Rocking for West Papua: South Africa Joins the Global Music Phenomena

  • Written by Leora Haynes
  • Published in News

papau 1 sep 2016

Rize of the Morning Star is a global movement that began through passion, determination and a sense to create change. Their current project titled 'ROCKING FOR WEST PAPUA' is a global music revolution orientated around raising awareness in an attempt to end the atrocities to the people of West Papua that have been happening for over 50 years and still occurring today.

For a good few of us, places like West Papua are often overlooked when searching for directions on Google Maps and the same can be said for the livelihood of the indigenous people that occupy this area.

West Papua is an area a mere 150+ kilometers north of Australia where indigenous people have lived for over 50 000 years. In 1963 Indonesia invaded the land in a bitter attempt to gain ultimate power in a mineral-rich land and a regime of violence and oppression subsequently continued. Over 500 000 civilians have been murdered, raped and tortured under Indonesian rule and media and foreign aid are banned from entering this area.

This is where the power of ‘music through the masses’ comes in. Rize of the Morning Star started a call, ‘Rocking for West Papua’ to raise awareness and ultimately end the violence through a series of live music events happening worldwide from 30th September – 30th October 2016.

‘Punks for West Papua’ is an award-winning documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Anthony ‘Ash’ Brennan that aims to raise awareness and highlight the plight of the people of West Papua, ultimately through music.

Neil Kellington, bass guitarist of the Australian punk band ‘Diggers With Attitude’, one of the founders of this movement and long time friend of Anthony asked him to film their first R4WP performance. Two weeks later leader of the Free West Papua campaign, Benny Wanda gave an interview and it’s in those stories told that the true revolution began. The event soon grew to 51 bands performing in 7 cities and then some more, with the event to date becoming a worldwide pledge.

papau 2 sep 2016

South Africa will also be joining the movement with performances from some of SA punk music’s best-kept secrets. However, the Rocking For West Papua cause is not only aimed at punk rockers or rock music in general for that matter.

Bands, musicians and artists from all platforns are invited to take part globally and help open the rest of the world’s eyes sheerly through the power of music. You can register for R4WP and play your own gig in your country; or purchase and display the morning star on your turntable, drum kit, or hey, even yourself, or you can paint a mural. You can also make your voice heard through the #musicisaweapon tag on social media.

Slashdogs frontman Ryan Tarboton was Anthony’s first point of contact when he was planning the event. They met in 2010 when Anthony was working on the Fifa 2010 world cup in South Africa.

And here we are. Tickets are R50 until 6pm and R80 thereafter. Food and drink will be available and all-round good vibes showing that people KNOW what is happening, are AWARE of what’s happening and will not stand for ill treatment of other human beings any longer, be it in West Papua or on our own front porch.

the slashdogs papau gig sept oct
The Slashdogs Photo credit courtesy of the Slashdogs.

slippery when wet papau gig sept oct
Slippery When Wet Photo credit: Henry Engelbrecht.

made for broadway papau gig sept oct
Made For Broadway Photo credit: Henry Engelbrecht.

For more information, you can easily find the Facebook page by searching @R4WP16 and the event via Facebook 

All proceeds from the event will go toward freeing the indigenous people of West Papua.


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