Captured Lives peers behind the barbed wire drawn around people deemed threats to Australia's security during the two world wars. Civilians from enemy nations, even if born in Australia, were subjects of suspicion and locked away in internment camps. Prisoners-of-war were shipped from the other side of the world and shut away in camps in country Australia.
No matter how unjust their internment or how severe the privations, most internees and POWs worked out ways to relieve their discomfort, physical and mental, and their boredom. Internees devoted their time to creative pursuits like theatre, musical ensembles, art and photography, while others involved themselves in sporting activities, gardening or studying.
Captured Lives mentions over 30 of the main camps that were spread across Australia during the two world wars. Included are sketches, watercolours and photographs made by internees serve as references of the conditions and life in the camps from an insider's perspective.
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Ruth Balint, in the Sydney Morning Herald wrote:
This amazing book gives accounts of many internees and how they lived behind the barbed wire in Australian internment camps. Profusely illustrated and a fascinating read.
Monteath’s is an important work of social history that pays special attention to personal stories to document individual experiences as migrants and captives. Many had been living in Australia for years, sometimes generations, and suddenly found themselves objects of suspicion and hatred because of their "enemy" origins.