Benevolent Asylum follows the course of the historical relationship between asylums and rivers. Blending documentary and fiction, Benevolent Asylum examines the story of exile and confinement in Australia while questioning the asylum practices that continue today.


The films, photographs and archival material from local collections reveal a secret history of confinement in Australia. Benevolent Asylum emanates from research undertaken in Fremantle and at other asylum and prison sites, including Stradbroke Island, Melbourne, Williamstown, Parramatta, Paris and London.


Lily Hibberd is a visual artist and writer based in Melbourne. She is a lecturer at Monash University and the founding editor of the Australian art journal un Magazine.