While the title image may be the WORST. PHOTOSHOP. EVER. the return of Go Back To Where You Came From (with its ‘celebrity’ cast) stands to be one of the most anticipated series returns in 2012, though running it all in one week might be a little too much for some people. We’ll find out in the last week of August. From the press release:

The series that everyone was talking about in 2011 is back.

This time, six prominent Australians risk their lives to experience the reality of refugee life, as they embark on an extraordinary and confronting three week journey. They bring a wealth of experience to the table, but nothing can prepare them for the twists and turns in store.

The Australians face mortal danger in the world’s deadliest cities – from the sweltering, war torn capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, to the riotous streets of Kabul, freezing amidst the mountains of Afghanistan. They join the greatest human exodus of modern times in the Ethiopian desert, live amid the squalor of one of the world’s biggest refugee camps, bunk down with families in Jakarta waiting to board a people smuggler’s boat, meet with some of the young men involved in people smuggling operations, and then set sail for Christmas Island themselves – heading directly into the eye of a storm. The journey reaches its emotionally charged conclusion with unprecedented access within the walls of Christmas Island Detention Centre. It is intense,
shocking, and one of the most challenging experiences of their lives.

Once again guided by author and refugee expert, Dr. David Corlett, the six participants set out on their journey with varied and blunt opinions:

“I don’t accept the boat people at all. Send them home.” – Angry Anderson, Australian rock music legend, conservative political activist and aspiring National Party candidate.

“There’s a lot of politicians that use these people’s suffering for votes, but what’s the price of somebody’s life to win a vote?” – Imogen Bailey, model, actress, and animal rights activist.

“Whatever you might think of the Howard Government, no one can dispute the reality that we did stop the boats.” – Peter Reith, former Howard Government senior cabinet minister, including Minister for Defence from 2000-2001.

“We are a signatory of the United Nations Refugee Convention, no one is illegal.” – Catherine Deveny, writer, comedian and social commentator.

“I see a highly prejudicial and polarised attitude towards people who are fleeing persecution to come to Australia, looking for safety and a new life.” – Allan Asher, former Commonwealth Ombudsman, outspoken consumer advocate.

“Absolutely, unquestionably, we treat people who lob by boat here far too well.” – Michael Smith, former radio shock jock with 2UE and 4BC.

Tony Iffland, Director of Television and Online Content, SBS, said: “At the same time explosive and incredibly touching, the series pushes the human dimension of the debate to the forefront, in three compelling episodes that will have the nation talking like never before.

“With refugee and asylum seeker issues still dominating headlines, SBS aims to ignite national debate once again as six Australians leave the media hype and political party lines behind them, to confront the reality of life as an asylum seeker or refugee. They witness the sheer desperation and experience the hardship leading many people to flee their home countries, whatever the cost, and they learn about the challenges dealt with by those who now call Australia home.”

The second installment of the groundbreaking and multi award winning documentary series, Go Back To Where You Came From, will be a multi-platform initiative for SBS. It will feature extensively across a number of SBS Radio language programs, inviting listeners from all backgrounds to take part in the debate.

SBS online will feature special content including previews, catch-ups, schools resources relating specifically to the series, and opportunities for viewers to engage with the series and learn more about the related issues. Immediately following each episode of the series, Insight’s Jenny Brockie will host a fifteen minute Q&A with a prominent guest, streamed live to the SBS Go Back To Where You Came From website, sbs.com.au/goback. The online program will give audiences a chance to submit questions via the website or social media, and to dig deeper into the issues raised each night.

Go Back to Where You Came From will be a special television event screening across three consecutive nights on Tuesday 28, Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 August, at 8.30pm on SBS ONE. The series will be followed by an Insight special on Friday 31 August, hosted by Jenny Brockie.

Go Back To Where You Came From is a Cordell Jigsaw production for SBS.