Discovery is a part of human nature. According to Albert Szents Gorgioli “discovery consists of seeing what everyone else has seen, but thinking what nobody has thought.” In the documentary Go Back To Where You Came From, the poem My Mother The Land by Phil Moncrieff and Archie Wellers’ short story Dead Dingo, the most important concepts of discovery are explored, namely the discovery of identity and power. The text enables us as responders to see firsthand the effects that discovery has on the characters in each text. In turn forcing us to question our own concepts and ideas about power and identity..
In GBTWYCF all the participants have strong views towards refugee issue. These assumptions restrict their view of the world. In turn restricting each individual’s identity. Raye Colbys makes her assumptions clear during her first interview. The presenters use direct address to allow her to deliver her stern message to the audience. She feels resentment towards asylum seekers; this is due to there being a detention centre built across the road from her farm. "She could have shot them all" when they moved in. Her strong dislike of asylum seekers restricts her view of world to a “narrow tunnel”. As the text develops Rayes narrow perspective of the world broadens. In the final episode the producers use archive footage to contrast her initial views with her final views on the issue. "When she came she was very closed minded, and now she has broadened her view on the world". While she reflects on her journey the camera pans at her looking off into the distance in Africa, through a new perspective. This further reinforces her change in perspective. Through breaking down her perceptions Raye is able to overcome her hostilities towards asylum seekers and feel empathy for them. This new perspective allows her to discover her true identity.
Part of the refugee experience is having no contact with one’s family. To simulate this experience Dr. Corlett removes all the participants phones and announces "from now on you will no longer have contact with your families". During this an extreme close up of Darren's face with a look of disbelief is shown. During the introduction a long shot of Darren and his two young sons are shown, portraying him as a family man. For the father of "two young boys" a loss of communication with them is the last thing he wanted. In a direct address to the audience he states "I wasn't prepared to lose contact with my family". His desperation to hold onto this contact is shown when he is the last participant to surrender his phone. Through losing contact with his family Darren discovers what it feels like to be an asylum seeker, resulting in a lack of power.
In the poem My Mother the Land, the aboriginal people seek protection from the land. When the people in the story are threatened by the whitemans curse they, like children, turned to their mother for protection. But now the land no longer offers them protection. They believe that this is because they are no longer truly black. They are now “children born brown”, and no longer consider themselves to be aboriginal. This disconnection to their past is best captured when the poet uses a metaphor of a “leaf blowing away in the wind” to represent the extinction of the “ancient aboriginal tribes and cultures”. Through a disconection from the land and their herritaige the aboriginal people discover a loss of identity.
Through connection to the land the aboriginal people were able to gain empowerment. Their mother the land had provided for them for “thousands of years”. They turned to her for comfort and refuge. But now the land no longer gives them a sense of empowerment. Their connection to the land had been severed. The poet uses the symbolism of a changing landscape to represent their loss of power. The Aboriginal people knew the all parts of the land. But now the landscape has changed and the people can no longer recognise it. The poet uses a…