Yakkazoo are proud to announce our new partnership with cultural arts powerhouse Performance Space. As long time supporters of the arts industry both Mark Barrett (Founder and Director of Art and Cultural Enterprise) and Lisa Taylor (Executive Creative Director) of Yakkazoo have wanted to collaborate with Performance Space and their Liveworks Festival.

Performance Space is Australia’s leading organisation for the development and presentation of experimental art. Emerging over 30 years ago, Performance Space continues to evolve and renew to meet the needs of the independent arts world, and explore new models for developing and presenting the most critical and important new work. Their diverse program and partnerships allow artists to explore risk-taking avenues, with their annual Liveworks program, which is a wonderful demonstration of Performance Space’s vital work.

Yakkazoo are thrilled to be a sponsor for the Return To Escape From Woomera project.

Return To Escape From Woomera is a very timely and politically motivated gaming project which is based on the original PC game Escape From Woomera. The video game was initially developed in 2003 by a team of Australian video game professionals. It’s a point-and-click adventure game which sees the user play in first person as the character Mustafa, who is an asylum seeker being held at Woomera Immigration Reception and Processing Centre. After learning his request for asylum has been declined, and knowing his life will be in extreme danger if he is forced to return to his home country Iran, Mustafa decides he has no choice but to escape Woomera in the fight for his life. The game explores Mustafa’s attempts to escape, including talking to other asylum seekers at the detention centre to devise a plan.

If the above description makes your skin crawl a little bit, it should. Because this game is based on the real stories and events of asylum seekers being held at Woomera Immigration Reception and Processing Centre . It’s a shocking position to be in as a gamer- you are forced to make the right decisions otherwise it’s game over.

Escape From Woomera was widely condemned upon it’s creation at the time, with both Minister for Immigration Philip Ruddock and Australian Human Rights Commission leader Dr. Sev Ozdowski speaking out against its release. Due to lack of funding and government backlash, Escape From Woomera was never completed, and the early developed game was abandoned.

Escape From Woomera was never ready for public gaming… until now.

In this specially-commissioned live gaming and performance experience, Sydney based artist group Applespiel invite you to play Escape From Woomera, with the artists providing live commentary to accompany your journey playing as an asylum seeker. Join human rights activists, refugees and the creators of the original game to explore the contemporary significance of this cultural intervention. A percentage of the ticket sales from Return to Escape from Woomera will be donated to Asylum Seekers Centre.

Yakkazoo are so excited and proud to support such a fantastic project alongside Performance Space, it is a combination of live performance, video gaming and community engagement.