They Cannot Take The Sky: Stories from Detention

A new community exhibition at the Immigration Museum explores stories from people seeking asylum and refuge.

Behrouz Boochani
"The sky is like a friend for a prisoner, because around you everything is metal fences, but the sky, they cannot take the sky" Behrouz Boochani, Iranian journalist and asylum seeker

A new exhibition at Melbourne's Immigration MuseumThey Cannot Take the Sky: Stories from Detention – tells the stories of people who have sought and are seeking asylum and refuge in Australia.

An oral history project developed by the award-winning Behind the Wire organisation the Immigration Museum's latest community exhibition features 22 narrators who tell their stories in their own words.

The narrators reveal not only their extraordinary journeys and challenges but also their meditations on love, death and hope.

Their testimonies are at times confronting, deeply moving and surprising.

They Cannot Take the Sky: Stories from Detention features twenty-two narrators representing a range of nationalities and ethnicities including those from Iran, Iraqi, Syria, and others who are Rohingya (Myanmar), Zaghawa (Sudan), Hazara (Afghanistan) and Tamil.

Thirteen of the narrators now live in Australia, some have been settled with permanent residency while others are on bridging visas. Three, including Behrouz Boochani, remain in the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre.

Behind the wire

Behind the Wire works with men, women and children who have sought asylum in Australia.

Its other projects include a book, audio book, podcast, and photographic portraits. For more information visit

They Cannot Take the Sky opens at the Immigration Museum, Melbourne, on Friday March 17 and will run until 2 July 2017.

The exhibition coincides with the release of a companion book of the same name published by Allen & Unwin.

For media enquiries regarding the book, please contact:

Andy Palmer, Allen & Unwin
[email protected] | 02 8425 0140 | 0419 436 993

For media enquiries regarding the exhibition, please contact:

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