Barat Ali Batoor: My desperate journey with a human smuggler
Barat Ali Batoor - Photojournalist
Barat Ali Batoor, an award-winning photojournalist, is a member of the Hazara people. He is based in Australia. Full bio
of my people is Afghanistan.
of other Hazara kids,
and operation against the Hazaras
going back to the late 1800s,
the Hazara population.
for neighboring Iran and Pakistan.
attack on the Twin Towers,
with foreign journalists.
working as an interpreter.
to move to Afghanistan permanently,
as a documentary photographer,
stories that I did
an appalling tradition.
dancing for warlords
or bought from their poor parents,
for the warlord and his friends.
in the Washington Post,
I returned back to Quetta.
dramatically since I left in 2005.
dangerous city in Pakistan.
educationally, and financially.
was ambushed by terrorists in Quetta.
would only get worse,
that many wanted to flee.
population of Hazaras in the world.
at my destination safely,
of my family to join me later.
who lost loved ones at sea.
to leave everything behind,
to simply fly to Australia,
less than 24 hours.
to Malaysia and into Indonesia,
of seven asylum seekers.
left for the perilous journey,
in the sea en route to Christmas Island.
Nawroz, Jaffar and Shabbir --
no other choice but to go on.
from the people smuggler
to commence our sea journey.
that was already overloaded.
the weather turned.
and the timbers groaned.
praying, recalling their loved ones.
from those Hollywood movies
is breaking apart
like a matchbox on the water
than the motor pumps could take it out.
of any passing boat.
by waving our life jackets and whistling.
whatever I had documented.
as we argued over what to do next.
the night on the beach,
to Indonesian water police.
and furtively strip-searched us.
be able to escape,
checking their movements,
when they sat around a fire,
from an outside facing window
that was topped with the shards of glass.
with the pictures and footage.
on SBS Dateline,
about my situation,
any other boat to risk my life.
and process my case through UNHCR,
that I would end up in Indonesia
and unable to work,
a little bit different with me.
my case through UNHCR,
in Australia in May 2013.
with an uncertain fate, in limbo.
and then presented to the people.
of other Hazaras
in their countries of origin,
About the speaker:Barat Ali Batoor - Photojournalist
Barat Ali Batoor, an award-winning photojournalist, is a member of the Hazara people. He is based in Australia.
Why you should listen
Barat Ali Batoor is a member of the Hazara ethnic group, once from Afghanistan, then driven into Pakistan. He started work as a photographer in 2002, documenting his people's ancestral home of Afghanistan. His photos have appeared in the Washington Post, Newweek, the Wall Street Journal, Stern and many other publications. He held his first solo exhibition in 2007, and has been exhibited around the world.
Watch a short conversation with Batoor in the TEDxSydney studio >>
Barat Ali Batoor | Speaker | TED.com