Barbed Wire Fever: Workshop on the Australian Army’s Malaria Research Unit
Everyone involved with the Australian Army’s Malaria Research Unit during the Second World War was meant to keep their work a secret, but the MRU’s activities in Australia and New Guinea were documented in official war diaries, letters home, and the drawings and paintings of war artists. Writer Linda Mannheim has been piecing together the documentation for Barbed Wire Fever, her Arts Council England project that focuses on the story of her father, a refugee who served with the MRU.
Linda Mannheim is the author of a novel and two short story collections. She held a residency at the Malaria Centre to do research for Barbed Wire Fever, a literary exploration of what it means to be a refugee, supported by Arts Council England. The project involves refugees and non-refugees in writing workshops, online discussions, and discussions at events and festivals. It is also a literal exploration of the journey that her father embarked upon when he was a refugee during the Second World War. She recently travelled to Australia to research his time as an assistant with the Australian army's malaria research. She is interested in both sharing the material she discovered in archives and hearing from present day malaria researchers to put the material in context and understand more about the perspectives of researchers in this field.