Deakin University academic on palm oil production in West Papua

Deakin University’s DR EBEN KIRKSEY was keynote speaker at a conference in West Papua’s FRWP office in Docklands on 8 April 2018.  The American scholar’s interest in the Indonesian colony was launched brutally in 1998, when as an exchange student at Cendrawasih University investigating the subsistence qualities of indigenous communities, he witnessed two Melanesian students being shot by the Indonesian military.  Days later in Biak Island he witnessed the massacre of an estimated two-hundred West Papuans assembled around a 35m water-tower singing and praying for independence and self-determination.

Eben’s interest in justice has yielded a substantial array of critical and informative articles, books, and appearances.  In 2000 a Bachelor of Arts thesis Saya Makan Sembarang (I eat anything): the changing world of the Oge Mabe Mee in 2000 (Note 1); in 2002 a Masters thesis From Cannibal to Terrorist: State Violence, Indigenous Resistance and Representation in West Papua (Note 2); in 2008 a critical analysis of the role of the Indonesian military in the murder of two Americans near the Freeport mine in 2002 titled Criminal Collaborations with Indonesian investigative reporter Andreas Harsono (Note 3).

In 2010, he testified before House of Representatives Hearing in Washington Crimes Against Humanity: when will Indonesia’s Military be held accountable for deliberate and systematic abuses in West Papua? organised by Samoan Delegate Eni Faleomavaega (Note 4).  The hearing surprised and offended the Indonesian Government; even more so when the West Papuan leaders flown to Washington were introduced to officials at the National Security Council, U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Department of State.  At the time Eni Faleomavaega was Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, but throughout his long and successful career in US and Pacific politics he always promoted the issue of West Papua.  Some of his Samoan relatives are buried in West Papua and “their missionary service and sacrifice compels me to do what I can for the people they loved,”

In July 2013, he testified before the Biak Citizens Tribunal in Sydney, which was presided over by the Hon. John Dowd (former NSW Attorney-General; President, International Commission of Jurists-Australia) and Dr Keith Suter (Chair, ICJ NSW; Director, International Law Association-Australia).  Counsel Assisting the Tribunal were Gustav Kawer, a West Papuan human rights lawyer; and Professor Nicholas Cowdery (former NSW Crown Prosecutor; President, International Association of Prosecutors).  The tribunal followed the format of a Coronial Inquest (a formal inquiry into a death), with Counsel Assisting performing as prosecution and Other Interested Parties acting like defense attorneys critically evaluating evidence (Note 5).

In 2012 Eben’s Freedom in Entangled Worlds: West Papua and the Global Architecture of Power was published, an analysis of West Papuans’ practical, surprising, and freedom projects generated in the fissures of power exercised by Indonesian occupiers, global financial interests, and foreign governments (Note 6).  In 2017 South Atlantic Quarterly published his Lively Multispecies Communities, Deadly Racial Assemblages, and the Promise of Justice; an imaginative study of meeting spaces between humans and other species in West Papua that utilises ethnographic, historical, ethological, and genetic methodologies (Note 7).

On 8 April 2018 at the FRWP Office in Docklands (Melbourne) Kirksey focussed the attention of the audience with a drone-recording of a palm-oil plantation in Merauke and its devastating effect on the fragile environment, followed by a practical demonstration of the wide-spread use of palm-oil in products consumed by populations in mostly non-palm-oil producing countries.

Drone-video, Merauke Palm Plantation

Eben Kirksey, FRWP Office in Docklands, 8 April 2018

NOTE 1.  PDF, BA thesis: Saya Makan Sembarang (I eat anything): the changing world of the Oge Mabe Mee University of South Florida, 2000  Eben Kirksey, 2000

NOTE 2.  PDF, PhD thesis: From Cannibal to Terrorist: State Violence, Indigenous Resistance and Representation in West Papua University of Oxford, 2002  Eben Kirksey, 2002, State Violence, Indigenous Resistance and Representation in West Papua

NOTE 3.  PDF, Article: Criminal Collaborations: Antonius Wamang and the Indonesian military in Timika Kirksey and Harsono 2008  Kirksey-Harsono_Criminal-Collaborations

NOTE 4.  US Foreign Affairs Committe Hearing on West Papua, 2010
4.1  PDF  Transcript, US Foreign Affairs Committe Hearing on West Papua, 2010
4.2  PDF: Article, 2010  Article, US Foreign Affairs Committe Hearing on West Papua, 2010
4.3  Eben Kirksey’s testimony  https://vimeo.com/18331111

NOTE 5.  Biak Massacre, July 1998
5.1  ‘Names without Graves, Graves without Names’ (Indonesian 1998, English, 2013)  Names-Without-Graves_Elsham-Papua-English
5.2  Website, Biak Citizens Tribunal, Sydney, 6 July 1998  http://www.biak-tribunal.org
5.3  ABC Report, Biak Citizens Tribunal  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-16/citizen-tribunal-calls-for-investigation-into-biak-massacre/5160134
5.4  PDF, Article, Sydney Morning Herald, 4 June 2001  Biak Massacre, Australian cover up
5.5  PDF, Article, Eureka 2006  Biak Massacre, Eureka, 2006, Deathly silence by Kel Dummett

NOTE 6.  ‘Freedom in Entangled Worlds: West Papua and the Architecture of Global Power’ Duke University Press 2012. (Copies for sale at FRWP Office in Docklands).

NOTE 7.  Academic Article 2018  Eben Kirksey, Kirksey-Lively-Multispecies-Communities_Deadly-Racial-Assemblages

Featured Image: Torres’ Strait Pigeon

“You folk, conch shells shall be! Bailer shells you shall become! Pearlshells you shall become! Ducks you shall become! Native companions be! I go! Better that I should go! For white pigeons will come with me!”

Nyungu the hero ancestor to his children after Sivri, the Silver Gull, kidnapped Nyungu’s daughter and took her to Mabuig. Nyunguj gave chase, and then flew on to Papua. His children stayed behind and became the ducks and brolgas of the sandbanks and the shells of the sea-bed.

Nyungu lives on in the imagination and cultural reality of Torres Strait islanders and the essential connections between Papua to the north and the islands and Australian mainland to the south

BOB GOSFORD The Pied Imperial Pigeon; https://blogs.crikey.com.au/northern/2012/09/11/

 

Journeyman from Chile intrigues West Papuans with cardboard art

Raimundo working at the Mudbrick Vineyard in Waiheke Island, New Zealand

I first noticed RAIMUNDO MACKENNA sitting on the floor of the National Gallery in Federation Square.  He was sketching in his notepad. He was focussed, his scribbling was deliberate; maybe professional I thought.  So I asked him if he would enter the 2017 Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua.  He had flown in from Chile the day before, didn’t know where West Papua was, but wanted to.  Like many, he said he’d call; unlike most, he did.

Raimundo graduated from Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago with a graphic arts degree.  He worked in the industry for a few years, but was then drawn to the precarious life of free-range artist. He doesn’t know why.  None of his family are artists (but do have artistic sensibilities), and none of his Spanish or Irish ancestors left any records of artistic endeavour.

The journeyman from Chile constructs his art with cardboard.  When he visited the West Papua office in Docklands I showed him the rubbish room and learned much about the ubiquitous product that we all spend hours flattening to fit in the recycling bin.  Raimundo doesn’t recycle, he upcycles, which means transforming by-products and waste materials into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value (see Upcycling becomes a treasure trove for Green Business Ideas, at https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219310).

For Sampari, Raimundo has entered three portraits of animals from West Papua, which he describes as “manifestations of nature chosen for their colour, beauty or expression”.  Dendrolagus is of a tree-kangaroo; Kokomo is a Papuan hornbill; Varanus is a monitor lizard.

Raimundo Mackenna, DENDROLAGUS (tree-kangaroo) from the series ‘Naive Animals from West Papua, a manifestation of nature chosen for their colour, beauty or expression’

Roger Martin Tree-kangaroos of Australia and New Guinea Australian Natural History Series, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria, 2005:p2

Dendrolagus (tree-kangaroo) derives from two Greek words, dendro meaning ‘tree’ and lagus meaning ‘hare’.  The shy marsupials were first observed by western scientists in West Papua in 1826, when the Netherlands’ Natural History Commission visited Lobo on the north-west coast.  The villagers called them ‘wangoerie’ and told the Dutchmen they lived in trees.  In Australia half a century later (in 1872) an Aboriginal guide, Jerry, pointed out tree-kangaroos to the leader of a mining survey along the Bloomfield River in North Queensland.  Jerry’s people, from further south around Cardwell, had always called them ‘boongary’.  Expedition leader, William Hann, a pioneer pastoralist immortalised in a monument in the outback town of Charters Towers, wrote in his diary “the idea that any kangaroo known to us could climb a tree would be ridiculous!” (Roger Martin, 2005).

There are twelve known species of tree-kangoo in the world, two in the rainforests of North Queensland, and the others in West Papua and Papua New Guinea.  The ‘wangoerie’ of West Papua,’Vogelkopt Tree-kangaroo’ in English, is called Dendrolagus ursinus by scientists.  The ‘wakera’, also seen in Lobo in 1826, is the ‘Grizzled Tree-kangaroo’ in English, and listed by scientists as Dendrolagus inustus.  In the 1990’s, Australian biologist and conservationist Tim Flannery observed and named four others, including the black-and-white Dendrolagus mbaiso in the high altitude mossy forests of the Sudirman Range in West Papua.  (Mbaiso means ‘forbidden animal’ in the local Moni language).  Tree-kangaroos never learned to fear West Papuans–in 1974 ecologist Jared Diamond watched them calmly observing him in the Foja Mountains. However, all species are now threatened by habitat loss.

Raimundo Mackenna, KOKOMO (2017) from ‘Naive Animals from West Papua, a manifestation of nature chosen for their colour, beauty or expression’

The Papuan Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus, Blyth’s Hornbill) is a true ‘Melanesian’ bird, with habitat ranging from the Maluku ‘spice’ Islands shadowing the west coast of West Papua, through New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago, out to the Solomon Islands of East Melanesia. It is a uniquely shaped avian with an inquisitive character and a range of far-reaching, guttural grunting and laughing calls.  A bony growth (casque) exacerbates the size and shape of its very large, bill, and its heavy black body sports a short, white tail.  Adults have reddish-brown eyes fringed with long delicate eyelashes (that are actually modified feathers) encircled by a patch of naked (featherless) bluish-white skin.  In flight the sound of its wings has been compared to the sound of steam escaping from a steam locomotive.

Like numerous birds and fish, and even some humans, the Papuan Hornbill is a geophagine (eats soil).  Scientists debate the function of this habit, Jared Diamond in his 1999 study of New Guinea birds finding it ‘bound poisonous and/or bitter-tasting secondary compounds in ingested fruits and seeds’:

To test hypotheses … we carried out chemical and physical analyses of soil samples from the site. The ingested soil was much too fine-grained to be useful as grit; it contained only modest levels of all 14 minerals analysed; it lacked buffering capacity; and there was no evidence that it protected against diarrhoea (‘Geophagy in New Guinea birds’ J Diamond, D Bishop, J Gilardi, IBIS International Journal of Avian Science, Volume 141, April 1999: pp181–193).

Erik Kowalczyk Coraciiformes TAG-Aceros, Rhyticeros, Berenicornis Hornbills (www.coraciiformestag.com/Hornbill/aceros.htm#top).

Jacob Rumbiak from West Papua says you can tell the age of a hornbill by the number of bone growths on the upper and lower beaks (suggesting Raimundo’s cardboard bird is two years old).  Jacob, who was born in Yabon village in the Birdshead, claims his younger brother trained his hornbill pet to protect the family’s chickens from preying eagles.  Film buffs might recall that it was a (red-billed) hornbill called Zazu, who in the animated film The Lion King (1994) saves King Musafa’s girlfriend from a committee of vultures.

Raimundo Mackenna, VARANUS (2017) from ‘Naive Animals from West Papua, a manifestation of nature chosen for their colour, beauty or expression’

 

Papua Monitor Lizard (also called Varanus salvadorii, Salvadori’s monitor, Crocodile monitor, Artellia)

Varanus derives from the Arabic waral (ورل), meaning ‘lizard’; Salvadori from the Italian zoologist and taxonomist Count Adelardo Tommaso Salvadori Paleotti whose four-volume study of the birds of Papua and the Moluccas (‘Ornithologia delle Papuasia e della Molucche’) was published in 1880.

(Note to freedom fighters: Salvadori was also a medical officer in Giuseppe Garibaldi’s 1860 battle against the Bourbons for Sicily, which concluded with a plebiscite and the formation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861).

Tommaso Salvadori (1880) ‘Ornitologia delle Papuasia e delle Molucche’ (Birds of Papuasia and Moluccas)

Papuan Monitor (Varanus Salvadorii). Photo from Project Noah, a tool to explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere (http://www.projectnoah.org/).

The Papua Monitor is a tree-climbing lizard endemic to New Guinea and is the territory’s top predator.  It inhabits the canopies of lowland rainforests and coastal mangrove swamps from sea level to 2000 ft (600 m).

Indigenous folklore has the Papuan Monitor as an evil spirit that climbs trees, walks upright, breathes fire, and kills men.  It has long straight teeth, long forked tongue, blunt bulbous snout, and a bite which like the Komodo Dragon’s is capable of causing a fatal infection.  Its long tail is 2/3 of its total length and is used like a whip to break the leg bones of Papuan hunting dogs, or rolled up to warn of marauding crocodiles.

In a 2007 study of three Varanus species by West Papuans at Papua State University in Manokwari, the three villages surveyed in the Arfak Mountain Nature Reserve did not use monitor skin on their drums (tifa) because they did not own the rights to the skin tanning process.  The meat of Varanus indicus and Varanus salvadorii was a source of animal protein (but not Varanus prasinus), but all avoided hunting salvadorii because of its aggressive attitude and behaviour to both man and dog (Pattiselanno F, Rahayu E, Wanggai J Varanus Species at the Arfak Mountain Nature Reserve, at http://papuaweb.org/dlib/jr/pattiselanno/2007a.pdf).

Raimondo’s portraits of West Papua fauna can be seen and bought at

Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua, 8-17 December 2017

ACU Art Gallery
26 Brunswick St
Fitzroy, Melbourne

 

[click for] Events in the Gallery during Sampari Art Exhibition

Updates about Sampari Art and Events on FACEBOOK at Sampari Exhibition
More of Raimundo Mackenna’s art at www.naiveanimals.tumblr.com

SAMPARI SPONSORS

Australian Catholic University
115 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy VICTORIA 3065

 

 

 

 

Taking Off Tours Travel
618 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

 

Pod Cafe @ Post Industrial Design
638 Barkly St, West Footscray VICTORIA 3012

 

 

 

 

Moon Dog Brewery & Bar
17 Duke St, Abbotsford VIC 3067

 

 

Konpira Maru Wines
konpiramaru.com.au

Sampari Art Exhibition & Sale for West Papua, 8-17 December 2017

The 2017 Sampari Art Exhibition and Sale for West Papua opens at 6pm on Friday 8 December, and closes at 5pm on Sunday 17 December. The rich and complex exhibition features inspiring art about West Papua created for the exhibition, as well as a unique information exhibition of words and old photos from West Papua during World War Two.

ACU Art Gallery
26 Brunswick St, Fitzroy (Melbourne)

ACU Gallery Hours
Monday to Friday 11am-6pm; Saturday & Sunday 11am-4pm

Entry
Entry to Sampari Art Exhibition is free. Donations accepted for Sampari Events in the Gallery.

Inquiries
Robin Vote: tel 0413 802 612
FRWP Womens Office: tel 0420 250 389; email < frwpwomensoffice.sampari@gmail.com >

SAMPARI EVENTS IN THE GALLERY DURING THE EXHIBITION
FRWP Women’s Office is again hosting a series of forums in the gallery during the Sampari Exhibition. The forums increase the audience for the visual arts exhibited, and provide space for the exposure of other artists like Poets, Songsters, Musicians, Writers, Activists and Intellectuals.

Opening, Sampari Art Exhibition & Sale for West Papua
Friday, 8 December, 6pm

Christmas Party, West Papua Rent Collective
Saturday 9 December, 1-4pm

Launch, Exhibition, World War Two West Papua
Sunday 10 December, 1.30-3pm

Debate: Should Australia support West Papua’s independence?
Wednesday 13 December, 6-8pm

The Venus Forum: Stories of the Morning Star
Thursday 14 December, 6-9pm

Spoken Word for West Papua
Friday 16 December, 6-8pm

Melanesian Culture Day
Saturday 16 December, 1-4pm


WP CHRISTMAS PARTY
Saturday 9 December, 1-4pm.

Good food & Good info for New friends and Old

The Christmas Party is one of three Open Days a year where members of the West Papua Rent Collective meet to catch up on the liberation struggle they work so hard to support.

The Collective is a unique galaxy of Australians investing in West Papua’s future as an independent Melanesian state. Their membership ($30/month or $360/annum) pays for the FRWP’s five-star-energy office on the Yarra River at 838 Collins St, Docklands.
RSVP (for Dapur Sampari catering)  tel 0420 250 389;  email < frwpwomensoffice@gmail.com >
IMAGE Tom Latupeirissa Torres Islander & Morning Star flag Victorian Arts Centre, 24 Feb 2017


WORLD WAR TWO WEST PAPUA
Sunday 10 Dec 2017 : 1.30-3pm

An exhibition of words and old photographs from Nederlands Nieuw Guinea (West Papua) 1942-1945.

SPEAKERS
JACOB RUMBIAK
Federal Republic of West Papua
ROSS HIMONA (ret.)
New Zealand Army
LANCE COLLINS (ret.)
Australian Defence Force
MARGARET COFFEY (Commère)
ABC journalist (ret.)

This exhibition illustrates the skill and loyalty of armed and unarmed West Papuans despite the devastation heaped upon them and their land during the Japanese and Allied occupations of World War Two.  In the central highlands, the Oaktree intelligence team (including two Papuan women) traced the Japanese for eleven months, its reports ending up in the Allied Intelligence Bureau in Melbourne.  Further north, the Mandatjan Brothers, working the Arfak tribal lands, were parachuted hundreds of guns by General MacArthur’s taskforce; and in 1944 formed the core of the PVK military force of four hundred West Papuans assigned with ‘mopping up’ operations. US General Eichelberger’s arresting account of the Allies occupation of Hollandia (current-day Jayapura) is but one small measure of the impact of the war and weight of foreign footprints:

Hollandia, converted into an immense military and air base, became one of the great bases of the war. Sides of mountains were carved away, bridges and culverts were thrown across rivers and creeks, gravel and stone were poured into sago swamps to make highways as tall as Mississippi levees. Tremendous docks were constructed; 135 miles of pipeline led over the hills to feed gasoline to the airfields. Where I had seen a few native villages and an expanse of primeval forest, a city of 140,000 men took occupancy (Our Jungle Road to Tokyo, 1950)

CONTACT  Louise Byrne < frwpwomensoffice.sampari@gmail.com > Tel 0424 745 155
IMAGE Gunner Lloyd Moore of Dubbo with a Timor Pony foal, Merauke, April 1944 (‘Scarlett and the Village Maiden Handicap’, Australian War Memorial )

DEBATE
Should Australia support West Papua’s independence?

Wed 13 Dec 2017 : 6-8pm

Melbourne University Debating Society v West Papua Rent Collective

Moderator: Dr Jonathan Benney (Debating Association of Vic.)

In 1962, the United Nations, with Australia’s vote, violated its ‘sacred trust obligations’ and over-rode a well-managed and well-funded self-determination program in West Papua, a non-self-governing territory administered by the Netherlands. Seeking the richest gold-and-copper field in the world, the United States forced the UN to transfer the administration to Indonesia, thereby assigning the welfare of 770,000 indigenous Melanesians to an unstable highly militarized Asian state.  America and Australia—then and now—ignore their ‘State Responsibility’ obligations to prosecute against Indonesia’s genocidal policies that are reducing the indigenous owners of the land to a ‘small dwindling minority’.

Inquiries Louise Byrne Tel 0424 745 155; Email < frwpwomensoffice@gmail.com >
Image young freedom fighter in west papua, with family permission
Design  PSYSKIP Graphic Design (Berlin); Jack Byrne, Australian National University (Canberra)

THE VENUS FORUM
Thursday 14 December 2017 : 6pm

Exploring West Papuan beliefs about the Morning Star, as well as the stories and traditions of the Jewish, Christian, Torres Strait, and Scientific cultures.

SPEAKERS
Yoram Symons
Rabbinical scholar

Chris Rudge
The Melbourne Observatory

Dr Robert Wolfgramm
Biblical scholar from Fiji

Cultural Custodian
Torres Strait Islands

Ronny Kareni from West Papua
Pacific Studies, ANU (Canberra)

Ivone Bukorpioper (Commère)
FRWP Womens Office, Docklands

Venus, as the Morning Star, is a prominent character on the independence flag raised by West Papuans on 1 December 1961. The celebrated celestial being they call Sampari is important in the Biak mytho-historical account because he gave them the key to salvation and eternal life.

Inquiries Jude Kohn 0405 003 977, Louise Byrne 0424 745 155
Reserve a seat frwpwomensoffice.sampari@gmail.com (limited to 80)
Image Skye Williams ‘Morning Star’ 2016

SPOKEN WORD POETRY
Friday 15 December 2017 : 6-8pm

Where Melbourne’s famous poets inspire a bounty of imagery and knowledge about West Papua

…. As a bounded territory of extraordinary physical beauty (being plundered) ….. As an ancient landmass of complex geologies (being exploited) ….. As a living museum of rare flora and fauna (being flogged in black markets) ….. As the homeland of a people whose footprints litter ancient time and space, whose political ambition is determining new geo-political domains.

Inquiries Kylie Supski < kylie.supski@rmit.edu.au >; Louise Byrne 0424 745 155

MELANESIAN CULTURE DAY
Saturday 16 December 2017 : 1-4pm

A day for Melanesians living in Australia (from West Papua, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, PNG, Maluku, Kanaky, Torres Strait) to perform the histories and cultures that make them unique and the ceremonies, music and foods that have bonded them for aeons.  The communities are in Melbourne because of study or work, with few opportunities to celebrate their origins and living cultures.

Saluting Melanesia begins with a solemn kava ceremony, followed by young Melanesians talking about their cultural experiences, dancers performing their traditions, singer-songwriters telling tales about the past and the future, and, of course, a dazzling display of recipes.

 

SAMPARI SPONSORS

Australian Catholic University
115 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy VICTORIA 3065

 

 

 

 

Taking Off Tours Travel
618 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

 

Pod Cafe @ Post Industrial Design
638 Barkly St, West Footscray VICTORIA 3012

 

 

 

 

Moon Dog Brewery & Bar
17 Duke St, Abbotsford VIC 3067

 

 

Konpira Maru Wines
konpiramaru.com.au

 

 

 

FEATURED IMAGE

Barbara Tipper’s ‘Gift of Love’
2017 Sampari Art Exhibition

 

 

 

 

Federal Republic of West Papua in Docklands
211/838 Collins St, Docklands, Victoria 3008
TEL  0420 250 389;  EMAIL  frwpwomensoffice@gmail.com
WEB  www.dfait.federalrepublicofwestpapua.org
FACEBOOK  Sampari Exhibition

West Papua Rent Collective
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Account Name Australia West Papua Association (Melbourne); BSB 063162; ACC 10300635

Chicken-and-corn soup in coconut bowls and Timorese coffee with Papua cup cakes mark launch of important book


Bonded through Tragedy, United in Hope,
Hilton Deakin with Jim and Therese D’Orsa.
May 2017 | RRP $29.95 | Garratt Publishing, Victoria (Australia).

“The first detailed account of the interaction of the Vatican, the Indonesian government, the Indonesian Catholic Church, the Australian government, Australians and others dedicated to justice and human rights, and the Australian Catholic Church”
Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen, Bishop of Parramatta

Cardinal Knox Centre, 383 Albert St, East Melbourne, Thursday 1 June 2017 : 6pm.
Special Guest: Bishop of Parramatta, Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv.

“Bishop Hilton gave us a voice in Australia, at a time when our struggle was largely forgotten or ignored, and around the world in various forums within the Catholic Church and the wider community” Xanana Gusmão, Resistance leader, first President of Timor Loro Sa’e

“A ripping yarn of how one solitary Australian bishop stood in solidarity through oppression and liberation, with downtrodden people who rose up and established the newest nation in our region. This larger-than-life voice witnessed much human misery and triumph and found a new life in the politics and advocacy of human rights, mixing with people he would never have met in the Church.” Fr Frank Brennan SJ. Professor of Law, Australian Catholic University

There was a festive air in the Cardinal Knox Centre at the launch of this important book by Hilton Deakin, the Australian Catholic bishop and formidable social justice campaigner who was closely involved in East Timor’s independence struggle, and has been the Patron of the Australia West Papua Association (Melbourne) since the turn of the millenium in 2000.

Four Catholic institutions—Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Yarra Institute of Religion and Social Policy, Australian Catholic University, Garratt Ppublishing—joined in solidarity to bring about a special evening sparkling with good food, good music, good information, and the congeniality and conviviality of the West Papuan and East Timorese communities in Melbourne.  Sitting in the background, but with only small mention, were the negotiations between the Australian and East Timorese governments over their oily borderlands, and both states’ appalling record of support for West Papua’s independence and self-deteremination.

Dapur Sampari (Papua kitchen) from the West Papua Womens’ Office in Docklands set the scene with a spectacular chicken-and-corn soup in special hand-hewn coconut bowls for guests entering the Australian Catholic University lecture room, and Timorese coffee with Papua cupcakes in the Cardinal Knox Centre after the speeches.

Hand-hewn coconut bowls by Lobar Wainggai and his friends, who in 2005-06 circumnavigated their Papuan homeland in a traditional double-outrigger canoe, then crossed Torres Strait to Australia.

Click for PDF of Launch Program Launch, Bonded through tragedy

For his service to the international community, particularly through the Catholic aid agency, Caritas Australia, and to the people of East Timor, Hilton Deakin PhD Anthropology (Monash University), Doctor of Divinity, has received the Order of Australia, the Order of the Republic of East Timor, and the Martinho da Costa Lopes Medal.

Relevant media interviews with Bishop Hilton Deakin

1. With Philip Adams, Late Night Live, ABC Radio National, 12 June 2017

2. With Jan Bartlett, 3CR Community Radio, Fitzroy (Part 1)

3. With Jan Bartlett, 3CR Community Radio, Fitzroy (Part 2)

 

Visual, sculpture, jewellery, craft artists! Call out for 2017 Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua


The West Papua Women’s Office in Docklands is asking Visual, Sculpture, Jewellery and Craft Artists to consider entering work in the 2017 SAMPARI ART EXHIBITION FOR WEST PAPUA, including the special category of Melanesian Art.

The exhibition is showing in the Australian Catholic University Art Gallery in Fitzroy (Melbourne) between 8 and 17 December 2017.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE
Friday 20 October 2017

Sampari 2015 and 2016 attracted fine art, glass work, collage, print, wirework, photography, film, traditional weaving, mixed media, street sculpture, oil gouache and ink.

Works need to be inspired by West Papua: by the people, their culture, politics, history, or extraordinary flora and fauna and maritime and territorial environments.

  • There is no submission fee.
  • Submissions must include a photograph of your completed work.
  • Artworks will be on sale to the viewing public unless otherwise specified by artist.
  • Proceeds of sales are shared 50/50 between Artist and the FRWP Women’s Office.

West Papua, brutally occupied by Indonesia since 1 May 1963, is a bounteous space of inspiration and paradox.  It’s a territory of extraordinary physical beauty (being plundered).  An ancient landmass of complex geologies (being exploited).  A living museum of rare flora and fauna (sold in black markets across Java).  The home of an indigenous people with footprints across ancient time and space.

The West Papuans are Australia’s closest neighbour. Their ambition is to be a free and independent Melanesian state.  The engagement of western and melanesian artists is crucial as they approach a dangerous climax in their long freedom struggle.

PDF Submission Form Sampari 2017, Submission form
INQUIRIES frwpwomensoffice.sampari@gmail.com or Robin Vote on 0413 802 612

Take a look at the 2016 Sampari Art Exhibits
View some of the 2015 Sampari Art Exhibits

MELANESIAN WALL OF ART

Sampari 2017 is again featuring artists from the Melanesian nations. Solomon Islanders, ni-Vanuatu, Papua New Guineans, Fijians, and the Kanak of New Caledonia (who are preparing for an independence referendum in 2018) have a unique perspective on West Papua.  They see a war zone where brown-skinned people with frizzy hair like themselves are murdered for raising a flag.  They see a kin state bursting with songsters and poets and imaginative resistance to Indonesia’s genocidal policies.  They see tiny isolated villages struggling to survive within a militarized colonial space.  They see unique flora and fauna stifling in the shadow of the biggest gold-and-copper mine in the world.  Their solidarity strong-arms their politicians for the monumental battle of relisting West Papua on the UN Decolonisation List.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE
Friday 20 October 2017

  • Entries are restricted to Melanesian artists living outside Australia
  • Email A4 scans of your artwork to melanesia.sampari@gmail.com
  • The A4 scan needs to be set at 720dpi to ensure printing quality
  • Artwork that can’t be scanned (eg sculpture) to be photographed and then emailed to melanesia.sampari@gmail.com

PDF Submission Form Melanesian Art, Submission Form
INQUIRIES melanesia.sampari@gmail.com or Robin Vote on 0413 802 612
Take a look at the 2016 Melanesian Wall of Art

SAMPARI FORUMS AND EVENTS IN THE GALLERY

FRWP Women’s Office is again hosting a series of forums in the gallery during the Sampari Exhibition. The forums increase the audience for the visual arts exhibited, and provide space for the exposure of other artists like Poets, Songsters, Musicians, Writers, Activists and Intellectuals.

Opening, Sampari Art Exhibition & Sale for West Papua
Friday, 8 December, 6pm

Christmas Party, West Papua Rent Collective
Saturday 9 December, 1-4pm

Launch, Exhibition, World War Two West Papua
Sunday 10 December, 1.30-3pm

Debate: Should Australia support West Papua’s independence?
Wednesday 13 December, 6-8pm

The Venus Forum: Stories of the Morning Star
Thursday 14 December, 6-9pm

Spoken Word for West Papua
Friday 16 December, 6-8pm

Melanesian Culture Day
Saturday 16 December, 1-4pm

INFORMATION TO INSPIRE ARTISTS

[click to enlarge and read]




















Federal Republic of West Papua, 211, 838 Collins St, Docklands 3008, Victoria
0420 250 389; www.dfait.federalrepublicofwestpapua.org; frwpwomensoffice.sampari@gmail.com

Trevor Grant Scholarship Fund for educating young West Papuans outside their homeland

On 11 December 2016, during the West Papua Rent Collective’s Christmas party, Jacob Rumbiak launched the TREVOR GRANT SCHOLARSHIP FUND FOR EDUCATING YOUNG WEST PAPUANS OUTSIDE THEIR HOMELAND.  Trevor Grant, a loyal and generous member of the Rent Collective, inaugurated the fund with a $5,000.00 donation.  The scholarships are part of the self-determination project enabled by the MELANESIAN SPEARHEAD GROUP’s recognition of the West Papuans’ right of sovereignty over their own territory.

Jacob Rumbiak, FRWP Minister for Foreign Affairs, announcing Trevor Grant Scholarship Fund (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, ACU Art Gallery, 11 December 2016)

Trevor Grant, West Papua Rent Collective Christmas Party in the ACU Art Gallery during the 2016 Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, 11 December 2016)

Trevor Grant with Babuan Mirino, President of the FRWP Women’s Office in Docklands  (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua, ACU Art Gallery, 11 December 2016)

Trevor Grant, Joe Toscano, FRWP Dept. Foreign Affairs, Immigration & Trade, 13 September 2015

Trevor Grant receiving historical documents compiled by Dutch veterans in The Netherlands.  Federal Republic of West Papua office in Docklands, 13 September 2015 (Photo, Ronny Kareni)

TREVOR GRANT was a fearless and respected sports journalist with two of Australia’s biggest newspapers, and a dynamic advocate for the rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka (and Australia).  In 2015, the year he was diagnosed with mesothelioma (a pernicious cancer caused by asbestos in the walls and pipes of The Age and Herald newspaper buildings), he joined the the WEST PAPUA RENT COLLECTIVE.  The Rent Collective is a unique galaxy of Australians that supports the Federal Republic of West Papua’s glorious five-star energy office in Docklands.  Trevor’s generosity in 2015 put the office on a sustainable trajectory.  Weeks before he died on 5 March 2017, the Federal Republic of West Papua told him of its intention to name the airport in Numfoor Island the Trevor Grant Airport.

Numfoor Island, West Papua. The runway was one of eight large runways built on the island during the Japanese military occupation (1942 – 1944)  Photo, courtesy of Jacob Rumbiak.

The Federal Republic of West Papua launched the Trevor Grant Scholarship Fund during the West Papua Rent Collective’s Christmas party at the Australian Catholic University Art Gallery in Fitzroy at the conclusion of the Sampari Art Exhibition and Sale for West Papua.

Jacob Rumbiak welcoming Trevor Grant and other members of the Rent Collective to their Christmas party in the ACU Art Gallery (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, 11 December 2016)

Dr Joe Toscano, Co-ordinator of West Papua Rent Collective, midst an elegant display of Melanesian flags in the ACU Art Gallery (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, 11 December 2016)

The Reverend Dr J.T. Hollis (Father Turi) from Christ Church in St Kilda leading a ceremony for West Papuan martyrs and political prisoners (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, 11 December 2016)

Lorna Archer, another generous member of the WP Rent Collective, reciting Psalm 23 during the ceremony for West Papuan martyrs and political prisoners (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa)

Barbara Tipper’s Ephemeral, her artistic memorial to West Papuan political prisoners in the Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa)

“Ephemeral art as a metaphor for life applies generally to us all, but most specifically to West Papua. West Papuans face dilemmas with ephemerality at many levels: the destruction of the natural environment; the transiency of an indigenous culture being lost to genocide, transmigration and exiling; the loss of political prisoners’ legacies of struggles and gains through the passage of time and inadequate records management. The heights of their cycles are not always being captured, preserved, and the messages shared.

I honour and acknowledge the strength, resilience and faith of West Papuan freedom fighters and political prisoners past and present. May they know they are not alone or abandoned but will live on as their stories are told and their legacies preserved and honoured through the arts” (BARBARA TIPPER)

Catalogue, 2016 Sampari Art Exhibition & Sale for West Papua

Fr Turi singing ‘How Great Thou Art’ in the Maori language (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa)

Stefanus Akanmore, Ceremony for West Papuan political prisoners and martyrs.  Stefanus is Asmat from Merauke, and in 2006 sought asylum in Australia after crossing Torres Strait in a double outrigger canoe with forty-two others (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, 11 December 2016)

Bernie Constable, Secretary of the Shearers and Rural Workers Union, and the Rent Collective’s best and most inspiring speech-maker (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa)

Jill Koppel’s Morning Star Cake; Fr Turi, Trevor Grant, Bernie Constable (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, ACU Art Gallery, 11 December 2016)

Dr Robert Stringer, a member of the WP Rent Collective, perusing the Cartoon Exhibition that was a feature of the 2016 Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa).

The Cartoon Exhibition (part of the 2016 Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua) comprised twenty-nine works by Australia’s most gifted and beloved cartoonists that were published in 2006 after the arrival of forty-three West Papuan asylum seekers.  The images mostly lampoon the war-of-words between Canberra and Jakarta, and between Australian politicians, over the refugees’ reports of genocide and crimes-against-humanity.  That Australia’s powerful media moguls published (rather than shelved) their employees’ works suggests that they too believed it was time to begin questioning Australia’s long-standing support of the Indonesian occupation.

Member of the West Papua Rent Collective and Mama Yosepha versus the TNI, Adele O’Connor’s entry in the Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa)

John Grattan-Wilson; Jacob Rumbiak and Ellen Jose (king and queen of torres strait)            (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, ACU Art Gallery, 11 December 2016)

Jefry Jikwa, who recently graduated in aeronautical engineering.  Jefry is Dani from the Central Highlands in West Papua and crossed Torres Strait in a double-outrigger canoe in 2006 to seek asylum in Australia (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, 11 December 2016)

Alfonse Adadikam (Chair, West Papua Community in Victoria); Natalie Adadikam, SAMPARI PAPUA/Papua kitchen.  Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, 11 December 2016

NOTES

1. DETAILS OF THE TREVOR GRANT SCHOLARSHIP FUND

Australia West Papua Association (Melbourne) is seeking donations for each student’s boarding, tuition, medical and visa costs ($3,000/year). DONATIONS AT Commonwealth Bank: Australia West Papua Association (Melb) BSB 06 3012, ACC 10303295 INQUIRIES Louise Byrne, West Papua Womens Office, 042474 5155; Ned Byrne (61 08) 9795 3759, ngodweeps@gmail.com

2. IMAGE FOR TREVOR GRANT SCHOLARSHIP FUND © DR IAN M. WATKINSON Lecturer in Regional Tectonic Analysis, Royal Holloway University of London.

“This child swam alongside our boat wearing those amazing home-made wooden goggles while we were doing geological fieldwork off the south coast of Supiori in September 2011”

The Biak craft the goggles from their sacred MARES tree (Calophyllum species). The Mares entered mythological history when SAMPARI, the Morning Star, told Manarmakeri “Take the fruit of the bintangur (maresbon), cast a spell, and throw them at Princess Insoraki, who will become pregnant and give birth to a son called Manarbew (Bringer of Peace, Resurrection, and Eternal Life)”. The Biak call the Mares tree Aibesobin (ai/tree, be/that, so/throw, bin/woman (The myth of Manarmakeri Freerk Kamma, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague, 1972).

3. TREVOR GRANT

Trevor Grant I was blinded by cancer, and the asbestos that caused it The Drum, Australian Broadcasting Commission, 5 April 2016 [click to read] Trevor Grant, The Drum, April 2016

Obituary Notice, The Age (Greg Baum) 7 March 2017 [click to read] Sports journalist Trevor Grant dies, The Age, 6 March 2017

Congratulations Emma Thurlow, Winner, People’s Choice Award, 2016 Sampari Art Exhibition & Sale for West Papua

EMMA THURLOW’s West Papuan Warrior (12cm x 11cm, computer vector illustration on wood)

My highland warrior is seen through the telescopic sights of a rifle, his head surrounded by the leaves of his homeland, which also reference organisations that ignore the atrocities committed against these owners of the land [EMMA THURLOW, CATALOGUE]

PNG born Emma Thurlow won the People’s Choice Award at the 2016 Sampari Art Exhibition and Sale for West Papua with a striking portrait printed on a round plate of wood to highlight the artist’s concern for the ancient forests of her homeland that continue to be logged at unsustainable rates.  West Papuan warrior is seen through the telescopic sights of a rifle, his head surrounded by a half-wreath of leaves, some green, others brown, and red, which the artist employs to call in West Papuans deep and enduring commitment to their land even in the face of Indonesia’s genocidal policies and the world’s indifference to their status as a ‘dwindling minority’ population.  Thurlow’s work began with an image of a Papuan highlander by Russian photographer, Andrey Gudkov.  The rest of her computer-vector illustration was drawn with a wacom tablet. The eco-conscious artist mounted her work on a small round plate of wood to highlight her concern for the ancient forests of her homeland that continue to be logged at unsustainable rates.

West Papua warrior was one of forty works in the kaleidoscopic purview of West Papua hosted by the Federal Republic of West Papua in the Australian Catholic University Art Gallery in Melbourne in December 2016.  The exhibition was directed by Bronwen Bender and Hana Vasak, and opened by ACU Associate Vice-Chancellor Dr John Ballard who stressed the role of artists and universities in sparking social change and prosecuting political progress.  Nina Rubinstein’s ARTWAY FRAMES sponsored the People’s Choice Award with a $100 voucher.

The FRWP Womens Office is extremely grateful to Artway Frames, and to the other sponsors, namely the Australian Catholic University (Melbourne), Bendigo Bank (Clifton Hill), Moon Dog Craft Brewery (Abbotsford), Total Print Solutions (Footscray), Taking off Tours Travel Agency (Melbourne), Image United Photography (Prahran) and Konpira Maru Wines.

BRONWEN BENDER directed the 2015 and 2016 Sampari Art Exhibition with HANA VASAK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FROM THE CATALOGUE  The Sampari Art Exhibition strives to engage Australians in a conversation about the culture and recent history of West Papua in order to secure a more humane future for its peoples.  Works reference traditional cultural forms, symbols of strength, resilience and freedom, as well as the social and political aspirations of present-day West Papuans (RUTH McDOUGALL)

TOMMY LATUPEIRISSA, Vase of Melanesian flags, ACU Art Gallery, 4 December 2016

TOMMY LATUPEIRISSA‘s extraordinary vase of Melanesian flags focussed the exhibition around the West Papuans long-term political ambition to be known and recognised as a Melanesian state not an Asian colony.  Tommy was born in Maluku, the ‘spice’ island archipelago that shadows West Papua.  He has spent years encouraging Pacific Islanders to identify and reclaim Melanesia’s western border which includes his own homeland.

SAMPARI 2017 attracted an impressive array of international entries, including works from the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, West Papua, America and the Netherlands.  Below are thumbnails of the works, half of which sold during the exhibition. (Separate web page for the Melanesian entries at ).

HUMPHREY KING, In the rubble of divinities (canvas print, 10 x 10″)

HUMPHREY KING’s enigmatic In the rubble of divinities was bought by Dr John Ballard for his office in the Australian Catholic University.  The work was entered by Identity Transduction Systems (ITS) an art collective in New York that makes politically motivated art in support of basic human rights …. “we believe in art by any means and strive to do work that’s visceral, bold and immediate … hoping to broaden the scope of what can be politically useful art.”

Cultural transmission by JAIR PATTIPEILOHY (photograph)

JAIR PATTIPEILOHY is from the Netherlands, although his arrestingly beautiful photo-portraits evoke his Moluccan heritage.  (The Moluccan archipelago shadows the coast of West Papua).  Cultural transmission features Frank Berhitu, from Maluku but born in The Netherlands, teaching his grandson Asmara to play the tiha (drum) in the time-honoured tradition of transmitting knowledge, art, ideas and cultural material orally from one generation to the next.

Identity by JAIR PATTIPEILOHY (photograph)

Identity features Nel Tutupoly and Sigal Likumahuwa with Sempe sempe (the traditional pottery of Ouw village in Saparua Island).  ‘Identity’ is from a photo series of Moluccan women in Holland that culminated in an exhibition Hier sta ik – Molukse vrouwen in Nederland (Here I am – Moluccan women in the Netherlands).  The Netherland’s distinctive Moluccan community are the families of soldiers in the Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) who were transported to Holland in 1951 after the newly independent Indonesian Republic refused to employ them.  Others are descendents of Moluccans in West Papua who left after the Indonesian occupation in 1962.

LOBAR WAINGGAI, Honai, traditional home of the Dani in the Central Highlands 30 x 20 x 30cm, bark, wood, straw, paint (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, ACU Art Gallery, 2 December 201

FROM THE CATALOGUE … On 1 December 2015, a group of West Papuan and Australian activists set up a vigil outside the Indonesian Consulate in Melbourne to commemorate the first official raising of the Morning Star flag in Netherlands New Guinea.  Hundreds of Papuan students had been arrested in Jogjakarta (Java) and shootings in Yapen Island (West Papua) had claimed the lives of four.  Timber, straw, bark and rope were lashed together to erect the iconic circular form of the honai, the traditional home of the Dani peoples of the Central Highlands.  The round steep-roofed honai holds in the warmth and encourages rain run-off, but constructed thousands of miles away on a blistering summer day in Australia, this icon of ingenuity and environmental understanding was a very different type of shelter.  Referencing the famous Aboriginal Tent Embassy, the Melbourne honai has become the symbolic home of displaced West Papuans.  The model Lobar Wainggai created for the Sampari Art Exhibition mobilises the importance of the architectural form as well as the honai‘s new symbolic and political role for West Papuans in the diaspora.  Lobar is one of forty-three West Papuans who in 2006 made the dangerous canoe crossing from Merauke to Cape York Peninsula seeking refuge from persecution (RUTH McDOUGALL)

ALEXANDRA DIAZ GARCIA,  Few-a celebration of culture and mysticism (mixed media on paper)

HELEN ANDRES, Yarra Dreaming (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, ACU Art Gallery, 2 December 2016)

Helen Andres’ Yarra Dreaming features Babuan Mirino and her grand-daughter on the banks of the Yarra River in Docklands near the Federal Republic of West Papua office at 838 Collins St. Helen, who also works in the Lifestyle Working Building, believes the West Papua office is “a collective dream, or a collection of dreams, endeavouring to provide a basis to make their dreams a reality … freedom for West Papua and its people to live their own lives.” The five-star-energy office is supported by the WEST PAPUA RENT COLLECTIVE, a unique galaxy of Australians investing in Australia’s nearest neighbour during its transition from Indonesian colony to independent Melanesian state.

AMOS WAINGGAI, West Papua  (Etch)

IZZY BROWN,  Blood on your hands: four photographs printed on bamboo silk of the West Papua Freedom Flotilla in Darwin in 2015 (Photo, Hana Vasak, ACU Art Gallery, 2 December 2016)

These photographs were taken in the seas off Darwin during the West Papua Freedom Forum in 2015, when activists on the Pog protested against a military exercise by Australia, United States, New Zealand, and Japan that involved 30,000 soldiers, marines, sailors and flyers.  As the Pog circled the armada, the activists were warned to desist, but then, curiously, allowed to board the massive American warship (more on Freedom Flotilla resistance in 2013 and 2015 at https://freedomflotillawestpapua.org)

FAYE GREGSON, Blessed are the liberators (lino cut print)

Blessed are the liberators is a lino-cut printed in red, white, and cobalt blue. Two of the three prints sold during the exhibition.  According to the artist, the image “was based on my dream about Louise Byrne from the West Papua Women’s Office, where a ring on her finger dramatically metapmorphosed into an elaborate gold head-dress. This spiritually symbolic sign encouraged her to persevere seeking justice when illegal Indonesian intelligence activities across Australia were at unprecedented levels of intensity”.

PETER WOODS,  Ghost Gum Morning Star  (Oil on Belgian linen)

ARTIST’S STATEMENT … In 2013 my wife and I visited this magnificent tree in the East McDonnell Ranges out of Alice Springs, Central Australia.  We were truly filled with awe – it is a tree over 300 year old and measures 33 metres tall – and I knew I had to paint it. While it is popularly called a Ghost Gum the tree is technically Corymbia Papuana, originally named for the specimens of the tree found in the land of West Papua/Papua New Guinea which once shared an undivided land mass with north Australia.

The Morning Star flag is an emblem of resistance and celebrates the nationhood West Papuans claim and so far have been denied.  My painting morphs the Papuana tree into the star of the flag, reminding Australians of their linked geographical history, and a symbol of the responsibility of Australians to help resolve the injustice north of our shores.  I have included a distressed red-tailed black cockatoo, also indigenous to the area, alerting us with its cry.

REBECCA LANGLEY, Triple threat (Collaged posters, paint, 30 x 75cm)

ARTIST’S STATEMENT … These three revolutionary leaders have become symbols of nationalism in the Congo (Patrice Lamumba), Mexico (Emiliano Zapata) and West Papua (Theys Eluay).  All were assassinated for standing up for the rights of their people.

ADELE O’CONNOR, Mama Yosepha versus the TNI (acrylic on canvas, 91 x 121 cm)

ARTIST’S STATEMENT … a representation of Muma Yosepha, one of the most highly regarded female independence advocates in West Papua.  Her life story is of relentless lobbying for justice, and protest against the Indonesian occupation and the overwhelming presence of the Indonesian military.

KUBI VASAK, Forgotten Birds of Paradise 1 (collage, 210 x 297mm)

KUBI VASAK, Forgotten Birds of Paradise 11 (collage, 210 x 297mm)

“Cutting and splicing images together, combining found images from secondhand books, creating an uncanny world where the sequence and division of time, space and memory are forgotten, leaving only the subject present within their surreal, dreamlike surroundings.  My work is influenced by a 2012 documentary of the same name about the West Papuans struggle for freedom from Indonesian colonial rule (Kubi Vasak).

FROM THE CATALOGUE … Kubi Vasak’s hauntingly beautiful collages of the Bird-of-paradise reference the importance of this bird as a sign of solidarity for Papuans.  These painstakingly detailed works also speak to a long history of economic exchange, reaching back over thousands of years to plumes gathered in Papua to be worn by the Kings of Nepal, Janissaries of the Ottoman Empire, and warriors manning ships depicted on 2000 year-old Dong Son drums.  Histories of expansionist colonial occupation including the foreign appropriation of the West Papuans land and natural mineral resources continue to threaten the lives and wellbeing of the indigenous peoples of West Papua just as surely as the trade of plumes and destruction of natural habitat has that of the Bird of Paradise.  The Bird of Paradise has forty-two species and is found across West Papua, Papua new Guinea and Eastern Australia.  It seems particularly apt to have this motif in an exhibition of equally diverse and visually enticing works from across this same geography.  Nestled amongst strong works in many different media, Vasak’s ‘Forgotten Bird of Paradise 1 & 11’ reminds us here in Australia of our proximity and shared connections to the peoples of West Papua, inviting us to further engage in order to develop stronger understandings and support for their plight (RUTH McDOUGALL).

SKYE WILLIAMS, The Morning Star (30 x 40cm, archival marker on paper)

Skye Williams’ preferred medium of marker pens allows a speed of drafting that embraces ‘mistakes’ to inform the next mark.  Thus, stream of consciousness is sought for exploration of pattern work and creating colour contrast, while seeking the next figurative form to draw out.

The West Papuan flag with the red rising star glows in a morning sunrise.  The morning star reflects six white bands of light across the blue water.  Distinct West Papuan reef biodiversity is depicted underneath.  The banned West Papuan flag isn’t being hidden pictorially. This image speaks of embedded culture of people in a place, as represented by this nationalist symbol actually depicting the environment of West Papua” (SKYE WILLIAMS).

ALEJANDRO AGUANTA, A moment of serenity (oil on canvas 50 x 70cm)

ALEJANDRO AGUANTA … I wanted to capture a moment of peace.  This strong yet calm native woman from West Papua represents hope and a tiny fire that burns bright amongst the dark struggles of the province.

BUNNY CARVER, Spirit of liberty (acrylic on canvas 100 x 131cm)

A warrior woman from the PNG highlands stands in possession of her inner strength and in solidarity with her West Papuan sisters.  The simple majestry of the ‘bilas’ (traditional adornment) is a reflection of the fundamental right to dignity and autonomy of the people of West Papua [BUNNY CARVER].

BARBARA TIPPER, Ephemeral, especially created for a commemoration of West Papuan martyrs and political prisoners in the ACU Art Gallery on 4 December 2016.

“Ephemeral art as a metaphor for life applies generally to us all, but most specifically to West Papua.  West Papuans face dilemmas with ephemerality at many levels: the destruction of the natural environment; the transiency of an indigenous culture being lost to genocide, transmigration and exiling; the loss of political prisoners’ legacies of struggles and gains through the passage of time and inadequate records management.  The heights of their cycles are not always being captured, preserved, and the messages shared” (Barbara Tipper).

ARTIST’S STATEMENT … I honour and acknowledge the strength, resilience and faith of West Papuan freedom fighters and political prisoners past and present.  May they know they are not alone or abandoned but will live on as their stories are told and their legacies preserved and honoured through the arts.

BARBARA TIPPER, Ephemeral (mixed media: painted and raw natural found objects arranged on a slice of tree trunk in front of a collection of prints of photos of the same concept in natural settings).

Stefanus Akanmore lighting candles around Ephemeral, CEREMONY FOR WEST PAPUAN MARTYRS AND POLITICAL PRISONERS, Sampari Art Exhibition, 11 December 2016

The Ceremony for West Papuan martyrs and political prisoners was during the West Papua Rent Collective Christmas Party (see https://dfait.federalrepublicofwestpapua.org/west-papua-rent-collective-christmas-party/)

PAULINE SEDGWICK,  Palm Cockatoo, an emblem of West Papua (Terracotta base relief glazed, 30 x 33 x 2cm)

ARTIST’S STATEMENT … This splendid Palm Cockatoo is an emblem of West Papua and its unique culture and environment.  A symbol of the strength and uniqueness of West Papua and its people.

BARBARA HENDRICKSEN, Tribes man (Ink, 28 x 32cm)

CHERRY PIPER, Freedom ties (macramé wall hanging; drift wood and cotton sash rope)

Cherry Piper is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores memory in connection with object and places. Her interest in nostalgia led her to explore macramé techniques of textile making combined with driftwood found on Australian beaches.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT … Freedom ties references the tradition of weaving and textile making which West Papuans continue to use to create practical and cultural objects. The macramé knots are loosely based on the natural curves of the landscape and suggest a pair of eyes like those found on war shields and masks.

ONA FILLOY One people one soul, portrait of a Dani tribesman from the West Papua highlands (printed on Hahnemuhle Photo rag using Epson Ultrachrome K3 inks)

ONA FILLOY has donated poster editions of her work to the West Papua Womens Office in Docklands.  Sales are supporting the West Papua Womens Congress in West Papua in 2017.

OUR SPONSORS

Federal Republic of West Papua sincerely thanks:

 

AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY
Melbourne

 

 


BENDIGO BANK
Clifton Hill, Victoria

 

MOON DOG CRAFT BREWER
17 Duke St, Abbotsford, Victoria

 

 

 

 


ARTWAY FRAMES
St Kilda East, Victoria, tel 0425 718 020

 

 

TOTAL PRINT SOLUTIONS
203 Barkly St, Footscray, Victoria

 

TAKING OFF TOURS TRAVEL AGENCY
618 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

 


IMAGE UNITED PHOTOGRAPHY
24 Macquarie St, Prahran Victoria

 

 

KONPIRA MARU WINES Made in Melbourne, true to variety and the ground in which they’re grown. Email konpiramaru.com.au. Available at Harvest Wines and Liquor (Northcote), Cult of the Vine (Brunswick), Milton Wine Shop (Malvern)

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Melanesian artists rise in solidarity for 2016 Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua

MONICA GUNAWAN (Papua New Guinea) DREAM HUNTER “A brave and strong Melanesian woman, not afraid to lift a bow-and-arrow to hunt, standing up against her tribes traditions that do not allow women to hunt and fight”

THE 2016 SAMPARI ART EXHIBITION AND SALE FOR WEST PAPUA in the Australian Catholic University’s Art Gallery in Fitzroy in December 2016, hosted by the Federal Republic of West Papua’s office in Docklands, included a special WALL OF MELANESIAN PRINTS.  The vibrant works sent by artists from Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea projected kaleidoscopic views of Melanesian West Papua: as carriage of identifying tribal cultures, agents of social change, protector of complex ecologies, children battered by war, as contested political identity at the centre of regional affairs.

All the prints were bought during the exhibition.  Demand for several was heavy, requiring re-prints.  The exhibition is reproduced below, interspersed with excerpts (in italics) from an essay by Sydney arts critic ELLA MUDIE, and with text that traces the renaissance of Melanesian identity in West Papua in the 1980’s, its ride above Indonesia’s scarifying endeavours, its journeying to re-engage Pacific kin, and homecoming in 2015 when the MELANESIAN SPEARHEAD GROUP accepted West Papua’s application for membership.

FROM THE CATALOGUE … The Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua is an expression of the solidarity many Australians feel for the plight of our West Papuan neighbours.  Further afield, an “agreement of feeling or action” that West Papua should be accorded the human right of self-determination unifies individuals across the Pacific.  While this sense of regional solidarity is shared by every artist contributing work to the exhibition, it is especially prevalent in the Melanesian wall of art established to celebrate the unique political support of artists and cultural producers from Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Solomon Islands, for their Melanesian kin …

Whether artists can, or should wade into the arena of politics is a vexed question in the world of contemporary art.  Within the framework of neoliberal capitalism, debate frequently involves heated discussion over the recuperation of critique and protest.  In this environment of passionate disagreement over the role of the artist, the organisation of cultural events like Sampari along lines of solidarity, bringing together a diversity of artistic works in the name of a single cause – freedom for West Papua – provides an important outlet for expressing desire for change at a community level.

Contributions such as Monica Gunawan’s vivid painting of a Melanesian woman rebuking tribal traditions by raising her bow and arrow to hunt speak to the power of solidarity along gender lines.

This is especially poignant in ‘Hope’ an empathic portrait of a West Papuan woman in Indigenous headdress by a West Papuan photographer.  Solidarity with and between women acts as a subtle mode of resistance as it manifests not only in art but in everyday life, the realm wherein the personal becomes political and grassroots change often begins (ELLA MUDIE).

ANONYMOUS (West Papua) HOPE “The Melanesian family has finally heard the West Papuan women’s cry, and they now have hope.  Family is a gift from heaven, bound by the power of love. It is the strongest team, members have each other’s back. Its bonds can never be broken, even when obstacles try to tear it apart.” 

The Melanesian states were colonies when the United Nations gifted West Papua to Indonesia in 1962, and may have been unaware of the theft of 416,000 sq kms of Melanesian land and consequent slide of the Indonesian border from Meridan 139E to Meridian 141E (Note 2).  A raft of name changes in West Papua helped mask the crime.  Nederlands Nieuw Guinia became Irian Barat (then Irian Jaya), Hollandia became Jayapura (victorious city), Mount Carstenz overlooking what would be the (US) Freeport gold-and-copper mine became Puncak Jaya (victorious mountain), Dirk Hartog Island became Pulau Yos Sudarso after an Indonesian Navy commander.  Little news escaped from the territory now categorised an Operational War Zone.  Journalists and academics were denied visas.  Subversion laws were exacted by a judiciary ruled by the military (which four years later slaughtered three million of its own citizens in Java and Bali).  Only the ni-Vanuatu, urged on by their first prime minister Walter Lini, remembered the orphaned Papuans.

ALICE KALORAN, Tongoa-Shepherds Women’s Association (Vanuatu) WOVEN BAGS

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Craft work is often characterised as apolitical in the discourse of western art.  Yet the exchange of art and craft objects in regions like Melanesia have long been implicated in complex political and social relations.  The inclusion of fibre arts in Sampari’s Melanesian wall of art, specifically the bags of the Tongoa-Shepherds Women’s Association in Vanuatu, are reminders of how the production and exchange of objects forge points of connection between Melanesian cultures.  For writers such as the late Epeli Hau‘ofa, recognising such connections provides a politically transformative corrective to the notion that Island cultures are somehow separated and isolated by the sea, pointing to how Pacific Islanders belong, rather, to an oceanic community based on voyaging.

West Papua’s assertion as a Melanesian state on 14 December 1988 was the initiative of Dr Thomas Wainggai, a senior public servant in Indonesia’s provincial administration with a law degree from Japan’s Okayama University and a PhD in Public Administration from Florida State University.  Wainggai’s studies outside his homeland convinced him that West Papuans needed to resist the Indonesian occupation through dialogue-based negotiation generated by ‘justice, peace and love’ and to develop a national political structure based on their cultures, geographies and histories.  He raised a flag in the name of WEST MELANESIA on 14 December 1988 and was immediately arrested and incarcerated.  Twelve months later eighty-eight academics from Cenderawasih University who had been developing and implementing the non-violent paradigm were also arrested and incarcerated.  However the seeds of a resistance and nation-making endeavour that looked to the east more than the west had already been cast and taken root.

ALLAN MOGEREMA (Papua New Guinea) FREE PARADISE “The beautiful bird-of-paradise is only found in West Papua and Papua New Guinea. For so long the Indonesians have held our western bird-of-paradise in a cage built by humans”

Melanesians feel something that anthropologists call ’embodied kinship’ when they hear about West Papua.  KINSHIP RECOGNITION enacts long-established, reassuring, interconnecting patterns that are crucial to a human being’s sense of identity and security …. recalling a common history of origin and journeying across time and space, which in correlation with genetics, produces striking and inherently meaningful similarities.  The Netherlands colonial administration was sensitive to this and provided for Papuan pastors to participate in Protestant church conferences in the Pacific and students to study at the Fiji campus of the University of South Pacific.  After the establishment of the South Pacific Commission in 1947 (where the independence of the colonies was assumed even if discussion was curtailed to economic and social welfare) it sent Markus Kaisepo, a prominent bureaucrat from Biak-Numfoor, to the first meeting of the Commission’s indigenous leaders—an historic gathering in 1951 described by the Governor of Fiji (Sir Brian Freeston) as a Parliament of the South Pacific Peoples.  The Unitary Republic of Indonesia severed these rich veins of continuity and solidarity on 1 May 1963.

LAMBERT HO (Fiji) DROWNING SORROW “The sorrow and anguish the beautiful children of West Papua endure on a daily basis; the suffering inflicted by the armed forces of Indonesia shows on their faces”

West Papuans lobbied the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) for fifteen years before the inter-government forum accepted their application to join in 2015. Papuans multiple nation-making processes, as much as Indonesia’s bribes and blocking tactics, retarded the project.  However, during an intense week-long Reconciliation and Unity Summit for West Papuan Leaders in Vanuatu in 2014 a United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) was elected from, and rendered accountable to, West Papua’s three key independence identities: Secretary-General Octo Mote and Executive Officer Jacob Rumbiak from Federal Republic of West Papua, Spokesman Benny Wenda from West Papua National Parliament; Leonie Tanggahma and Rex Rumakiek from West Papua National Coalition for Liberation.  The historic summit was generated by church and women’s organisations across Melanesia; sparked by the 2013 World Council of Churches Assembly in South Korea; supported by West Papua’s Gereja Kristen Injili (GKI) Church; sponsored by the Vanuatu Government and Pacific Conference of Churches; and mediated by the Vanuatu Christian Council and Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs.

MARTIN LANCE (Papua New Guinea) FREEDOM “I tried to illustrate the hearts and minds of three great freedom fighters and leaders. Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King are smiling because they have freed their people, but Benny Wenda’s heart and mind are troubled because he is still struggling for freedom. The future of the next generation, the killing of innocent people and the hope of West Papua’s independence weigh heavily on the freedom fighter in the corner. A widow with amputated fingers symbolizes the women’s pain, even if her child is still showing courage for freedom.

Solidarity is a powerfully loaded term.  Deriving from nineteenth-century French, the word describes a “unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest.”  It is a notion that stirs, binds, and resonates most strongly during moments or events of crisis.  Since taking temporary control of West Papua in 1963, and following the consolidation of its unlawful rule through the UN-sanctioned and now discredited Act of Free Choice 1969 ballot, Indonesia’s brutal occupation of West Papua has been responded to with complex lines of solidarity and resistance, as well as complicity, among the diverse nations and cultures of the Asia-Pacific region.

CAMPION OHASIO (Solomon Islands) HEROES OR TRAITORS FOR WEST PAPUA The Island Sun newspaper, 24 June 2014

Humour and satire is another means through which solidarity is expressed as in Campion Ohasio’s cartoon ‘Heroes or Traitors of West Papua’.  First published in the Solomon Islands newspaper The Island Sun in 2015 on the day the leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group met in Honiara to vote on West Papua’s membership, Ohasio’s drawing depicts a man flailing in the sea.  With the West Papua morning star flag in one hand, he reaches out to the MSG leaders seated in a canoe to raise him from the clutches of the great white shark of Indonesia.  This liberty to express a strong point of view through satirical humour without threat or fear of retribution, no matter how provocative the message, is one of the hallmarks of a free society and a point of solidarity that unites artists across cultures.

KINGSTON UYSSAI (Papua New Guinea) HELA WIGMAN WARRIOR “My work of a Hela Wigman warrior displays PNG’s rich timeless culture.  Just across the border West Papuan cultures are having to fight for survival”

That West Papua’s right to independence and self-determination was recognised by the Melanesian Spearhead Group in 2015 can be attributed to a coalition of political, religious, academic and civic leaders from the Solomon Islands, a tiny archipelago of half-a-million Melanesians (Note 3).  Prime Minister (and MSG Chair) Manessah Sogavare, assisted by Peter Forau (Director-General, MSG Secretariat 2011-2015) and Emele Duituturaga (Director, Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organizations), leap-frogged the MSG’s more compromised states (Papua New Guinea and Fiji) with the support of Polynesian and Micronesian leaders from the Pacific Islands Forum (Note 4).  As the Pacific Coalition for West Papua based in Hawai’i University and advised by Solomon Island Professor Tarcicius Kabutaulaka, they lobbied the 2016 United Nations General Assembly to reinsert West Papua on the UN Decolonisation List—from which it was removed in 1969 after the New York Agreement’s fraudulent Act of Free Choice (Note 5).

PATRICK TONGA (Papua New Guinea) NO HOPE AND HOMELESS “This is about the hungry homeless children of West Papua who live on the streets … they are losing hope as there is no one to help them”

Today, Indonesia continues to solicit geopolitical support for its territorial claim to West Papua with its charge of non-interference and the assertion that the sovereignty of nations should be respected.  Citing the national interest, the Australian government turns a blind eye to the Indonesian military’s violations of human rights in the name of unwavering solidarity with its regional ally.

However, the feeling of solidarity that events like the Sampari Art Exhibition convey for West Papuans reveal that beneath the official rhetoric of governments that nothing can be done, there simmers a deep sympathy and passionate desire for justice among ordinary citizens that seeks an outlet in real and meaningful action.

MERE RASUE (Fiji) FOR MY FREEDOM “A photo of a child, face painted with the West Papuan flag, who is proud of his origin, lest we forget that the young ones also see the torture and the hardship … this child is seeking peace and a better future for his generation … we need to build a better life of freedom”

 

NOTES

1. Click for PDF of ‘Solidarity and Art, Ella Mudie, Catalogue, 2016 Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua Sampari, Art and solidarity, Essay, Exhibition Catalogue

Ella Mudie, Academic, Arts Critic, Journalist

“My father’s a painter so I grew up with art and the smell of oils. First and foremost though I’ve always been a big reader, which led me to enrol in a BA at the University of Sydney where I majored in English and wrote an honours thesis on the maverick boy poet and hoaxer Thomas Chatterton. I also took some postgraduate studies in journalism and found my niche in print features and arts writing, leading to features for The Age and other newspapers, and articles and essays in magazines and journals including Meanjin and the Griffith Review (http://www.ellamudie.com/).

 

2. MERIDIAN 139 cuts through the Ceram Sea on the west coast of Misool Island (one of the four major islands of West Papua’s Raja Ampat Island Group).  MERIDIAN 141 divides the island of New Guinea.  For more see Frank Jacobs, author of Strange Maps: An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities, in ‘Who bit my border?’ New York Times, 13 March 2012 [https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/who-bit-my-border/?_r=0].

Solomon Islands, a pinwale dot in the Pacific

3.  The Melanesian Spearhead Group was formed in July 1986 during a meeting of Heads of Government of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, as well as the Kanak Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), who agreed to work together in spearheading regional issues including the Kanak’s struggle in New Caledonia for independence from France.  On 14 March 1988, PNG Prime Minister Paias Wingti, Vanuatu Prime Minister Walter Lini, and Solomon Islands Foreign Affairs Minister Ezekiel Alebua signed the ‘Principles of Cooperation Among the Independent States in Melanesia’.  FLNKS formally joined the MSG in 1989. Fiji joined in 1996.  The MSG’s Secretariat’s office in Port Vila, constructed by People’s Republic of China, opened on 30 May 2008.

4.  The Pacific Islands Forum is a political grouping of fourteen Melanesian, Micronesian and Polynesian independent and self-governing states, as well as Australia and New Zealand (that is, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Fiji; Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Palau, Nauru; Cook Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Niue, Samoa).  In 2015 the Forum accepted West Papua’s application for membership subject to a PIF Fact-finding Mission to West Papua, which Indonesia subsequently rejected.

5.  Speakers to the 2016 UNGA were Prime Minister Sogavare (Solomon Islands)  Prime Minister Salawi (Vanuatu)  Prime Minister Pohiva (Tonga)  President Hilda Heine (Federated States of Micronesia)  Prime Minister Sopoaga (Tuvalu)  President Divavesi Waqa (Nauru)  Dr Caleb Otto (UN Representative, Republic of Palau).

 

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SALUTING MELANESIA at the ACU Art Gallery in Melbourne

LOBAR WAINGGAI’s miniature honai, with baby kava bowl on Fiji bark cloth (tapa)  Saluting Melanesia, ACU Art Gallery, 4 December 2016 (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa)

SALUTING MELANESIA was an exciting ceremonial occasion that brought together communities normally separated by sea-water to celebrate their origins and living cultures.  It began with a solemn kava ceremony, and included young Melanesians born or living in the diaspora talking about their cultural experiences, dancers performing their traditions, singer-songwriters telling tales about the past and the future, and, of course, a dazzling display of food featuring indigenous products and recipes.

The Federal Republic of West Papua hosted the occasion in the AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY’S luminous Art Gallery in Fitzroy during the SAMPARI ART EXHIBITION FOR WEST PAPUA, which in 2016 included a special MELANESIAN WALL OF ART.

                                                      MERE RASUE (Fiji)  For My Freedom                                                    MELANESIAN WALL OF ART, 2016 Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua

THE MELANESIAN WALL OF ART was a series of vibrant prints sent by artists from Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, West Papua, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.  It celebrated the MELANESIAN SPEARHEAD GROUP’s historic decision in 2015 to accept West Papua’s application for membership.  The MSG is a small intergovernmental forum, but its formal recognition of West Papuans sovereignty over their land catapulted its kin out of the isolation imposed on them on 1 May 1963 when Indonesian President Sukarno declared West Papua an Operational War Zone, banned foreign media, and reactivated old Dutch colonial laws of subversion.  The MSG’s committment to shoulder passage of West Papua’s self-determination has been expensive.  Indonesia tried to splinter the organisation with bribes, treaties, promises of aid and trade …. even applied for full membership itself based on an outrageous claim that it is home to eleven million Melanesians [see Note 1 below, Asia Pacific Report, 15 May 2015].

Indonesia’s machiavellian manoeuvres bulldozed chasms between Melanesian politicians and their communities, especially in PNG and Fiji whose leaders eventually endorsed Indonesia’s application for MSG membership (rather than West Papua’s).  This decision by the MSG’s ‘older, bigger brothers’ divided them from the ‘younger, smaller siblings’ (Vanuatu, Solomons, the Kanak of New Caledonia), forcing the MSG Chair, Manessah Sogavare (Prime Minister, Solomon Islands) to accept both West Papua’s and Indonesia’s applications.  This angered many, because it would enable a large wealthy mostly Muslim Asian state to sit in the motherhouse of four tiny predominately Christian Pacific nations.  As a compromise, the MSG Secretariat decided to review its guidelines before formally responding to the applications.

CAMPION OHASIO (Solomon Islands)  Heroes or traitors of West Papua  Melanesian Wall of Art 2016 Sampari Art Exhibition (initally published by The Island Sun newspaper in Honiara during MSG Summit in 2015)

In 2016, the leaders of Polynesian and Miconesian nations—namely Tonga, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Nauru, Palau—joined the MSG petitioners as a PACIFIC COALITION FOR WEST PAPUA.  Based at Hawai’i University, the Coalition initiated debate in the 71st UN General Assembly for West Papua to be reinserted on the UN DECOLONIZATION LIST, from which it was removed in 1969 after the New York Agreement’s fradulent Act of Free Choice ballot [see Note 2 below, Pacific Coalition for West Papua, December 2016].

Samoans lending grace and support to West Papua (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, 350 Pacific and West Papua Forum, 2016 Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua, 10 December 2016)

SALUTING MELANESIA in the ACU Art Gallery opened with a KAVA CEREMONY led by Bula Rendiring and Sef Suka Seviua, two Fiji chiefs who reside in Melbourne.  Before they mixed and served the kava to honoured guests, DR ROBERT WOLFGRAMM spoke to young Melanesians brought up and educated in Australia (where kava is illegal) about the relationship between kava and culture.  He talked of the plant’s origin in West Papua, its place in high culture and social discourse across indigenous Pacific cultures, stressing that kava is neither part of a bygone culture nor an appropriate alternative to alcohol [see Note 3 below, for full address].

DR ROBERT WOLFGRAMM  Talking Kava and Culture  (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, Saluting Melanesia, ACU Art Gallery, 4 December 2016, during Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua)

After the chief’s had implored the blessing of the ancestors, and their intercession on a series of stated community concerns and tribulations, they invited people in the gallery to sit on the kava mat with them while the feast prepared by DAPUR SAMPARI (Papua Kitchen) was being served.

IN THE AUDIENCE: Rev. Peter Woods, Anglican Church; Dr Robert Stringer, Uniting Church; Bishop Hilton Deakin, Catholic Church (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, 4 December 2016)

FIJI CHIEFS BULA RENDIRING and SEF SUKA SEVIUA with Robert Wolfgramm, Jacob Rumbiak from West Papua, and an Australian activist (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, ACU Art Gallery, 4 December 2016)

On the Kava Mat absorbing Melanesian culture: including Alfonse Adadikam, President of West Papua Community in Victoria (Photo : Tommy Latupeirissa, Saluting Melanesia, 4 December 2016)

On the Kava Mat absorbing Melanesian culture: Gilius Kogoya from West Papua who came to Australia on a double-outrigger canoe in 2006 (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, 4 December 2016)

DAPUR SAMPARI (Papua kitchen) served Papuan recipes prepared by Natalie Adadikam and Babuan Mirino.  Traditional West Papuans have a seed-to-plate custom born of a history arcing back 7000-9000 years when they domesticated the wild ancestors of sugarcane, hibiscus spinach, highland pitpit, pandanus, taro, banana, and numerous other species.  During this dry period, at the end of the last Ice Age, a drainage method (water control) was also perfected.  Pig husbandry developed after Austronesian speakers arrived about 3,500 years ago.

“When our island people meet someone from the highlands, we barapen (feast). We cook pig—the feast-food of the mountain people, vegetables, and fish—which is more usually part of the island diet. Sharing customs and eating together, that’s our polite form” (Jacob Rumbiak, Federal Republic of West Papua)

NATALIE ADADIKAM, DAPUR SAMPARI (with Babuan Mirino) Alfonse Adadikam & Emily Wainggai helping serve West Papuan recipes in prepared coconut bowls (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa)

JEFRY JIKWA (below) is Dani from the Central Highlands in West Papua, and boated to Australia in 2006 in a traditional double-outrigger canoe seeking asylum with 42 other West Papuans.  He organised Saluting Melanesia with Maluku independence advocate Tommy Latupeirissa, and introduced the Melanesian speakers and performers.  He also acknowledged BISHOP HILTON DEAKIN (Patron of Australia West Papua Association-Melbourne) for his acute observations of the role of churches and activists in East Timor’s independence struggle.

MASTER OF CEREMONIES JEFRY JIKWA. Also BISHOP HILTON DEAKIN Patron of Australia West Papua Association-Melbourne (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa Saluting Melanesia 4 December 2016)

ELLA BENORE ROWE, Papua New Guinea (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, 4 December 2016)

SANDRA COLDITZ, Solomon Islands (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, 4 December 2016) 

JIMI AKWAI NARE, Solomon Islands (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, 4 December 2016)

Three young West Papuans performed YOSPAN, a derivative of two dances, yosim and pancar, which were joined by edict in Jayapura in the early 1980s at a seminar convened to select the province’s official dance.  Yosim, a slow jog, is an older dance from Sarmi.  Pancar, from Biak, is of relatively recent origin, traceable to the military buildup that preceded the end of Dutch colonialism, when rumours of an impending Indonesian attack swept the island.  Apparently the drills of Dutch fighter pilots inspired an artist to invent a step, pantja gas (‘jet’) that imitated an airplane entering a stall.  (For more on Yospan, see Note 4 below).

YOSPAN IN THE ACU ART GALLERY (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, 4 December 2016)

An array of Papua New Guinea culture, alongside Barbara Tipper’s memorial artwork Ephemeral celebrating the strength, resilience and faith of West Papuan freedom fighters and political prisoners (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa, Saluting Melanesia, ACU Art Gallery, 4 December 2016)

Saluting Melanesia, ACU Art Gallery, 4 December 2016 (Photo, Tommy Latupeirissa)

NOTES

1. [Click for Asia Pacific Report, May 2015] Asia Pacific Report, 8 April 2016. Indonesia strengthens ties with Pacific ‘good friends’

2. [Click for Pacific Coalition for West Papua, December 2015] Pacific Coalition for West Papua, December 2016

3. [Click for Dr Robert Wolfgramm’s key note speech for Saluting Melanesia] Robert Wolfgramm, Melanesia Kava Symbolism

Robert Wolfgramm lectured in the School of Political and Social Inquiry at Monash University for decades; was editor-in-Chief of the Fiji Daily Post until the Bainimarama administration forced its closure in 2010; translator and editor of the New Fijian Translation Bible; coach of the Fiji junior team that won the AFL International Cup in 2011. He is also a musician of note and father of The Wolfgramm Sisters.

4. [Click for Dr Danilyn Rutherford’s article about Yospan] YOSPAN, Danilyn Rutherford, 1996, p589-594

5. Bishop Hilton Deakin: a new book Bonded through tragedy; united in hope by Jim and Theresa D’Orsa investigates Bishop Hilton Deakin’s advocacy for East Timor’s self-determination from the time of the Santa Cruz Massacre in 1991 until the present day.

CARD DESIGN : FRWP WOMENS’ OFFICE

CARD DESIGN: SANDRA COLDITZ

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CARTOON EXHIBITION: 2006, the year australia and indonesia lost the battle against west papua

 

CARTOON EXHIBITION at 2016 Sampari Art Exhibition & Sale for West Papua ACU ART GALLERY, 26 Brunswick St, Fitzroy (2-11 December 2016)

ANDREW DYSON Avoiding the real West Papua  The Age, 15 May 2006. © ANDREW DYSON

An exhibition of twenty-nine works by Australia’s most gifted and beloved cartoonists published in 2006 after the arrival of forty-three West Papuan asylum seekers.  The cartoons narrate and amplify the war-of-words between Canberra and Jakarta, and between Australian politicians, over an illusory line between the refugees’ genocidal claims and Indonesia’s racist militarized rule in the former Dutch colony.  That Australia’s powerful media moguls published (rather than shelved) their employees’ works suggests that they too believed it was time to question Australia’s long-standing support of the Indonesian occupation.

The Cartoon Exhibition was sponsored by TAKING OFF TOURS in St Kilda Road and UNITED IMAGE PHOTOGRAPHY in Prahan.  Eight of the beautifully printed works were sold.  The cartoonists retain copyright of their cartoons, but most gifted the remaining prints to the FRWP Womens Office in Docklands.  The exhibition images are reproduced here, in low resolution, with explanatory text.  The newspaper articles that many of them illustrated, along with the Exhibition Catalogue, in PDF form, are reproduced at the end of the essay.

DAMIEN BAKER  43 West Papuan asylum seekers at Mapoon in Far North Queensland                      Torres News, Mer Island, 17 January 2006. © DAMIEN BAKER

2006 began for West Papua watchers on 17 January with a photo on the internet of forty-three West Papuans relaxing under a tree alongside a double-outrigger canoe bearing a banner SAVE WEST PAPUA PEOPLE FROM GENOCIDE.  The asylum seekers had left Jayapura on the north coast of West Papua early in December 2005, had circumnavigated their huge half-island homeland, then crossed the perilous Torres Strait to Mapoon on the the west coast of Cape York Peninsula, all without modern navigation tools.

Australian Quarantine, Customs, and Police found the West Papuans moments before Damien Baker and Corey Bousen from Torres News.  The journalists had managed to convinced the Murdoch newspaper in Cairns to hire a helicopter for them after they’d heard on the Aboriginal grapevine that the Papuans were three days overdue.  However, the Papuans had beached and self-reported the previous day, and Baker’s first photo was of a government helicopter encircling the refugees trying to enforce a new 32km ‘no fly zone’.  (Mapoon had a population of 239 Aboriginal and Torres Strait descendents in 2006).  Later in the day the asylum seekers were taken 80 kms down a dirt track to Weipa, and then flown 4,000 kms across Australia to a detention centre on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean just 500 kms south of Jakarta.

PAT CAMPBELL West Papua, welcome to democracy The Canberra Times, January 2006.                        © PAT CAMPBELL

PAT CAMPBELL captured the pain of the West Papuan mothers, hesitating to put their children on the canoe to Australia.  He has them being lifted to the kangaroo’s [closed] pouch by a Victoria Crowned Pigeon, the symbol adopted by the West Papuan parliament (Nieuw Guinea Raad) on 19 October 1961 alongside the Morning Star flag and National Anthem.  Seven of the 43 asylum seekers were minors (twin-boys aged three, a four-year-old girl, two fourteen- and two sixteen-year-old boys); four of them unaccompanied minors for whom Amanda Vanstone, as Minister for Immigration, became legal guardian.  She employed David Manne, a fearless lawyer from the Refugee Immigration Legal Centre to prepare their claims, and the advice of Paris Aristotle from the Foundation for Survivors of Torture about settling them in Melbourne under the stewardship of Jacob Rumbiak, a respected leader of West Papua’s independence movement.

Meantime, Custom officials burned EXODUS, the asylum seekers hardy little canoe, hand-hewn from a special ‘canoe tree’ planted decades before.  Foreign Affairs was busy fishing for a darker motive than Genocide. A war-of-words was erupting between Canberra and Jakarta.  President Yudhoyono fired the first shot, demanding the Australian Prime Minister return the West Papuans to Indonesia, claiming he would personally ‘welcome them back with open arms’, arguing that Australian protection visas would undermine his nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.  Howard, however, against Immigration Minister Vanstone’s stout determination to uphold Australia’s legal obligations in terms of the UN Convention on Refugees, was unable to oblige the Indonesian President (whose country has never signed the convention).

IAN SHARPE I saw a man who wasn’t there The Canberra Times 22 January 2006. © IAN SHARPE

PAUL ZANETTI 43 asylum seekers land January 2006. © PAUL ZANETTI

JON SPOONER  The Foreign Affairs Department prepares a traditional refugee welcome                     The Age, 8 April 2006. © JON SPOONER

JON SPOONER The Foreign Affairs Department adopts a pragmatic and principled position                   The Australian, 11 April 2006. © JON SPOONER

PETER NICHOLSON We’ll welcome them back with open arms The Australian, 25 March 2006.             © PETER NICHOLSON

JON KUDELKA The Australian, 2 May 2006. © JON KUDELKA

On 24 March 2006, the Immigration Department artfully ignored the warnings of senior Foreign Affairs officials and issued the West Papuans with protection visas on the basis of “well founded fears of persecution”. Rakyat Merdeka, a newspaper in Jakarta, commissioned cartoonist FONDA LAPOD to pen an appropriate response.  Lapod drew a dingo, in the guise of Prime Minister Howard mounting another dingo in the guise of Foreign Affairs Minister Downer, saying “I want Papua Alex, make it happen”.  By the time BILL LEAK’s equally controversial rejoinder was published by The Australian a few days later, President Yudhoyono had recalled his ambassador and was threatening to review Indonesia’s cooperation with Australia over people-smuggling and counter-terrorism.  West Papuans who saw these two cartoons at the Cartoon Exhibition were shocked that Indonesians and Australians would condone such crude portraits of their leaders.

FONDA LAPOD  The adventure of two dingo  Rakyat Merdeka, 27 March 2006. © FONDA LAPOD

BILL LEAK  Don’t take this the wrong way, no offence intended, as Indonesia fornicates with Australia  The Australian, 1 April 2006. © BILL LEAK

PETER NICHOLSON SBY recalls ambassador on West Papuans The Australian, 4 April 2006.               © PETER NICHOLSON

PETER NICHOLSON We will decide who comes to Australia The Australian, 8 April 2006.                        © PETER NICHOLSON

NIK SCOTT Dingoes offended being portrayed as John Howard and Alexander Downer copulating in Indonesian newspaper cartoon 29 March 2006. © NIK SCOTT

To appease Indonesia, Prime Minister Howard developed legislation to immunize Australia from West Papuan asylum seekers.  The MIGRATION AMENDMENT BILL 2006 that he introduced to Parliament blocked access to Australia for all boat people and warehoused them in another country, out of reach of the Australian media and the Australian legal system.

PETER NICHOLSON Excision beaches refugees zone The Australian, 13 April 2006.                               © PETER NICHOLSON

JOHN DITCHBURN Australia’s coastline The Courier, Ballarat. © JOHN DITCHBURN

DAVID POPE in Refugee Pinball paints a work-a-man prime minister telling his Immigration Minister ‘we’ve disabled the tilt’, meaning he was confident his Migration Amendment Bill 2006 would restore the relationship with Indonesia that her asylum of the the West Papuans had lacerated. Vanstone, a veteran politician who will always be remembered for her ingenious protection of the Papuans’ claims from interference by the Prime Minister and the Department of Foreign Affairs, is seen rifling through a travel magazine, apparently already aware that Howard would sack her, as he did a few months later and sent her to the Italian Embassy in Rome.

DAVID POPE Refugee pinball The Sun-Herald, 23 April 2006. © DAVID POPE

The Migration Amendment Bill 2006 was so brutal that three of Howard’s colleagues—PETRO GEORGIOU, RUSSELL BROADBENT, JUDI MOYLAN—crossed the floor in the House of Representatives and voted against the bill.  Despite this, and Broadbent’s plea “If I am to die politically because of my stance on this bill, it is better to die on my feet than to live on my knees” the bill passed by a narrow majority.

PETER NICHOLSON Rebel Liberals may cross floor The Australian, 10 August 2006.                                 © PETER NICHOLSON

PETER NICHOLSON Reality shows on border protection The Australian, 10 August 2006.                           © PETER NICHOLSON

MARK KNIGHT The Australian keeper The Herald Sun, 21 June 2006. © MARK KNIGHT

BILL LEAK Asylum Seeker-Migration Amendment Bill 2006 The Australian, 10 Aug 2006. © BILL LEAK

The Migration Amendment Bill 2006 was thoroughly rejected by a Parliamentary sub-committee chaired by Liberal Senator MARISE PAYNE, which noted it breached Australia’s international legal obligations and “represents deficient foreign policy, in terms of a perceived attempt to APPEASE Indonesia over the situation in West Papua”.  However, John Winston Howard — who by 2006 had been prime minister for ten years, winning second, third and fourth terms in 1998, 2001, 2004 — was still confident he would get his legislation through the Senate. GEOFF PRYOR has him karaoking with well-known Indonesian political and military identities.

GEOFF PRYOR  Karaoke Night  19 June 2006. © GEOFF PRYOR

MATTHEW DAVIDSON  Can Howard find refuge?  The Age, 14 May 2006. © MATTHEW DAVIDSON

JON SPOONER  The new prime minister of Australnesia  The Age, 15 June 2006. © JON SPOONER

BILL LEAK  Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Australian Prime Minister John Howard relax  The Australian, 11 August 2006. © BILL LEAK

Subsequent to an extraordinary grass-roots campaign by people and organisations right around Australia, Senators JUDITH TROETHE and BARNABY JOYCE (from the Coalition Government) and STEVE FIELDING (Family First Party) said they would join Labor and The Greens to vote against the Migration Amendment Bill in the Senate. Facing defeat, Howard quietly withdraws his scandalous legislation.

MARK KNIGHT  PM overboard-Migration Bill  The Herald Sun, 15 August 2006. © MARK KNIGHT

With West Papua proving to be such a hot and enduring media issue since January, Channel 9 and Channel 7 decided, in September, to go cannibal-hunting in the forbidden province.  Channel 9’s Sixty Minutes found Wawa, a ten-year-old boy under threat of being eaten by his tribe and managed to save him.  Channel 7’s Today Tonight crew was less lucky, with all arrested by the Indonesian authorities for trying to enter West Papua on a tourist visa.  PETER NICHOLSON, who produced eight cartoons about West Papua in 2006, meticulously lampooning Howard’s ridiculous war against self-determination, painted Channel 7 host Naomi Robson’s adventure in colour as well as black-and-white.

PETER NICHOLSON  Naomi Robson arrested in West Papua  The Australian, 15 Sept 2006.                    © PETER NICHOLSON

PETER NICHOLSON Naomi Robson with cannibal tribes The Australian, 16 September 2006.                 © PETER NICHOLSON

Meanwhile Indonesia was still waiting opportunistically to be adquately recompensed for the non-refoulement of its 43 citizens.  Foreign Affairs Minister Downer dug deep and found a draft of an old security treaty, re-negotiated it, and signed it as the LOMBOK TREATY with his Indonesian counterpart Hassan Wirajuda in November 2006.  (Indonesia tore up the 1995 Suharto-Keating agreement after Australia led a 22-nation peace-keeping force into East Timor in 1999).  The Lombok Treaty includes an outlandish clause that outlaws discussion or display, in Australia and Indonesia, of any form of West Papuan political identity. This would include, for example, a white star woven into a hand-bag or wristband, or sewn onto a flag, or drawn on a car sticker).  JON SPOONER, as usual, captured the realpolitik of the treaty, and also the paralysing revulsion of many Liberals for most aspects of Indonesian governance in West Papua.

JON SPOONER The things you see by a green light The Age, 9 Nov 2006. © JON SPOONER

In the final cartoon BILL LEAK reflects a view of Indonesia as ‘the neighbour from hell.’ This was also the view, though not expressed in Leak’s particular vernacular, of SIR GARFIELD BARWICK after voting for the New York Agreement in the 1962 UN General Assembly (by which Indonesia gained administrative rights in Netherlands New Guinea and thus became Australia’s closest neighbour as well). Barwick believed Indonesia’s claim should have been resolved in the UN’s INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE; preferred ‘for the sake of the indigenous inhabitants’ that the Netherlands administration remain …. and stressed that the long-term interests of stability and progress in the region would only will be served if Indonesia delivered a BONA FIDE PERFORMANCE of the self-determination provisions of the NEW YORK AGREEMENT (see below: Official Recods, UNGA, 17th Session, 1127th Plenary Meeting, 21 September 1962:3pm).

BILL LEAK The neighbour from hell The Australian. © BILL LEAK


 

CARTOON EXHIBITION ADVERTISEMENT

CARTOON EXHIBITION CATALOGUE (click to print)

Cartoon Exhibition Catalogue, Sampari 2016

SELECTED NEWSPAPER ARTICLES FROM 2006

1. Vanstone refuses to return Papuans, Sydney Morning Herald, Tom Allard, 18-20 Jan 2006

2. On the ground with the West Papuan asylum seekers, Crikey, Corey Bousen, 19 Jan 2006

3. Christmas Island detention places Papuan families in direct murder danger, Project Safecom, Media Release, 26 Jan 2006

4. What happens now we’ve got 43 West Papuans, Louise Byrne

5. Below a mountain of wealth, a river of waste, New York Times, 27 December 2005

6. John Pilger on West Papua and why the ghosts of Indonesia won’t lie, New Statesman, 13 Mar 2006

7. Papua anger focuses on world’s richest mine, Asia Times, John McBeth, 23 Mar 2006

8. Visa ruling puts Jakarta ties at risk, Sydney Morning Herald, Tom Allard, 24 Mar 2006

9. West Papua, Long boat to freedom, Transcript, SBS Dateline, Mark Davis, 29 Mar 2006

10. Howard unfazed by sex cartoon, BBC News, 30 Mar 2006

11. Australian cartoon irks Indonesia, BBC News, 1 Apr 2006

12. Free at last, West Papuan refugees rejoice in new dawn, The Age, Andra Jackson, 4 Apr 2006

13. The point of no return, The Age, Andra Jackson, 6 Apr 2006

14. Ignoring the lesson of East Timor, The Age, Mark Baker, 8 Apr 2006

15. Politically pesky Papuans, ABC-RN, 9 Apr 2006, Di Martin

16. Our duty to West Papua, The Age, Huge White, 11 Apr 2006

17. Indonesia threatens Australia over Papuan refugees, Australian News Commentary, 24 Apr 2006

   18. Boatloads of Extinguishment? David Manne, Castan Human Rights Law Centre, 5 May 2006

19. Can Howard find refuge, The Age, Michelle Grattan, 14 May 2006

20. Avoiding the real West Papua, The Age, Scott Burchill, 15 May 2006

21. Backbenchers revolt over asylum changes (Senate Committee), Lateline, 13 Jun 2006

22. Answering to Jakarta, The Age, Scott Burchill, 15 June 2006

23. Indonesians accused of torture, The Age, Andra Jackson & Sarah Smiles, 27 June 2006

24. What’s wrong in Papua, The Age, Kenneth Davidson, 29 Jun 2006

25. No government spin will undo Australia’s dirty push-back deals with Indonesia, Project Safecom, 10 Aug 2006

26. The Coalition Rebels speak out, Project Safecom, 10 August 2006

27. The flotsam downflow from Indonesia, Project Safecom, 10 August 2006

28. Fielding gets refugee version of border protection, The Age, 12 Aug 2006

29. Low population in Papua an indication of genocide, Radio New Zealand, 17 Aug 2006

30. Good neighbour, bad neighbour, what’s the difference, Jesuit Social Justice Centre, Adelaide, Tony Kevin, 22 Aug 2006

31. A new diplomacy over Papua, The Australian, Paul Kelly, 7 Oct 2006

32. Canberra’s treaty killing off Papuan democracy, The Age, 9 Nov 2006

33. Lombok Treaty, Article 2, 13 Nov 2006

34. Lombok Treaty, The Interpreter, Hugh White, 7 Mar 2008

35a. Garfield Barwick, UNGA, New York, 21 Sept 1962, 3pm, p53

35b. Garfield Barwick, UNGA, New York, 21 Sept 1962, 3pm, p54

35c. Garfield Barwick, UNGA, New York, 21 Sept 1962, 3pm, p55

 

CARTOON EXHIBITION SPONSORS

TAKING OFF TOURS TRAVEL AGENCY 618 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
TEL (03) 9521 1475

 

UNITED IMAGE PHOTOGRAPHY 24 Macquarie St, Prahran, Victoria
TEL 0412 211 773

 

SAMPARI 2016: artworks, poetry, cartoons, climate talk, film, melanesian culture

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SAMPARI 2016 ART EXHIBITION AND PUBLIC PROGRAMS

ACU Art Gallery, 26 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
OPENS  Friday 2 December 2016 : 6pm
CLOSES  Sunday 11 December 2016 : 5pm

GALLERY HOURS:
Monday-Wednesday 11-6pm
Thursday-Friday 11-8pm
Saturday-Sunday 10-4pm

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CULTLURAL TRANSMISSION Frank Berhitu and Marlehu Berhitu, Grandfather with his grandson playing tiha, a Moluccan drum [Photo, J.L.S. PATTIPEILOHY, Tiel, The Netherlands]

SAMPARI, the name of the morning star in the Biak Island language, is an art exhibition and series of events that celebrate West Papuan cultures and explores the nation’s environment, ecology, politics and history.  The main aim of the exhibition is to raise awareness of the West Papuan peoples wish for independence and right to self-determination.

Jaïr Pattipeilohy’s arresting photograph Cultural transmission (above) is one of thirty-six works exhibited by artists from The Netherlands, America, and Australia, as well as the Melanesian nations of West Papua, Maluku, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. As well as photography, the works include oil on Belgian linen, oil and acrylic on canvas, archival marker on paper, ink, lino cut print, one computer vector illustration on wood, etch, collage, terra cotta base releif, raw natural objects, macrame, digital art and photography.

DR JOHN BALLARD, Associate Vice-Chancellor (Melbourne) of the Australia Catholic University opened the FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF WEST PAPUA’S second art exhibition in the ACU Art Gallery on 2 December 2016.  The popular chief explained how the spectacular artworks assembled in his university’s spacious urban gallery will boost the psychological and physical health of a people who have endured a debilitating racist occupation for more than half-a-century.

Art Exhibition Catalogue (PDF, for printing) sampari-2016-catalogue

1-18-jan-2006-paul-zanetti-43-asylum-seekers-land

PAUL ZANETTI, 43 Asylum seekers land, 18 January 2006

Sampari 2016 includes an exhibition of twenty-eight historical cartoons published after the arrival of 43 West Papuan asylum seekers in 2006. The asylum seekers had beached their double-outrigger canoe at Mapoon on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula on 17 January 2006 with a banner stretched across their prahru SAVE WEST PAPUA PEOPLE FROM GENOCIDE.  Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone believed their claims and issued them protection visas, sparking outrage in Indonesia and a bluster of appeasing strategies and contradictory policies in Australia.  President Yudhoyono withdrew his ambassador. Prime Minister Howard tried to excise Australia from ‘designated unauthorised arrivals’ (refugees). It took the prickly neighbours ten months to find a truce, and only then within a formal agreement (The Lombok Treaty) that outlawed the West Papuans’ Morning Star flag in both countries!

29-9-nov-2006-john-spooner-the-things-you-see-by-a-greenlightThe realpolitik behind the Lombok Treaty was artfully captured by cartoonist John Spooner (The things you see by a green light The Age, 9 November 2006).  By the time it was signed, ten months after the asylum seekers had landed, twenty-eight other cartoons had been published in the mainstream media, all megaphoning the deep chasm between the Australian peoples’ concerns and opinions and how their politicians were legislating their concerns and opinions.

The most controversial cartoon was BILL LEAK’s, of President Yudhoyono in the guise of a dog mounting a West Papuan; a rejoinder to Indonesia’s FONDA LAPOD’s drawing of Prime Minister Howard and Foreign Minister Downer as copulating dingoes.  However, all the cartoonists—Zanetti, Campbell, Pope, Sharpe, Nicholson, Scott, Spooner, Davidson, Kudelka, Dyson, Knight, Ditchburn, Pryor—skillfully captured the capacity of occupied West Papua to expose the enduringly dysfunctional state of relations between Australia and Indonesia.

Cartoon Exhibition Catalogue (PDF, for printing) cartoon-catalogue

SAMPARI 2016 PUBLIC PROGRAMS

A SERIES OF EVENTS IN THE GALLERY DURING THE EXHIBITION FOR POETS, SONGSTERS, MUSICIANS, WRITERS, ACTIVISTS AND INTELLECTUALS TO DISCUSS AND DEBATE ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH WEST PAPUA’S INDEPENDENCE AND SELF-DETERMINATION.

ForthSpeak at SAMPARI
‘Saluting Melanesia’ Culture Day
Debate: Should West Papua be Independent?
Film: Land of the Morning Star by Mark Worth
Pacific views on climate change and environmental destruction
West Papua Open Day

ForthSpeak at SAMPARI

SATURDAY 3 DECEMBER 2016 : 2 – 4pm2-forthspeak
MELBOURNE IS A CITY OF POETS AND POETRY and we even have a ‘Melbourne Poets Union‘. A host of these precious scribes is assembling in the ACU Art Gallery on 3 December to twist their prodigious talent around West Papua liberation.  Kylie Supski will be there.  Last year she penned a poetic response to Jacob Rumbiak’s Letter to West Papua’s Heroes and Heroines, then baptised ‘the twins’ at the Dan O’Connell Hotel on 9 January 2016.  So will Tim Hoffmann from the West Papua Rent Collective. And Laura Brinson, ReVerse Butcher, Andy Jackson, Chalise van Wungaart, Mary Chydiriotis.  Also Brendan Bosnack who must have written “for whom did you chisel that line in the sea, one side for the drowning, one side for the free” with our Indonesian-occupied territory in mind.

Saluting Melanesia, A Culture Day

SUNDAY 4 DECEMBER 2016: 1pm 3-melanesian-culture-day
SALUTING MELANESIA celebrates the courageous decision in 2015 by Solomon Islanders, ni-Vanuatu, and the Kanak of New Caledonia to champion West Papua’s entry into the Melanesian Spearhead Group and Pacific Islands Forum.  The islanders have continued carrying their kin’s political burden in 2016 within a PACIFIC COALITION FOR WEST PAPUA that is tasked to reinsert West Papua on the United Nations Decolonization List. The UN Secretariat removed West Papua from the list in 1969 after the Act of free choice and despite fundamental structural flaws in this so-called  ‘referendum’.  It was Dr Tom Wainggai’s revolutionary vision of his homeland as ‘the western border of Melanesia, stolen by Indonesia in 1962′ that revitalised West Papuans historic sense of self and orientated the peoples struggle towards its kin and cultural heartland in Melanesia-Pacific.

When our island people meet someone from the highlands, we barapen (feast).  We cook pig—the feast-food of the mountain people, and vegetables, and fish—which is more usually part of the island diet.  Sharing customs, eating together, that’s our polite form (Jacob Rumbiak, West Papua freedom fighter)

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DAPUR SAMPARI (West Papua kitchen) is cooking and sharing food with Melanesian kin in the ACU Art Gallery on 4 December. The Melanesian seed-to-plate custom has its own historical story, beginning 7000—9000 years ago when Papuans domesticated the wild ancestors of sugarcane, hibiscus spinach, highland pitpit, pandanus, taro, banana, and numerous other species.  At this time, at the end of the last Ice Age, they also perfected a drainage method that enabled them to control water and regulate soil moisture.  With the arrival of the Austronesian speakers 3,500 years ago, pig husbandry techniques were developed.

Debate: Should West Papua be Independent?

THURSDAY, 8 DECEMBER: 6 – 8PM 
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This debate, surrounded by the SAMPARI ART EXHIBITION FOR WEST PAPUA, is a space for leading representatives of the millennial generation to express their views about the long-standing sovereignty dispute over West Papua. Footscray trio LUNAR FLARES opens the event with a sonic exposition of the key themes of the debate.

In 1962, the United Nations over-rode West Papuans right of self-determination, leaving 700,000 Melanesians misplaced and repressed inside an unstable Indonesian state. Such was their isolation that when they raised the independent FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF WEST PAPUA on 19 October 2011, only the Indonesian government (and its military) reacted. Academic Danilyn Rutherford believes “Outsiders have tended to view the West Papuans
as far too primitive to act as the mature, rights-bearing subjects of popular sovereignty that liberal thinkers place at the heart of the modern nation form” (Why Papua wants freedom: the third person in contemporary nationalism Public Culture Vol. 20, No. 2, 2008).

DEBATE MODERATOR Dr Jonathan Benney—President, Debating Association of Victoria
EXPERT PANEL Bishop Hilton Deakin (Patron, Australia West Papua Association-Melbourne); Lance Collins (Head of INTERFET Military Intelligence, East Timor 1999-2000); Jacob Rumbiak (Minister for Foreign Affairs, Immigration & Trade, Federal Republic of West Papua); Isaac Morin (Doctoral Dissertation, West Papua: Identity and Language, La Trobe University)

INQUIRIES Louise Byrne 0424745155, louisebyrne2016@hotmail.com; Robin Vote 0413802612, rbnvote2@gmail.com; frwpwomensoffice@gmail.com; www.dfait.federalrepublicofwestpapua.org
IMAGE young freedom fighter in west papua, with family permission
CARD DESIGN Jack Byrne, Australian National University, Canberra

Film: Land of the Morning Star by Mark Worth

FRIDAY 9 DECEMBER 2016 : 7pm4-film
LAND OF THE MORNING STAR, written and directed by Mark Worth, is the most important and comprehensive historical documents about West Papua. This screening is a memorial tribute to Mark, who died mysteriously in a hotel room in Sentani (West Papua) forty-eight hours after the ABC announced the premiere screening of his masterwork. Guest speaker, Greg Barber MLC, Leader of the Victorian Greens, visited him in the hotel a few days before he died.

SMH Obits. Mark Worth Portrait

Mark Worth in Jayapura

Mark was born on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea when it was an Australian naval base, and as a young boy witnessed the arrival of refugees from West Papua after the UN’s fraudulent Act of Free Choice in 1969. After studying at the Swinburne Film School in Melbourne, he pioneered the one-man style of guerilla filmmaking that by the time of his death in 2004 was commonly used by ABC and SBS current affairs programs.

“Mark managed to combine the sensitivity of a Beat poet, the angry energy of punk and an academic’s drive for historical accuracy. He was the best storyteller I have ever known, in a business where stories are real currency. In that regard he died a wealthy man. Wanpla Big Man tru.” (BEN BOHANE Australian photojournalist, author, and TV producer)
 
 
 

“Mark was more Papuan than even he realised and he landed, like a Martian, into the greyness of Melbourne, bursting with stories of other worlds. There was no art, no music, no political crisis that didn’t have a brilliant parallel in tribal Melanesia.

A generation of artists, journalists and filmmakers were drawn into the region through Mark.  He was a steam train and a lot of people wanted to get on board. I certainly did. He changed my life and I will miss him forever”. [MARK DAVIS Journalist and SBS Dateline presenter who studied with Mark Worth at Swinburne Film School]

Pacific views on climate change and environmental destruction

SATURDAY 10 DECEMBER 2016 : 2pm
sampari-climate-change-and-environmental-impacts-10-dec-2016-2pm
Jacynta Fuamatu is the Melbourne representative for 350 Pacific, a climate change action group with strong regional partners that advocates for Pacific islanders. Wensi is concerned with forest destruction in West Papua and its global consequences. The forum also features a parade of designer Off2War’s wearable art made from recycled materials.

West Papua Rent Collective Open Day

SUNDAY 11 DECEMBER 2016 : 1-3pm
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The WP CHRISTMAS PARTY is one of three OPEN DAYS where West Papua Rent Collective members meet, eat, learn, and catch up on West Papua’s political progress towards self-determination and independence. All friends of West Papua are welcome. Donations for the exquisite lunch by DAPUR SAMPARI (Papua Kitchen) very welcome. RSVP for catering: frwpwomensoffice@gmail.com; (03) 9049 9590

After lunch the Reverend Dr J.T. Hollis (Father Turi) from Christchurch Anglican Church in St Kilda leads a special ceremony for political prisoners around the moving artwork of Barbara Tipper whose EPHEMERAL is “a collection of found objects from the environment and nature crafted into a mindful arrangement which speaks to the notion of transience or ephemerality.”

WEST PAPUA RENT COLLECTIVE is a unique galaxy of Australians investing in West Papua’s future as an independent Melanesian state. Their $30/month ($360/annum) deposits pay the rent on the FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF WEST PAPUA’s inspiring five-star-energy office on the Yarra River at 838 Collins St in Docklands (Victoria).

The Federal Republic of West Papua (FRWP) was established in 2011 by five thousand academics, church leaders and senior tribal leaders. It has both self-determination and resistance capabilities and operates in measured opposition to Indonesia’s administration. The FRWP’S DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, IMMIGRATION & TRADE opened in Docklands in June 2014 and is co-ordinated by Jacob Rumbiak, the only FRWP Executive living outside West Papua.  The FRWP WOMEN’S OFFICE led by Babuan Mirino and Natalie Adadikam opened six months later. Both departments are developing activism and bureaucracies within the guidelines of Self-determination, Sustainability, and Good Governance.

ONE PAGE SUMMARY OF SAMPARI ART EXHIBITION & EVENTS
pdf sampari-art-exhibition-for-west-papua-1-page-summary
word sampari-art-exhibition-for-west-papua-1-page-summary

SAMPARI SPONSORS  West Papua’s escalating profile in 2016, as distinct from ten years ago in 2006, has meant a healthy number of firms became interested in sponsoring the Sampari Exhibition.  Besides the AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY, this includes BENDIGO BANK, MOON DOG CRAFT BREWERY, ARTWAY FRAMES, TOTAL PRINT SOLUTIONS, TAKING OFF TOURS TRAVEL AGENCY, IMAGE UNITED PHOTOGRAPHY. The Federal Republic of West Papua sincerely thanks these captains of industry for their support.

frontpiece cartoon: Andrew Dyson Avoiding the real West Papua The Age, 15 May 2006
16-15-may-2006-andrew-dyson-big-avoiding-the-real-west-papua-the-age:

MELANESIAN WALL OF ART: Artist callout for 2016 Sampari Art Exhibition

Faye 2 (Tommy Latupeirissa) copy

Dancing Antheriums by Faye Gregson (Sampari 2015); Photograph: Tommy Latupeirissa

IN RECOGNITION OF the Melanesian nations success in winning a bitterly contested battle over West Papua’s inclusion in the Melanesian Spearhead Group and Pacific Islands Forum, Sampari 2016 has created a MELANESIAN WALL OF ART for the work of artists who live in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, as well as the Kanak of New Caledonia. 

THE MELANESIAN WALL OF ART is for artwork inspired by West Papuans, or by West Papua, or by your people’s relations with the emerging new state.

MELANESIANS HAVE A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE ON WEST PAPUA. They see a kin state bursting with songsters and poets and imaginative resistance to Indonesia’s genocidal policies. They see a war zone where brown-skinned people with frizzy hair like themselves are being murdered for raising a flag. They see tiny isolated villages struggling to survive in a militarized colonial space. They see unique flora and fauna stifling in the shadow of the biggest gold-and-copper mine in the world. They want to strong-arm their politicians for their next monumental battle, to relist West Papua on the UN Decolonisation List in September 2016.

HOW TO SUBMIT: Step by step Instructions.

If your artwork is a photograph, email the photograph, with your Submission Form, to melanesia.sampari@gmail.com

OR

If your artwork is a one-dimensional A4 size drawing, painting, print, or weaving, scan your work at 720 dpi, and email the scan, with your Submission Form, to melanesia.sampari@gmail.com

OR

If your artwork is a sculpture or other 3D work, take a quality photograph in good light, and email the photograph, with your Submission Form, to melanesia.sampari@gmail.com

The Sampari Committee in Melbourne will print your scan or photograph on quality paper.  It will be exhibited on the MELANESIAN WALL OF ART as part of the Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua in the Australian Catholic University Art Gallery (2-11 December 2016).

Sales of prints will be split 50/50 between the Artist and the Federal Republic of West Papua Women’s office which is a volunteer organisation working for the Self-determination and independence  of West Papua.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE Monday 17 October 2016
SUBMISSION FORM: https://form.jotform.co/Sampari2016/sampari-2016
SUBMISSION FORM (PDF version)  melanesian-submission-form

For more details or help, please email the Sampari team on melanesia.sampari@gmail.com

FOR OUR KANAK FRIENDS IN NEW CALEDONIA: l’Exposition d’Art Mélanésien Sampari pour la Papouasie Occidentale

Cette exposition et la série d’évènements associés représentent un engagement unique d’une importance considérable.  Cette année nous voulons apporter notre soutien au Premier Ministre des Iles Salomon pour obtenir la réinsertion de la Papouasie Occidentale sur la liste du Comité de Décolonisation des Nations Unies.  Nous voulons démontrer le soutien des autres nations mélanésiennes par le biais de la créativité qui exprime un message fort d’espoir et de solidarité envers la Papouasie Occidentale.  Nous voulons également montrer aux dirigeants et aux médias que les peuples mélanésiens ne soutiennent pas l’occupation illégale de la Papouasie Occidentale.

L’objectif principal du rôles de coordinateur est de collecter les soumissions d’œuvres d’art inspirées de la Papouasie Occidentale dans chaque nation du Groupe Mélanésien Fer de Lance.

RESPONSABILITÉS † Publicité et promotion par le biais des réseaux sociaux, radios, groupes artistiques, posters etc † Rappels des dates limites—les réseaux sociaux, Facebook, sms, email, en personne † Aider les artistes à scanner et numériser leurs documents avant les dates limites, s’assurer de la signature des documents et de leur envoi par courrier électronique (trouver un scanner dont le propriétaire autorisera l’utilisation gratuite, ce que nous reconnaîtrons en tant que parrainage) † S’assurer que les œuvres soumises soient conformes aux conditions requises: résolution (720dpi) et de dimension A4 † Réception du paiement pour les œuvres puis distribution aux artistes (nous aurons besoin de vos coordonnées bancaires)

Vous bénéficierez de l’assistance d’un contact basé à Melbourne qui vous aidera et de répondre à toutes vos questions par email: melanesia.sampari@gmail.com.  Nous vous enverrons les posters et brochures publicitaires en fichiers numériques pour distribution en ligne.

Image: Dancing Antheriums by Faye Gregson (Sampari 2015); Photograph: Tommy Latupeirissa

Visual, media, sculpture, jewellery, craft artists! West Papua’s 2017 Sampari Art Exhibition

The West Papua Women’s Office in Docklands is asking Visual, Media, Sculpture, Jewellery and Craft Artists to consider entering work in the 2017 SAMPARI ART EXHIBITION FOR WEST PAPUA.  This third exhibition is also in the Australian Catholic University Art Gallery in Fitzroy (Melbourne) between 8 and 17 December 2017.

Submission Deadline: Friday 20 October 2017

Submission Form below. Please note that submissions must include a photograph of your completed work.  There is no submission fee.  Artworks chosen will be on sale to the viewing public unless otherwise specified by artist.   Proceeds of sales are shared 50/50 between Artist and FRWP Women’s Office.

Sampari 2015 and 2016 attracted glass work, collage, print, wirework, photography, film, traditional weaving, mixed media, street sculpture, oil paintings.  The only pre-requisite is that work is inspired by West Papua: BY the people, their culture(s), their politics, their history, OR their extraordinary flora and fauna and maritime and territorial environments.

West Papua, brutally occupied by Indonesia since 1 May 1963, is a bounty of inspiration and paradox.  It’s a territory of extraordinary physical beauty (being plundered).  An ancient landmass of complex geologies (being exploited).  A living museum of rare flora and fauna (sold in black markets across Java).  The home of an indigenous people with footprints across ancient time and space.  The West Papuans are our closest neighbour. Their ambition is to be free and independent. The engagement of western and melanesian artists is crucial as they approach a dangerous climax in their long freedom struggle.

PDF Submission Form Sampari 2017, Submission form
INQUIRIES frwpwomensoffice.sampari@gmail.com or Robin Vote on 0413 802 612

MELANESIAN WALL OF ART

Sampari 2017 is again featuring artists from the Melanesian nations. This is to acknowledge their unique political support and leadership in the bitterly contested battle over West Papua’s inclusion in the Melanesian Spearhead Group and Pacific Island Forum.  Recognition by these regional fora is the first formal acknowledgement of West Papua’s independence movement since the beginning of the Indonesian occupation in 1963.  It heaved West Papuans’ self-determination ambitions onto the international stage, a quest now championed in the United Nations by a Pacific Coalition of Melanesian, Micronesian, and Polynesian states.

Solomon Islanders, ni-Vanuatu, Papua New Guineans, Fijians, and the Kanak of New Caledonia (who are preparing for an independence referendum in 2018) have a unique perspective on West Papua.  They see a war zone where brown-skinned people with frizzy hair like themselves are murdered for raising a flag.  They see a kin state bursting with songsters and poets and imaginative resistance to Indonesia’s genocidal policies.  They see tiny isolated villages struggling to survive within a militarized colonial space.  They see unique flora and fauna stifling in the shadow of the biggest gold-and-copper mine in the world.  Their solidarity strong-arms their politicians for the monumental battle of relisting West Papua on the UN Decolonisation List.

INQUIRIES melanesia.sampari@gmail.com, or Robin Vote on 0413 802 612
Click to view 2016 Melanesian Wall of Art https://dfait.federalrepublicofwestpapua.org/melanesian-wall-of-art-2016-sampari-art-exhibition-sale-for-west-papua/

SAMPARI FORUMS AND EVENTS

In 2017, the FRWP Women’s Office is again hosting a series of Sampari Forums in the ACU Art Gallery during the exhibition. The forums increase the audience for the visual arts exhibited, and provide space for the exposure of other artists like Poets, Songsters, Musicians, Writers, Activists and Intellectuals (details announced in August 2017)

INFORMATION TO INSPIRE [click to enlarge and read]





















FRWP WOMENS’ OFFICE
Federal Republic of West Papua, 211, 838 Collins St, Docklands 3008, Victoria

TEL (61 03) 90499590; www.dfait.federalrepublicofwestpapua.org; frwpwomensoffice.sampari@gmail.com

Peter Woods wins People’s Choice Award at Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua

Peter Woods, Nymphaea Papuana
PETER WOODS won the People’s Choice Award at the Sampari Art Exhibition for West Papua. His Papuana Nymphaea is a gouache on watercolour paper that brings to light the suffering of the West Papuans in the setting of Monet’s famous Nymphaeas series of water lilies. The award was a Gift Voucher ($150) from FITZROY STRETCHES in Brunswick. (Photo: Peter Woods)

FROM THE CATALOGUE  This work comes from a current landscape series I have been doing as my response to spending two hours sketching in the gardens of Impressionist Claude Monet in Giverny, France. I have introduced the West Papuan suffering at the hands of the Indonesian state into the setting of Monet’s famous Nymphaes series  of the waterlilies in his famous garden ponds. The images in the pond of young Papuan people recently killed by Indonesian security forces seeks to deliberately disrupt the enjoyment of the garden’s aesthetic. It challenges the viewer to respond to this dissonance and reflect on how we in a free and democratic society can accept violent repression right next door to us, in our face. I also reference the ancient mythology  of the beautiful nymphs who were believed to live in ponds – hence the origin of the lily botanical name. In this garden view, however,  it is the beauty of Papuan youth that emerges from the waters, surfacing as ornamental dead witnesses making a mute appeal for justice to lovers, and painters, of pleasure gardens.

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PHOTO: Van T Rudd, ACU Art Gallery, 4 December 2015

VAN T RUDD also won a People’s Choice Award with his sculpture Let rage, unity and love take form. The Award was a Gift Voucher of one frame donated by FRAMED BY YOU in Richmond.

FROM THE CATALOGUE The fight against the power of capital is global. When somebody resists state forces, they speak the language of a common goal: dignity and equality. Yet corrupt state forces are strong, and their ties with the world’s wealthiest bring immense power. This sculpture displays that fulcrum of opposing powers, and aims to gather and sling the arrows of justice for West Papua.

Bronwen Bender

PHOTO: Bronwen Bender 2015

BRONWEN BENDER won a People’s Choice Award donated by GREAT FRAMES in Northcote with her wire-art portraits of four West Papuan (former) political prisoners.

FROM THE CATALOGUE: FACES OF FREEDOM

1) Jacob Rumbiak as a student, lecturer, culture man, and political prisoner helped inspire the generation of Indonesian students who brought down Suharto in 1998, and the West Papuan who are slowly but inevitably winning their independence. He escaped from Indonesia in 1999 to observe the referendum in East Timor, and from there was flown to Australia where he is widely recognised as a diplomat and a leading scholar on Indonesia and West Papua.

2) Muma Yusefa Alomang and husband Markus Kwalik, whose five children died from tailing sickness, have spent their lives fighting the landlessness, poverty, and disease in communities displaced by the Freeport Mine. Their tribe, the Amungme, have ancestral tenure over Nemangkawi, the site of the mine, and between 1977 and 1994 Muma Yusefa was incarcerated eighteen times, including in a cargo container of human faeces for a month. In 1999 she won the Yap Thiam Hien Human Rights Award, in 2001 the Goldman Environmental Prize, and in 2005 she was one of 1,000 women nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

3) Buchtar Tabuni was born into the Lani tribe of the Central Highlands. After studying engineering in Makassar (South Sulawesi) he returned to Jayapura and found the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) for independence. In 2008 he was incarcerated for three years, after being charged with treason for rallying support for the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (in London). In the notorious Abepura Prison he was continually tortured and beaten by the Indonesian military and refused hospital treatment.

4) Babuan Mirino was thirteen in 1962 when the United Nations gave her homeland to Indonesia. While raising her seven children she was midwife to hundreds of women who refused to go to government hospitals where the child and mother mortality rate is the highest in Indonesia. Her husband’s political activism eventually forced her to seek asylum and she is now the Convenor of the West Papua Women’s Office in Docklands.

SOME OTHER ARTWORKS IN THE EXHIBITION

Vicki Kinai, Sampari art Exhibition 2015

PHOTO: Tommy Latupeirissa, ACU Art Gallery, 4 December 2015

PNG artist VICKI KINAI’s Perseverance and Endurance against the Odds (twisted tapa fibre, shells, pig tusk, bird, Emu feathers) is a hand-woven necklance designed and created in traditional Melanesian style to honour the women of West Papua. “They weave against the odds even when their tomorrow is bleak. They continue to persevere as mothers, wives, sisters, aunties and grandmothers of their loved ones whose lives have been lost in the fight for freedom.” (Photo: Tommy Latuepirissa)

Honai, ACU Art Gallery, 4-13 Dec 2015

PHOTO: Tommy Latupeirissa, ACU Art Gallery, 4 December 2015

Honai, 1 Dec 2015, Queens Rd (Tommy Latupeirissa), 2

PHOTO: Tommy Latupeirissa, 1 December 2015, opposite Indonesian Consulate, Queens Rd, Melbourne

Honai by LOBER WAINGGAI and GILIUS KOGOA. Honai is the home style in the highlands of West Papua, but this one was working outside the Indonesian Consulate in Queens Road on 1 and 2 December before moving 7 kms across town to the ACU Art Gallery in Fitzroy.

Tommy, Art Exhibition, 1

PHOTO: Dekki Woirei. Tommy Latupeirissa with his entry for the Sampari Art Exhibition Struggling for West Papua in Kanaky (New Caledonia), Struggling for West Papua in Union Lane, Melbourne, Struggling for West Papua in Solomon Islands

TOMMY LATUPEIRISSA has been photographing the indigenous peoples of the Pacific for years, at home, at play, and at their most dramatic in cultural festival and political rallies. He uses his photos to fortify the self-determination and independence ambitions of the Melanesian people of West Papua and their cultural cultural and political kin in Maluku.

Jacob, Dean Golja, 2015

PHOTO: Dean Golja, Studio, November 2015

Portrait of Jacob Rumbiak by DEAN GOLJA. “The artist’s intention for this portrait was to capture Jacob’s honesty and the result is this sincere and unpretentious photograph.”

‘A Dowry for the Sultan’, 3CR radio-interview with author Lance Collins, 9 November 2015

Jill, Preparatory sketch, A Dowry for the Sultan
A DOWRY FOR THE SULTAN is an exquisitely detailed account of a massacre averted in September 1054 in the predominately Armenian town of Manzikert on the eastern rim of the Byzantine Empire. An invading army of Turkic warriors from the steppes of Central Eurasia, led by the great Seljuk chief Tughrul Bey, are beaten by the civilians of the town in an extraordinary demonstration of courage, imagination, and love. (Seventeen years later, the steppe warriors returned and defeated the armies of the Byzantine Emperor Diogenes, opening up Anatolia, in what is now the Republic of Turkey, to the mass-migration of Turkic herders and their flocks).

LANCE COLLINS was the Australian Defence Force’s top military strategist for years and is well versed in the military history of imperial conquests. He has an abiding concern for the fate of small nations whose existence challenges the strategic interests of great powers. He first heard about the Armenian defence of Manzikert against the Turkic invasions while he was attached to the Headquarters of the 3rd US Army in Kuwait in 1992 (during the withdrawal of UN weapons inspectors from Iraq). He describes the siege as ‘the genesis of a genocide’, drawing a direct link between the imperial invasions of the eleventh century and the ‘Armenian Genocide’ by Ottoman government forces early in the twentieth century.

In 2015, on the hundreth anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Collins considers parallels between the behaviour of the Ottoman Government and Indonesia’s genocidal policies in East Timor and West Papua, where he has himself witnessed the long-term consequences of war, persecution and trauma on people’s lives, and the ongoing impacts of what we now call Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. “We need to recognise the truth of what transpires and oppose these crimes, whether against Armenians, East Timorese, or West Papuans,” he says.

Lance Collins, Author of ‘A Dowry for the Sultan’, Interviewed by Dr Joe Toscano, RADICAL AUSTRALIA, 3CR Community Radio, Melbourne, 9 November 2015.

Image: Jill Collins, Preparatory sketch for the cover of ‘A Dowry for the Sultan’

Maraki Vanuariki Welcome Ceremony, Reconciliation and Unity Summit for West Papuan leaders, Vanuatu, 28 November 2014

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