, Australia.
This event is part of The Migrant Festival 2022 and Ikon’s Arrivals programme for Summer 2022, concerned with the international movement of people and ideas and organised to coincide with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.