Tag Archives: Strange Birds in Paradise

From Strange Birds in Paradise, animated story of December 1 and Jacob’s story

‘Interview#16’ – a new animation drawn from Strange Birds in Paradise DVD

from Charlie Hill-Smith

Here for the first time is an animation called ‘Interview#16’. It is a combination of all the animation sequences from SBiP entwined in a stand-alone story. It is the story of Jacob Rumbiak (one of the main characters in SBiP). It shows how Jacob was there in 1961 when West Papuan independence was proclaimed, the ‘Morning Star’ flag raised for the first time and the national anthem sung. It shows samples of Jacob’s remarkable life and journey from child soldier to politician and man of peace. It is particularly resonant at this the 50th anniversary of the 1961 West Papuan declaration of Independence. It is dedicated to all West Papuans and their celebrations on Dec 1st 2011.

Strange Birds in Paradise Album / DVD launch (Melbourne, Australia) Northcote Social Club. Sunday August 14.

STRANGE BIRDS IN PARADISE

A West Papuan Soundtrack.

ALBUM LAUNCH. NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB

SUNDAY 14 AUGUST 2011

Buy Tickets Here

“Music can rise above tyranny”

“Art is a weapon and culture is life, as long as they can sing they will prevail.”

Film-maker Charlie Hill-Smith on the plight of the West Papuans

in their fight for independence from Indonesia

 “The music of West Papua is unique and intoxicating in and of itself; having it on our radars is a true privilege. And Bridie’s always interesting western-meets-world interweaving commands rapt attention regardless, but in the context here that is all important… For the recording of Strange Birds, five West Papuan singers and musicians joined Bridie in Melbourne, and it’s difficult not to listen to their haunting renditions of these outlawed songs without wondering what the consequences might be for them. Try to imagine, if you possibly can, The Drones making a record overseas and then never being able to return to their native country under penalty of death because of it. As outlandish as that sounds, this is probably the fate that awaits the performers here, and, naturally enough the record takes on a complete new dimension because of it. Bridie has been quoted as saying that this record “stands alone as an album of cultural and political significance”. In any other situation, this might sound immodest. Here, though, it has the ring of absolute, undisputable truth. Will there be a more important record made this year? I highly doubt it.”

(Tony McMahon, Inpress)

On Sunday August 14 from 1-5pm, the soundtrack and DVD to the powerful and award winning political feature documentary Strange Birds in Paradise will be launched at The Northcote Social Club.

The afternoon of music will include performances from Vika and Linda Bull, The Black Orchid String Band (featuring Leah, Petra and Rosa Rumwaropen), David Bridie, Phil Wales, Black Cab, El Witeri (The Red Eyes), with appearances by MC’s Lehmo and Greg Fleet. These and other acts yet to be announced  join a distinguished line up of Melanesian performers, showing their support for the freedom movement in West Papua – an issue that garners less international attention than that given to the fate of Indonesian livestock.

While the Indonesian army continues to dominate the indigenous inhabitants of West Papua, the making of this album saw five West Papuan musicians and singers gather in Melbourne to record the outlawed folk songs of West Papuan freedom fighter and musician Arnold Ap with Australian musician and film composer David Bridie.

In Strange Birds in Paradise, David Bridie interweaves his original score with the songs of Ap, carried by the remarkable voices of West Papuan performers Hein Arumisore, Jacob Rumbiak and Gillius Kogoya, and features musical collaborations with Airi Ingram and Phil Wales. These artists will also come together for the launch, joined onstage by West Papuan musicians Ronny Kareni, Frederick Yawandare, Adrianus Birif, Anselmus Pisakai and led by West Papuan leader Jacob Rumbiak.

The launch will celebrate and recognise of the work of Arnold Ap, as well as political hero Kelly Kwalik – both assassinated for bringing controversial folk songs to the people of West Papua and the world. The day will shed light on the rich musical history intrinsic to West Papuan culture, simultaneously raising awareness of the struggle faced by West Papuans, our closest neighbours, and the atrocities occurring daily in a political climate of greed, corruption and genocide.

Of the CD, Bridie says “Not just a soundtrack, Strange Birds in Paradise stands alone as an album of cultural and political significance, putting West Papua’s extraordinary music talent firmly on the contemporary music map, in the Pacific region and beyond. There are a lot of political refugees from West Papua living in Australia, and this launch is for them as much as it is for those residing in West Papua.”

Strange Birds in Paradise is an album which engages with the unique music of West Papua and champions a community who will fight to keep their cultural traditions alive in the face of extreme political oppression and widespread genocide.

Watch video from Strange Birds in Paradise soundtrack here

 

What: Strange Birds in Paradise Album Launch (alongside official DVD release)

When: August 14, 1-5pm

Where: Northcote Social Club, Victoria

Tickets: $18 Presale / $22 on Door / (Concession available at door only – $15)

www.wantokmusik.org / www.strangebirds.com.au

 

Purchase on ITunes

Land Of The Morning Star Clip from Strange Birds in Paradise

This is first video clip off the Strange Birds in Paradise: A West Papuan soundtrack CD;

Music compiled by David Bridie, featuring Arnold Ap songs and singing by Hein Arumisore, Donny Roem and members of Tabura.

Video directed by Charlie Hill-Smith.

www.strangebirds.com.au

Strange Birds in Paradise – A West Papuan Story  
While the Indonesian army continues to dominate the indigenous inhabitants of West Papua, three friends gather in Melbourne to record outlawed folk songs with renowned Australian rock musicologist David Bridie.  DVD AVAILABLE NOW

Strange Birds in Paradise: A West Papuan Soundtrack

Release Date: 10/06/2011
Catalogue No.: W0003
Record Label: Wantok Musik
Format: CD
Buy Here: http://www.theplanetcompany.com/product/77793

This is the soundtrack to the film by Charlie Hill-Smith, with music by David Bridie & Arnold Ap, sung by Hein Arumisore, Donny Roem, Kelly Kwalik and Jacob Rumbiak. It is a journey more than 250 West Papuan cultures, the interviews paint a picture not only of a country with a rich musical tradition and breathtaking nature, but also of a country weighed down by Indonesian military oppression. While the Indonesian army continues to dominate the indigenous inhabitants of West Papua, three friends gather in Melbourne to record outlawed folk songs with renowned Australian rock musicologist David Bridie.

Australia must make a stand for West Papua

Article in the Sydney Morning Herald

As YouTube evidence of Indonesian soldiers burning the genitals of the West Papuan Tunaliwor Kiwo received its 50,000th viewer, the Indonesian military (TNI) was exposed holding a cynical mock trial to try to cover up systemic violence.

Julia Gillard was red-faced. When in Indonesia with Barack Obama last month, she had praised President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s quick response and the coming trial. Soldiers from another, lesser ”abuse case” were then paraded and given soft sentences, while Kiwo’s torturers remain on active duty.

Despite the Australian embassy in Jakarta telling Indonesian officials of Australia’s “unhappiness with the military’s investigation”, the blatant contempt shown for Gillard and her officials creates little confidence.

Gillard bit her tongue again this week. ”The President of Indonesia,” she said, ”has made it absolutely clear he wants to see any wrongdoers brought to justice on this matter.”


Where’s the solidarity that lifted East Timor out of the geopolitical rubbish bin and into the minds of mainstream Aussies? In 1999 East Timor held a United Nations referendum, due in part to international and Australian pressure, and the Indonesian military tortured, raped and scorched its way back to Java.

In that year in West Papua I discovered the best kept secret in the Asia-Pacific region. Hiking among the highland farms of the Dani people, I heard stories of dispossession, detention, torture and murder. Yale University suggests that since the Indonesian military invaded in 1962-63, it has killed 400,000 West Papuans yet few Australians know anything about these killing fields.

I had lived and travelled on and off in Indonesia for 15 years but never heard even a whisper from West Papua. I departed shocked by the locals’ stories and with a growing suspicion that we were being lied to. The Australian government has always known what’s happening there but has chosen placation over human dignity and moral leadership.

Back in Australia, it was as if this province of 2.6 million had been erased. Why the silence? Where are the churches, students and humanitarian groups who fought for East Timor? Where are the unions who boycotted the Dutch in Indonesia and the regime in South Africa? Where are the conservatives who beat their chests after John Howard ”saved East Timor”?

History offers a clue. When General Suharto took power in Indonesia in 1965-66, he opened the floodgates to Western resource companies. Every Australian government since Menzies kowtowed to this murderous bully, partially to ward off the feared disintegration of this 18,000-island republic, but mainly to gain access to Indonesia’s vast natural resources.

The first Western company to do business with Suharto was the Freeport goldmine in West Papua. Partly owned by Australia’s Rio Tinto, it is the largest gold and copper mine in the world and Indonesia’s biggest taxpayer. Yet West Papuans live in poverty, experiencing the worst health, education and development levels in Indonesia.

Freeport’s $4 billion profit last year didn’t come easily. Dr Damien Kingsbury of Deakin University says the local Amungme people ”have been kicked out, they’ve been given a token payment and if they’ve protested, they’ve been shot”.

None of this would have been possible without Freeport’s paid protection from the TNI, which gets two-thirds of its military budget from its own private businesses. This conflict of interest is at the heart of the military’s ongoing human rights abuses. How can it serve the country while serving itself? West Papua has necessarily become a resource cash cow, a military fiefdom 3000 kilometres from Jakarta, full of tribally divided, uneducated farmers, sitting atop a new El Dorado.

Despite journalists still being banned, West Papua is no longer the secret it was in 1999. Gillard should not be placated by Indonesia’s mock trial of torturers nor train them, in the form of Kopassus. We should work with Jakarta to reform the military and open up West Papua to international scrutiny. It’s time for Australia to step up for our tortured and murdered neighbours to the north.

Charlie Hill-Smith is the writer-director of Strange Birds in Paradise – A West Papuan Story, which is nominated for four AFI Awards including best documentary.

GEORGE TELEK "WEST PAPUA" (MERDEKA REMIX) – MUSIC VIDEO 2010

The film clip for George Telek’s West Papua (merdeka mix) featuring Ngairie Produced by Airi Ingram
The song is released of Teleks new albums Akave (in Australia and International) (Wantok/Planet) and Pairap Gen (in PNG and Pacific).(CHM).
mixed by Tim Cole

As West Papua says “mi laikim Freedom”, enjoy this inspiring remix of a powerful tune by legendary PNG singer George Telek. This upbeat remix has been released on Teleks new albums, and also featured on the new documentary on West Papua, Strange Birds in Paradise.

Please spread widely.