Free Essay

Seeking Asylum


Submitted By bmoney724
Words 5002
Pages 21
Seeking Asylum: The Buffalo State Hospital

In American architecture, one thing rang true: America borrowed from the greatest countries and empires. Throughout much of the early years of the United States, there was not a singular distinct type of architecture, both in the domestic and public sectors. Borrowing from well-established counties became a second nature. Hunting and pecking through thousands of years of pre designed architecture helped American architects, like Henry Hobson Richardson, grab the best of the best and led them to create marvelous masterpieces. From Greek and Roman flares to the beauty of Queen Anne and Federal style, American architects have waded through them all.
By doing so, elaborate and attractive buildings began to pop up through much of the United States Eastern Seaboard. One of the most influential American Architects to come out of this time period is Henry Hobson Richardson. He helped develop a definite American Style of architecture and one of the most important. His influence on building design has made an impact on such architects as Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan. Siegfried Giedion, author of Space, Time and Architecture, states that “Richardson’s study of historical precedence- in this case Romanesque buildings-led to the design of the new forms Richardson was after.”
Henry Hobson Richardson was born in a Louisiana Parish on September 29th, 1838 to Catherine Priestley and Henry Richardson. He was born into a well-to-do family and was raised on a cotton plantation. He entered into Harvard University in the winter of 1856 where he studied civil engineering and was a member of the graduating class of 1959. Many scholars studying Richardson quote how unsuccessful and unexceptional he was at the University level, but that would all soon change.
After graduation, Richardson wanted to see the other side of the Atlantic and traveled to Paris, France. While enjoying the culture change in Paris, Richardson decided to continue his studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts as an architecture student. Furthermore, he found employment in an architectural firm in France, as a draftsman. This helped to hone his new learned talents and show him what the business was like. He entered into the Architecture school in the Fall of 1860, but due to the Civil War back in the States, Richardson had to withdrawal and return to the United States in the Fall of 1865. Despite the short time he had at Ecole des Beaux-Arts, he seemed to have learned a great deal and continued his career in architecture.
Richardson took up residency in New York City and opened up his own small architecture firm in the Spring of 1866. This started his fast track to fame in the United States. At the start of 1867, Richardson finally married his long-time girlfriend whom he met at Harvard, Julia Gornham Hayden, and together had six children. His early career was not that distinguishable from other architects. During this time, most American buildings and homes had influences from England and France with some buildings, especially churches, having a Victorian convection to the design. Moving into the 1870s, Richardson’s designs began to take an original twist. Instead of trying to push out the ideas of English and French designs in American architecture, he embraced it, along with other influences.
Henry Richardson’s original technique was called Richardsonian Romanesque. Named such due to its style of Romanesque Revival architecture. Additionally, it encompassed eleventh and twelfth century Southern French, Spanish, and Italian Romanesque characteristics. His design is known for strongly picturesque and reviving Roman architecture, which was almost forgotten. Another major characteristic of Richardsonian Romanesque are the round-headed arches that resemble medieval and Roman architecture. One of the key features of this style is the windows.
Buildings done in the Richardsonian Romanesque style often were large and wide, and had rounded or semicircular arches situated directly over the tops of the windows. These rounded arches could also be found above the entrances into the buildings. This can be seen in the Buffalo State Insane Asylum, as well as other of Richardson’s buildings. Another aspect of the windows is that they were footed on half-sized columns, called columnettes, on each side of the windows. These half columns were attached to the stone facade of the buildings. The windows themselves are receded into the wall, to add to the dramatic Romanesque look, and usually contained one pane of glass per window sash. The height of the Richardsonian Romanesque style was between the eighteen eighties and nineteen hundred. Richardson was inspired by ancient Roman architecture, but added his own flare in order to make it unique. In addition to the large stone walls and massive arches that capped windows and entrances, this style was intricate and used odd sculpted shapes. Despite the shapes he used, Richardson’s designs were always continuous and unifying. Various materials are utilized with this particular style. For instance, most foundations are built with solid masonry stone, which is the preferred material, however, some buildings can be found with brick foundations. These stones were often square shaped, called Ashlar, having rough faces, and could be Limestone, Granite, or Sandstone. As stated in a March 13th, 2014 lecture, seventy-five percent of buildings constructed in this style had a round, polygonal, or square tower, while fifteen percent had a second tower and dormer windows. The aforementioned characteristics added to Richardson’s eclectic style of architecture. The characteristics of Richardson’s Romanesque style can still be seen throughout the Northeastern United States. Although he died in 1886, his work would go on to influence many other architects, and the legacy he left, the Richardsonian Romanesque, would continue to be utilized by many firms to come. Other public buildings designed in this style include: The Alleghany County Courthouse and Jail in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, erected in 1885, Austin Hall at Harvard University, completed in 1884, and various other public buildings and residential dwellings. He also designed the Trinity Church in Boston from 1872 to 1877. Many scholars believe that this is his most famous of his buildings, and it was the turning point in his career. The Trinity Church did help to popularize the new Romanesque style, but the Buffalo State Insane Asylum was easily the best example of Richardsonian Romanesque. The complex was also his largest project of his career and the most humanistic. Prior to the Buffalo State Insane Asylum, many of the mental health hospitals had major shortcomings. A man by the name of Thomas Story Kirkbride recognized the inadequacy’s of the current hospitals in the United States and made it his life’s mission to change the way they were developed. Kirkbride believed that patients should receive therapeutic treatment outside of the facilities, like taking strolls and working outdoors, in addition to the medical treatment they receive. In his revised addition of his book, “On the Construction, Organization and General Arrangements of Hospitals for the Insane”, Kirkbride outlined, in great detail, how a new mental health hospital should be developed. He believes that the site of the asylum should always be located in the countryside, but less than two miles from a town of considerable size and within reasonable proximity to a railroad. Also, the property should be no less than 100 acres for landscape design and privacy. His book also called for utility buildings, such as bakeries and laundry amenities, should be no less than 100 feet from the main buildings. His plan called for the patient’s wards to be spaced out in a “V”-like shape from the most important central building, as seen in the Buffalo State Hospital. Richardson did not follow those outlined plans exactly. Instead, he designed the outbuildings to be 150 feet away from the center administration buildings and wards. The farm buildings for the animals and equipment were just less than 300 feet away. He also revised the original Kirkbride Plan by adding porches and verandas for patients to enjoy outdoors. Richardson also added more outer buildings to the complex like libraries, chapels, staff housing, and cottages for diseased patients. The Buffalo State Hospital is a prime example of a modified Kirkbride Plan. Here, the wards are spaced out more than the original plan and are designed in both “T” and “H” shapes. Both the interior and exterior of the complex more ornate and decorative than the ones designed prior. Furthermore, the hospital held up to 600 persons, instead of the original of 250, totaling 450,000 square feet. The kirkbride Plan also called for multiple floors and basements in the central administration building and each ward, this helped to segregate the wards as well as fireproof them. The outer buildings, mentioned above, had railway systems that would make it easier to transport materials from one building to the basement of the other. The design also called for kitchens to be separated from the complex itself, to help with fireproofing. Richardson made sure to follow this idea, since the hospital had three kitchens, one in the female ward and two in the male wards. If a fire were to break out in the kitchen, it could be contained in that particular building, protecting the other structures on the property.
Like most major public buildings, the Buffalo State Insane Asylum had to make special accommodations for administrative purposes. The estate housed a large central building made up of several administrative offices, a chapel, doctor’s offices, and served as a residence building for many of the nurses and doctors who remained on the premises. Having a large central building was necessary in this case, due to the variant roles it played. By combining the residence halls and offices into one building, it eliminated the need to spread the estate’s layout. Furthermore, by having a large central administration building, it reminded both the public and the patients who was really in charge of the hospital. The massive building was one hundred and sixty feet wide by one hundred and seventy feet deep.
The central building was flanked by five additional building on both the east and west wings. As with most buildings of this time, the first building to be started on this project was the administration offices. According to the Buffalo Spree, the walls of the center building were rough and looked like steep cliffs. The materials used for the administration building’s wall were Faced Medina Sandstone, a reddish brown color. This stone came from a quarry in Orleans County in New York. Using local materials like the sandstone helped to keep the costs of the building close to what had been budgeted by the Buffalo State Hospital’s executive board.
The walls of the center administration building stand out immensely compared to other building built in that time period. In order to help the facade be more distinctive, Richardson used smooth and plain sandstone of the same color and material for the doorway and window arches. By using simple stones around the entrance, he brought in Romanesque ornamentation from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Moreover, the miniature or half sized columns topped with Corinthian style designs held the massive medieval styled arches heading the doorways.
Something to remark is the staircases in the Central administration building. They were made of different materials than the rest of the staircases throughout the complex. In order to accentuate the grandeur of the main building, Richardson’s plan called for decorative staircases trimmed in Romanesque and medieval detailing. Unlike the other stairs that were made out of cements and metal, the staircases in the main building were done in rich woods.
Like previously stated, the building housed offices, residences, and a chapel. The first floor contains the offices needed for day to day operation. The second and third floors were home to the doctors, officials, and orderlies, as well as their families. Lastly, the entire fourth floor contained a large chapel for both the employees of the Insane Asylum as well as the patients. By having institutions like the chapel, it gave the patients a sense of humanity and socializes them.
Situated on the roof of the Central Administration Building sat two large towers. The two towers are the memorable feature of the complex. They crown the administration building and add one hundred and eighty-five feet to the overall height of the building. Like other towers in Romanesque design, the dual towers on this building did not serve a functional purpose. They were built to add ornamentation to the hospital and to date, remain unfinished. The towers are extremely monumental and give the Insane Asylum a medieval look that is synonymous with the Richardsonian Romanesque style.
Topping off the towers are the roofs. Originally they were terra cotta materials but replaces with copper to help prevent damage from the elements. All four corners of each of the towers had conical roofs on top of cylindrical turrets. This too added to the Romanesque like design Richardson was aiming for. The turrets give the Central Administration building a castle like appearance. When examining the exterior and the towers specifically, the corbel tables under the windows of the attic are distinguished. Also adding to the medieval appearance of the Buffalo State Hospital.
In order to get from building to building or pavilion to pavilion (as the buildings are often called) of the Buffalo State Hospital, there was no need to step foot outside of the complex. Each building was connected to the other through corridors. When approaching the corridors from the south, they look almost concave like, adding to the mystery of how they functioned. However, from the north and flanking sides, the curvature of the corridor is easily viewable. These corridors are semicircular curved hallways that serve multiple purposes.
The semicircular curvature made it nearly impossible to place patient beds in the hallway during overcrowding of the hospital. Overcrowding was often an issue in Insane Asylums, during the time before video surveillance. Orderlies and patients were confined to one ward and floor while doctors and nurses could roam freely from pavilion to pavilion. By having only one hallway in and out of the ward, administrators were able to keep a watchful eye on all patients and prevent them from leaving their designated areas. Furthermore, it helped keep patients segregated, meaning that the more severe patients would have a difficult time moving from their ward, through the corridor, into a second ward without being detained.
In the buildings with double loaded corridors, or corridors with patient rooms on either side of the hallway, bay windows of anywhere between ten to fourteen feet were placed evenly. This was done to allow as much natural light into the wards as possible. Additionally, this helped with ventilation and provided patients with a nice scenic view of the landscape. As previously mentioned, allotting patients windows helps humanize the asylum setting and allows for attachment to the outside. In the buildings that only contained single loaded corridor, the window set up was mildly different. Here, the windows were twelve feet high and were made up of stained glass. Adding to the Romanesque feel of the building and adding esthetically pleasing details for the patients to enjoy.
Although the corridors accomplished many tasks, the main purpose was to separate one ward from the next. Richardson made this possible by using heavy iron doors to close off the corridors. These heavy doors were also put in place to help stop the spread of a fire into additional wards. Richardson understood the importance of fireproofing the Buffalo State Hospital and used every possible measure to prevent the possible spread. In the unfortunate event of a fire, the corridor would be completely sealed off by the ward adjacent to the door.
Both horizontally and vertically speaking, the wards were constructed in a V like shape. First and foremost, the wards or pavilions were constructed en echelon, meaning that the buildings descended in height from the center administration building until the fifth ward on each wing. That being said, the central building contained four floors, the next two buildings both had three floors on each wing. The five centermost buildings were made of the Medina Sandstone. Keeping up with the pattern, the third and fourth wards had two floors each, while the fifth building was only made up of one floor. The last five pavilions on each wing were constructed with red brick instead of the sandstone.
The heights of the buildings of the complex formed an upside down V shape. On the horizontal plane, the complex also formed a V shape when approaching from the North of the buildings. The point of the V was the Center Administration building. Each additional building on both sides of the central building would sit a whole building with behind the previous one. This developed the infamous shape of the hospital, like a bird in flight.
As mentioned before, the wards were segregated from one another by use of the corridors. However, that was not the only way that the Buffalo State Hospital was segregated. Patients were separated by the mental illness they suffered from and by their sex. The left wing of the complex was strictly for female patients, while the right wing housed their male counterparts. Placing the patient in a specific ward rested solely on the severity of their illness. Those with the least severe issues and those who were the quietest were placed in the wards closer to the administration building. The type of patient descending towards the outlier wards, where the most violent patients were housed in the fifth building, farthest away from the center offices.
Following the Kirkbride Plan, most patients resided in private rooms, in order to maintain autonomy and privacy. This was a pivotal point in asylum architecture considering previous state buildings grouped all patients together without regard to the patient’s degree of mental illness or stability. In the Buffalo State Hospital, however, they were no longer housed like cattle. Most patient rooms throughout all of the wards were eleven feet deep and nine feet wide. Accompanying the private living quarters for the patients, windows were in the center of the rooms and were around ten feet wide. Just like the corridors, windows were set in the patient’s rooms to provide natural sunlight and warmth, but to also allow them to take in the beautiful landscape. Patient’s rooms also varied in height with ceilings between twelve and sixteen feet for optimal ventilation. This helped to stop the feeling of other asylums of being almost prison like; instead it created a more home-like setting.
Staircases that connected the different floors of the wards were made out of a combination of stones, brick, and various metals. This also helped with fireproofing in additional to the large iron doors connecting the corridors. The centermost eight pavilions were built in an “H” shaped layout, with a center hall and patient rooms on either side of the hallway. The outermost wards on both the left and right wings were laid out in a “T” shape. Two dormitories, two parlors, two nurse’s offices, two bathrooms, etc. were in each ward. This is extremely significant due to the indoor plumbing the asylum had, as well as added to the supervision aspect of each ward. The distance between the last building on the right wing and the last building on the left wing is seven hundred and eighty feet, given the idea of how vast the spread of the wards were.
Unlike public buildings in the south, northern public buildings had many obstacles they had to account for, mostly dealing with the elements. According to a document drafted by Louis Greenstein, the state hospital had both gabled and hipped roofs. The gabled roofs slope downward in an angle from a center point to two sides. While the hipped roofs sloped downward very gradually from the center point to all four sides. Often times, gabled dormer windows would be in the pavilion design. This helped to add to the architectural ornamentation as well as allow natural sunlight to penetrate the top floors of the state hospital. The corridors had barrel-vaulted roofs which were covered with ribbed copper sheeting. The roofs are connected by a series of arches to allow for a more voluminous feel inside of the building and allow for free airflow to aid in ventilation.
Originally, the hospital was designed to have tin and slate roofs, and be steep in pitch. They were to also have protruding cornices in order to allow water to flow freely off of the roof. This would also help to stop heavy snow accumulation during the harsh Buffalo winters. However, this did not pan out. Despite Richardson’s design, the building contractor deemed it necessary to change the roof design. The contractor did not use the high steeped roof; instead he made internal downspouts in order to pull the rainfall and melting snow off the building and away from the building. This would help prevent the erosion of the masonry foundation and preserve the building.
It is important to note that the Richardsonian Romanesque style was very eclectic. Meaning that other roof types were used in the design of the Buffalo State Insane Asylum, like side-gabled roofs as well as cross gabled. By using eclecticism, Richardson was able to make one unified complex, fitting perfectly into the Buffalo countryside and made for a very aesthetically pleasing building for all to enjoy. The asylum was not the only hospitable aspect of the complex, the surrounding grounds were designed to add to the overall experience of the patient’s stay. In order to create the overall atmosphere intended by all those involved, the perfect location was needed. If that was not hard enough, the new property had to fit into the plan that Kirkbride had laid out in the years previous for new mental health hospitals. The physical address of the Buffalo State Insane Asylum was four hundred Forest Avenue, Buffalo, New York. The land was located near the Scajaquada Creek, in proximity to the Railway, and by a small farm that would provide both employment for the less severe patients and food for the hospital residents in the near future. This too fit into the Kirkbride’s Plan for the organization and arrangements of mental hospitals. Kirkbride’s plan also called for new asylums to be at least one hundred acres in order to provide privacy for the patients, the Buffalo State Hospital had that and then some, with a total of 203 acres and an additional 100 acres for the farm land. The burden of designing the landscape would be a heavy one for anyone to carry. The Executive Board entrusted this task to Frederick Law Olmsted, and how capable he was. The company was chosen due to their extensive work they had been doing throughout much of the Buffalo countryside and New York in general. They were masterminds in creating park-like settings. As stated in the Buffalo Spree, “The first major work on which he [Olmsted] and Richardson, joined forces” was the Buffalo State Hospital. This single collaboration would lead into a fruitful friendship and partnership between Olmsted and Richardson. They would go on to cooperate on different projects throughout their lifetimes, and would create many masterpieces that can still be enjoyed today.
Olmsted, Vaux and Company collaborated with Richardson in the design of the surrounding landscape to create one unifying property solely for the purpose of improving mental health. In the 1870s, there was an idea that “one’s physical and local environment could cause or cure mental Illness”. Olmsted would draw up his final landscape design for the hospital in 1876, without help from Vaux or colleagues. His plans would call for a park-like setting that would house many trees to provide shade for patients to enjoy. It was believed that these trees and the shading that it gave would provide therapeutic relief for mental health patients. Olmsted and Vaux designed similar landscapes at the Hudson River State Hospital and the Hartford Retreat in Connecticut. The shade supplying trees were not the only decorative aspects of Olmsted’s plan, however.
To ensure that privacy was maintained at the facility, dense plantings and flowerbeds boarded the roadways, boundaries, and paths. However, the property that butted up to the Forrest Avenue entrance did not have these plantings. Olmsted’s plan wanted to showcase the majestic Central Administration, so that the community could admire it as they passed by. Furthermore, “curvilinear drives and walks were laid out to access the grounds and frame the outdoor recreation spaces and gardens”. A therapeutic landscape went hand in hand with the type of treatment that the patients would receive in the hospital. This linear idea, embracing a patient’s humanity in the hospital and on the grounds, was a major aspect of the Kirkbride Plan. As stated in the Richardson Olmsted Complex Landscape Report:
The Olmsted and Vaux Plan developed the asylum grounds to integrate the landscape with the medical treatment of patients. This was a remarkable innovation in this type of institution, marking a shift away from incarceration treatment and toward active therapeutic treatment of mental illness. (2)
The facility itself was designed to be situated at an angle in order to let the optimal amount of natural light into as much of the buildings as possible. This would be a prime example of how Richardson and Olmsted worked together to achieve an effective complex. The angle allowed for the landscape to have a public area at the south of the building. This area was very park-like and created areas for patients to enjoy activities, like baseball. To the north of the building was the private area, mostly comprised of the farm in which patients worked. As the economy shifted away from farming, the land to the north became less of a necessity. In 1927, around 100 acres were used to develop the campus of the Buffalo State College. This disrupted the privacy aspect that Olmsted and Richardson wanted to achieve.
Unlike other insane asylums built during this time period, the Buffalo State Hospital has a bright and vibrant future ahead of it. Large renovation and reuse projects are underway to return this masterpiece to an almost-new state. In 2013, re-greening projects began on the South Lawn of the complex which was originally designed by Fredrick Olmsted. It redesigned a nine acre area, once used as parking lots, into green pasture land. Andropogon and Associates, lead landscapers on this revitalization project, kept as much as the original Olmsted designs as possible. A new parkway was added as well as eco-friendly rain gardens and 125 new trees. Furthermore, the once expansive 203 acre property has now been downsized to a mere 42 acre complex, in the middle of Buffalo’s arts and cultural district.
The landscape is not the only aspect receiving a face-lift, however. The revitalization committee intends to keep and showcase the original architecture of Henry Richardson at the complex. Despite their effort to keep the architecture intact, there are many changes coming to the complex, in order to make it more appealing to the general public. The lead architectural firm for this project is Flynn Battaglia Architects, founded in 1989. Their design encompassed the ideas that the executive board planned for the complex. The central administration building as well as the two flanking buildings on either side will hold a restaurant; hotel, conference and event center, and the Buffalo Architecture Center The hotel itself will have 88 rooms and host a conference center that can seat up to 300 people.
According to Governor Cuomo, the project has been issued a $56.4 million dollar budget for both the interior and exterior construction, as well as the landscape, and the time allotted for the project should be three years. The grand opening for the entire complex, hotel and conference center included is expected to take place in 2016. Not only does the project plan to keep Richardson’s Romanesque style intact, but they also have to compensate for a large fire that broke out in April 2010. This damaged much of the original dual towers on the central administration building and cost the renovation team over $200,000. Bibliography

“21st century uses for a 19th century Legacy.” H.H. Richardson’s on Building National Landmark Symposium. Buffalo State College, 1994.
Andrews, Judson B. “Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane.” in Public Service of the State of New York, edited by Paul Chadbourn. Vol. 1. Boston. James R. Osgood & Co. 1882.
Architectural Resources “H.H. Richardson Stabilization Study.” For the Dormitory Authority.
Coolidge, John “The Architectural Importance of H.H. Richardson’s Buffalo State Hospitals.” In Changing Places: Remaking Institutional Buildings, edited by Lynda H. Schneekloth & Marcia F. Feurstein (1992).
Historic Structures Report. The Richardson Olmsted Complex. Goody-Clancy Architecture Planning Preservation. Buffalo, New York. (2008).
Hitchcock, Henry- Russell. “The Architecture of H.H. Richardson and his times. Revised edition. Cambridge, MA. M.I.T. Press (1970).
Kirkbride, Thomas S. “On the construction, organization, and general arrangements of hospitals for the insane. (1880).
Kowsky, Francis, R. “Architecture: A towering masterpiece. H. H. Richardson’s Buffalo State Hospital”. In Buffalo Spree: The Magazine of Western New York.
Ochsner, Jeffrey K. "Richardson, H. H. ";
Ochsner, Jeffrey K. “H.H. Richardson: Complete Architectural Works. Cambridge, MA. M.I.T. Press (1985).
“Photographs: written Historical and Descriptive Data”. Historic American Building Survey. Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation. Washington, D.C. Prepared by Louis Greenstein. (February 1965).
Townsend, Horace. “H.H. Richardson, Architect”. The Magazine of Art, 14. 1894. 133-136.
VanRensselar, Mariana G. “Henry Hobson Richardson and his works.” New York. Dover Publications Inc. 1969.
Withey, Henry F. & Rathburn, Elise. “Biographical Dictionary of American Architects”. Los Angeles: New Age Publishing Co. (1956):229.
Yanni, Carla. “The Architecture of Madness: Insane Asylums in the United States. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 2007.
American National Biography Online Feb. 2000. Access Date: Fri Apr 18 2014.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Asylum Seeking Youth Should Be Released in the Community

...Would you not resent being locked up when you have not really committed an offence? Indeed, you would! Well, this is the plight of asylum seeking youth who are confined to detention centres. The issue whether youngsters seeking asylum should be confined to a detention centre or be assimilated into the community has become so controversial that it has attracted much public opinion and media coverage. In this context, youngsters or youth means teenagers of 15 to 18 years and a detention centre is defined as a place where refugees or illegal immigrants are confined till their case is determined. My contention is that asylum seeking youth should be integrated into the community. Youngsters incarcerated in detention centres are denied their education, exposed to moral corruption and are subjected to a stunted psychological growth. My critics argue that these youngsters should not be released to the community because, if released, they would resort to unbecoming conduct. I will prove that this argument is not tenable. When such children are incarcerated in a detention centre, they are denied the education that such youngsters deserve. Reporting about the Broadmeadows Detention Centre, the Herald Sun of 16 November 2010 comments: “seven boys were hospitalised after a brawl over the single computer”. Resorting to fisticuffs to grab the computer is their way of communicating their need for mental activity. This is their way of asserting that they need an educational curriculum to...

Words: 677 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Essay On Asylum Seekers

...“other” individuals trying to enter Australia to seek asylum. To help comprehend the complex phenomenon of “others”, it is comparable to stereotyping, used to uphold social order. Richard Dyer (Hall, Evans & Nixon 2013) debates that “we represent people and places that are different from us with a representational practice, which we call stereotyping, which involves feelings, attitudes and emotions, and it also provokes fears and anxieties”. This ‘othering’ is a preface for the Australian Government to disregard their human rights responsibility, proclaiming that it is good for Australia. “Stop the boats” is the slogan and catchphrase the Australian Government and Australian society use when discussion of and around asylum seekers issues. This has triggered asylum seekers to be seen as a political concern instead of a humanitarian issue. Asylum seekers are used for political advance, playing on racial stereotypes or ‘others’ to strike fear within the Australian society. As the political concerns rage on, the public restrain understanding and compassion for asylum seekers. With...

Words: 949 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Legal Aid for Refugees and Asylum Seekers. the Role of the Judiciary

...ACCESS TO JUSTICE AND LEGAL AID FOR REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS; WHAT CAN THE JUDICIARY DO? Introduction Asylum seekers, regardless of their immigration status, are human beings, with fundamental and basic rights, needs and aspirations. Refugees and asylum seekers are a diverse group with one thing in common; they are subject to forced migration, and are fleeing from persecution in their countries of origin. A refugee is defined as any person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality or political opinion, is outside the country of his or her nationality and is unable or owing to such fear for reasons other than personal convenience is unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country. Refugee status is therefore adopted for those who, having applied for asylum, have been recognized and given refugee status. It also usually encompasses those who have received ‘exceptional leave to remain’ or ‘indefinite leave to remain’. Recognition of refugee status is also a pre-requisite for other basic rights guaranteed to refugees by international law, such as the right to seek employment, to move freely and to obtain education and healthcare on the same terms as citizens. The status of an Asylum Seeker is reserved for those who have applied for asylum and are awaiting a decision on their applications and those whose applications have been refused. Refugees therefore need legal assistance as soon as they arrive in...

Words: 1988 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay


...Name: Log Number: 5 Unit Name: Unit 9 Devising Plays Week Beginning: 5th October 2015 Keywords to consider: status, focus, character, subject matter, developing ideas, vocal skills, movement skills, emotion memory, objective, subtext, background research, leading others, props, costume… 1. Learning Objective Write down the main aims of the week’s rehearsals, and explain how you think you have achieved these. The main aims for this rehearsals was for all members of the group to produce a research project on an idea that we all came up with, thinking that it would be a good idea to use as a final piece. Everyone achieved this because we all completed presentations explaining why each person’s idea was the best or how it could be developed. After we had done this and filled out an evaluation form for other, our next aim was to pick an idea that either two small groups could accomplish or one larger group - depending on the decisions that were made. I believe that we achieved this because we all sat down after the presentations were finished and had a in-depth conversation about the possibilities of ideas and how different characters or the development of said characters could be accomplished whilst showing them to an audience. Once we had done this, our next aim was to create basic characters for our plot in order to make it have more of a structure. We did this by giving advice, going around in a circle and asking questions about the person’s character...

Words: 1942 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Asylum Seekers

...confront the emotional and provocative issue of asylum seekers. Comparatively in Ernest Hemmingway’s short story Indian Camp we follow the adventure of a young boy named Nick who accompanies his father to a Native American camp to assist him in the delivery of a child, while there he experiences both life and death and through this discovery develops a new perception about the damaging impact of fear on the human spirit. In “Go Back to Where You Came From”, Raye, Racquel and Roderick visit the Masudi...

Words: 1066 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Asylum Seekers Research Paper

...At times, it is certain that the majority of refugees seeking the ability to enter our nation are not only treated unfairly, but unethically with some of their most basic human rights being abused. With the significant growth of asylum seekers, it is important that the Australian Government does not overlook this issue, but instead reviews its policies in order to correctly align with the fundamental principles of family unity and refugee protection as stated by the United Nations (UN). Therefore, it must be recognized that many refugees are often mere victims of an underlying system beyond their control and only when governments begin to realise this, will the issue begin to subside. The United Nations (UN) was formed in 1945 shortly after...

Words: 434 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Asylum Seeker Analysis

...The theme I choose is about australia housing asylum seeker. An asylum seeker is someone who left their home country as a political refugee and is seeking asylum, or safety, in another country. I choose this theme as I found it to be interesting seeing as I personally don't think about immigration outside of the united states. To become a refugee in another country you must first become an asylum seeker or someone whose refugee status has not been determined. People seeking asylum in australia typically arrive by boat or plane. Most of the refugees come from afghanistan. Many afghan men and women and people from other places all over the world come to these australian community detentions to escape the conditions of their home land. In the...

Words: 496 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Australia's Legal Obligation to Refugees and Asylum Seekers

...Australia has a legal obligation towards asylum seekers and refugees. Australia has a legal obligation towards Asylum Seekers and Refugees as it is a signatory to the UN Human Rights and Refugee Conventions. Furthermore, Australia has a moral obligation based on its membership of the world community. “Australia is one of the 146 signatory countries to the United Nations 1951 Convention and or/ 1967 Protocol relating to the status of refugees”. (Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, 2009) According to Australian Human Rights Commission an asylum seeker is someone who has fled their country and applies to the government of another country for protection as a refugee, (Australian Human Rights Commision, 2012) whereas a person is a refugee the moment he or she fulfils the criteria of the convention. As part of signatory countries to the United Nations 1951 Convention they are “obliged to act according to their efforts to allow everyone to seek and enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. This right may not be invoked in the case persecutions genuinely arising from non- political crimes or acts of contrary to the purposes and Principles on the United Nations”. (United Nations, 2011) This means that Australia has committed to respect the rights of refugees and to uphold the obligations set out in the treaty. This is in contradiction to the Migration Act 1958, which states, “Australian law requires that asylum seekers who have not been successful in their claims for refugee...

Words: 1822 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Negative Effects Of Asylum Seekers

...Australia’s history is striking in that immigration, in a myriad of forms, essentially gave life to the nation as it is today. Australia has long been considered a prime location for asylum seekers, with it’s stable governance, high quality of life and already established immigrant communities, it is easy to see why individuals seeking asylum from religious or ethnic persecution, conflict or despotism choose Australia to lodge their claims. Be it Europeans escaping Soviet expansion post World War 2 or South Vietnamese allies fleeing Vietnam following the fall of Saigon in 1975, the development of Australia’s history and culture is inseparably linked to these Asylum seekers who come “across the sea” to our boundless plains. Australia continues to receive asylum seekers in the 21st century however there has been an apparent shift in the nations psyche towards these asylum seekers. A moral panic is defined as a disproportionate response to a perceived threat by one group towards another. Is the reaction to Asylum seekers in Australia an example of moral panic?...

Words: 650 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Why a Harvard Professor Has Mixed Feelings When Students Take Jobs in Finance

...Why a Harvard Professor Has Mixed Feelings When Students Take Jobs in Finance This is a bittersweet time on campus. Seniors are beginning to find jobs, and while their enthusiasm is infectious, some of their choices give me pause. Many of the best students are not going to research cancer, teach and inspire the next generation, or embark on careers in public service. Instead, large numbers are becoming traders, brokers and bankers. At Harvard in 2014, nearly one in five students who took a job went to finance. For economics majors, the number was closer to one in two. I can’t help wondering: Is this the best use of talent? Of course, these are intensely personal choices as young people chase their aspirations and dreams. But if a favorite student of mine comes up to me and says, “I just got an offer at this investment bank and I’m going to take it,” I want to know how should I feel about it. I will be happy for her individually, but still I wonder: Is this a good decision for society as a whole? As an economist, I look at it this way: Every profession produces both private returns — the fruits of labor that a person enjoys — and social returns — those that society enjoys. If I set up a shop on Etsy selling photographs, my private returns may be defined as the revenue I generate. The social returns are the pleasure that my photographs provide to my customers. A scene from “It’s a Wonderful Life” that presents two types of bankers. Mr. Potter, seated, played by Lionel...

Words: 1275 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Why Refugees Should Leave To Australia

...Introduction Imagine trying to escape your war torn country, on a boat that's nearly falling apart, crowded, low resources and rough seas. Only to find that the safe destination you were willing to sacrifice your life for is a country that is willing to turn you back to the war torn country that you have just fled. This is the harsh reality of many refugees trying to seek asylum. Today I will be explaining why refugees that are in danger in their countries should be allowed access to Australia, and why they shouldn't be placed into detention centres once in Australia. Body Refugees that are trying to seek asylum in Australia need tremendous help as the Government policies that are in our country today are not working to help these helpless people but more to lock them up. The result has been a policy that is inhumane and ineffective and in many cases a violation of the international human rights law. These people do not see this country as an easy life but a country that will provide them with freedom. This is a story from one of the detention centres about a young girl....

Words: 833 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Asylum Seekers

...ASYLUMS SEEKERS AND REFUGEES “Like many members of the Hazara minority in Afghanistan, Chaman Sha Nasiri fled his homeland to escape persecution. At the time, the Taliban had been hunting for young men to either recruit or kill. Chaman then spent three years in the Nauru processing centre. It was a time of uncertainty, and as with many other asylum seekers, he became increasingly anxious and desperate” 1 Chama’s Story is just one of many for asylum seekers who seek refuge here in Australia. They come to our country expecting safety and freedom alongside the most basic human right. Yet when they arrive they are imprisoned and treated as criminals. It is clear that the laws surrounding this issue are in dire need of change. Australia is a country well known for its diversity of beliefs and religions, it is said to be accepting of others, however, when the topic of asylum seekers is brought forth, the government and media portrays the need for border protection, and “stopping the boats”. This type of hostile political enforcement and negative media coverage only furthers the portrayal of refugees as something fear, in the mind of most Australians. However, although it is not widely broadcasted by the Government or media, Australia has a legal obligation to help asylum seekers under the United Nations Refugee Convention 1951, to which Australia is signatory. According to the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, amended by the 1967 Protocol (the...

Words: 4656 - Pages: 19

Premium Essay

Asylum Seekers In Australia

...“…The right of persons to seek asylum from persecution” (UNHCR; 1967) is recognised by the United Nations Convention. Asylum seekers are known as persons who have fled their own country seeking protecting in fear for their life. Consequently, such persons often illegally arrive and enter countries such as Australia without valid visas. However, as part of the Human Rights signatory, Australia owes an international obligation towards all refugees and asylum seekers to “protect [their] human rights…” (Human Rights Commission (HRC)) as long as they are in Australian territory. Nevertheless, it has been continuously reported by the United Nations that Australia, through its detainment and treatment of refugees in detention centres, has penalised...

Words: 930 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Case Studies - Refugees

...My name is Najeeba Wazefadost, and 12 years ago I risked my life on a dangerous journey. I escaped my country Afghanistan and came to Australia by boat. I know that there are no words to comfort those who have lost their loved ones in the recent boat tragedies. But also devastating is the fact that over the past decade, we have only heard politicians endlessly scare-mongering about the number of boat arrivals and how we can decrease these numbers, or deter asylum seekers altogether. Over time, the real human faces of the vulnerable have been turned into statistics about the number of boat arrivals. We have forgotten the devastating circumstances from which asylum seekers come. Afghanistan has been in a state of war for many decades, a war that has left little evidence of justice, humanity and peace for its people. Even now, villages are frequently attacked and there is continuous persecution of minorities. The Afghan Hazaras are not safe in Afghanistan, and are not even safe in neighbouring countries like Pakistan. These are people whose only choice is to seek refuge and security in any way possible. For my family and me, we could not wait for someone to come and rescue us because we could have been dead by then. Coming by boat was the only choice we had. Even though we knew we were at risk of drowning in the daunting waters of the Pacific, we preferred taking that risk over brutal killing at the hands of the Taliban. It hurts me to hear politicians claim that the best way to...

Words: 2167 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Thesis on the Unilateral Damage Caused by Vestubla Stroke

...the country of his nationality …’. Being a refugee means being unable to seek protection in your country of nationality because of a fear of persecution and so refugee status brings with it the protection of the international community. One of the ways in which potential refugees access protection is by seeking asylum, at which point the receiving state considers the individual’s case to be a refugee. There also exists an extensive human rights framework that should, in principle, protect people regardless of their immigration status and their motive or motives for migration. Universality underlies these treaty regimes and included in this are children’s rights and women’s rights as well as political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights, all enforceable through actions against the state. Finally, there are nation state rights which are stratified by an individual’s citizenship and immigration status within the country of residence (Morris, 2002). Under the stratified system of rights, naturalized citizens and refugees have extensive rights and are at one end of the continuum. At the other end of the continuum are undocumented migrants and rejected asylum seekers who exist on the margins of society with few or no rights, often exploited economically and unable to gain protection from the police or courts in the country where they live. New concepts of citizenship based less on being a citizen of a nation state and more on the...

Words: 1524 - Pages: 7