Ao: Go Back to Where You Came from & My Place

AOS: Go Back to Where You Came From (TV series)   My Place (Novel)

Due to peoples’ need to discover it becomes a natural urge to explore and be enlightened due to an intense journey which can shift and challenge perspectives on an individual and their society. Discovery has the ability to influence an individual’s perception of their world and also change widely held beliefs in a community. This is shown in the SBS documentary Go Back to Where You Came From (Go Back) 2011, which features a physical exploration where 6 individuals gain increased insight of the world around them and themselves. Similarly, in Sally Morgan’s novel My Place 1987, her urge for knowledge about her heritage propels her physical discovery and leads her to gain new cultural understandings that shape her identity.

In Go Back, the cultural insights that prompt a revaluation of values allow the individuals to understand themselves and others in a deeper way. Previous perspectives are challenged through the use of the cinematic technique of personal viewing, represented by Raye’s appalling statement in the opening scene “I could’ve shot the lot of them”. This is juxtaposed later during a close-up shot of Raye’s rhetorical questions “I had no idea it was so bad… how can you live with that?” illustrating the “emotional rollercoaster” result of her physical discovery. The individuals are able to identify their own capability of empathy, a significant element of the Human condition. The use of the Motif “hearts” mentioned in Dao’s “If they touch your heart, you… understand” and Raquel’s “we all have hearts,” further allows the individuals to recognise people less fortunate than them, “they just have to survive… it certainly isn’t living”, the individuals comprehend human compassion and acknowledge the persistence of the human spirit. Therefore, an individual’s attitudes and perceptions of themselves and others is able to transform through cultural discoveries.

In a similar vein, Morgan’s...