Over the years on the Paradigm Shift one issue we have consistently covered is the struggle of the West Papuan people for their independence and self-determination in the face of often violent Indonesian repression.
I thought since our archives contain quite a bit of valuable information (most first hand from West Papuans) that is sometimes hard to find on this issue; it would be worth compiling some of the interviews we have done.
So what follows is an incomplete (but surely still vast enough for anyone) collection of the Paradigm Shift’s West Papuan coverage.
Speaking with Benny Wenda of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.
Benny Wenda is one of the most prominent advocates for West Papua around the world. We had him in the studio to chat about his own remarkable life and that of his country, as well as playing a couple of songs live in the studio. Broadcast 27/5/2016
Speaking with Danny about the Biak massacre and the canoe journey to Australia.
As a young man, Danny was an eyewitness to a massacre of West Papuan demonstrators by the Indonesian military. He later ventured to Australia as an asylum seeker and to further the struggle – on board a traditional canoe with 42 other West Papuans. The journey did not go smoothly. In this interview in four parts, we spoke with Danny about all this and more. Broadcast 24/10/2014
Speaking with Jason McLeod about Merdeka and the Morning Star
Australian Jason McLeod has been involved in the West Papuan independence movement for decades. In this three part interview we spoke to him on the launch of his book Merdeka and the Morning Star: Civil Resistance in West Papua. Broadcast 15/9/2016
December 1st – West Papuan independence day
Each year on December 1st, West Papuan people defy violent repression to raise the Morning Star flag on December 1st, the date of their initial independence from the Netherlands.
On December 1st 2017, we spoke to Papuan activist Ronny Kareni for updates from the struggle over the last year. We also spoke to David Bridie of the band Not Drowning Waving and the record label Wantok Musik about Papuan music and the role it plays in the struggle.
Reports from December 1st events in Brisbane
On the ground in King George Square for flag raising events in 2015:
Of course when played on the show those interviews would always be accompanied by some of the amazing music West Papuans have made over the years. That element is not always present in the interviews now, but I did write a short and incomplete history of Papuan freedom music which you can read and listen to here.