Howatson+Company 6 EXHIBIT A-i

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Gavin Chimes
  • Pou Rautaki / Strategic Leads
    Dom Hickey, Sam Butcher
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Directors
    Caroline Gilroy, Reece Lawson
  • Kaituhi Matua / Copywriter Leads
    Zoe Finkelstein, Madeleine Semit
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Ellena Mills, Simon Merrifield, Holly Alexander, Monika Domaschenz, Chloe Schumacher, Brandon Nee, Raff Gandrabur
  • Kaitautoko / Contributor
    Brogen Averill

An image is a powerful thing. Through history masterful pieces of photojournalism have not only exposed injustice; they have incited change.

But there are no images of the refugees who have been illegally and inhumanely detailed for over a decade by the Australian Government in offshore detention centres. Camera equipment, journalists and reporters are banned.
Enter Exhibit A-i.

Using 300 hours of interviews our client Maurice Blackburn had conducted with refugees, documenting the atrocities they faced in offshore detention, we worked with AI technicians and survivors themselves to generate the first visual evidence of their experiences. Every detail was made as accurate as possible, from the colour of the tents to the subjects’ facial expressions, and photojournalists were consulted to guide composition and image quality.

The statements and images were compiled into a book — the largest visual and written documentation of life in offshore detention to date. We designed this book to reflect the gravity of the information it contained, and inspire people to consider it with corresponding thoughtfulness. A buckram-coated cover, perfect binding and consideration of stock and the physical weight of the book were essential. The typography combinations and reduced palette reflected that of a serious legal publication.

The Exhibit A-i book was submitted to members of Australian Parliament, journalists both Australian and international, and accessible to the public via OOH, exhibitions and online at, as well as integrated into stock libraries to sit alongside real photojournalism.

One very important copy of the Exhibit A-i book was presented to Australia’s Minister for Immigration. He is now evaluating the evidence.

Today Exhibit A-i exists as a permanent record of the atrocities faced in offshore detention. It is an ongoing act of healing for the survivors who bravely shared their stories so that one day similar stories won't occur again.