Persons of interest: the ASIO files

It‘s estimated that ASIO files have been opened on more than half a million Australians; it's possible you might be a ‘person of interest’.

Persons of interest: the ASIO files explored the recently declassified dossiers of people whose every move was once closely watched by Australia's foremost intelligence agency. Previously secret intelligence files, photographs and films were on display for the first time along with unique surveillance tools used by ASIO agents. Documentary footage showed the very personal reactions of some of these persons of interest as they explained firsthand how their idealism and beliefs were misconstrued by ASIO as something far more sinister.

ASIO was set up in 1949 to combat a Soviet spy ring operating in Australia, a serious threat to our national security. However, during the 1950s and 60s ASIO shifted its focus to target groups and individuals it considered subversive, including the Communist Party of Australia, various feminist groups and those involved in the anti-apartheid movement. 

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ASIO had been quietly following, recording and photographing persons of interest for more than 60 years. The resultant files were dark biographies documenting a secret history of Sydney where spies lurked among unsuspecting citizens.
18 June 2011 - 29 April 2012
20°  Rain