New Guinea – Island Paradise

New Guinea is the world’s second largest island, and is was well one of the world’s last, vast and remote wildernesses. With a complex political history, this great island is divided. The western half, is now referred to as Papua, a region of Indonesia, while the eastern half, Papua New Guinea or PNG, has been an independent country since 1975.

New Guinea is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, and endures sporadic volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and occasional tsunamis. A mountain range rises across the length of New Guinea and deep rainforest is all enveloping.

The island contains an astonishing wealth of natural features, some protected by National Parks and UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserves, but huge swathes of it are unmapped and virtually unreachable. The chief towns and cities of both countries are, naturally, on the coast, but there is little in the way of roads or infrastructure. Travel is mainly by boat. Rivers criss-cross the whole region or you can travel on foot, or by plane

New Guinea is inhabited by about 1,000 different tribes, speaking a similar number of languages. Tourists are few, mainly visiting the extraordinary Dani culture, in Papua’s stunning Baliem Valley. Despite being nominally Christians, the Dani live traditionally.

Men wear penis sheaths, females wear short skirts, made of orchid fibres, worn beneath the buttocks. This high valley, surrounded by mountain peaks, is a vision of incredibly fertile cultivated fields. The Baliem River provides fish, and pigs are essential, being eaten at every ceremony.

In PNG the major attraction is the tribal hunter-gatherers who live along the banks of the island’s longest river, the Sepik. This culture is intrinsically entwined with crocodiles, and the men’s huge scarification reflects the animal’s scales.

Living in communal longhouses, Sepik River people are famous for their wood-carvings. Varying in style from village to village, nearly all of these find their way into the truly great museums around the world.
Sabung Ayam
Punks For West Papua – Documentary Screening – SYDNEY
The “Punks For West Papua” documentary has picked up 4 more awards, winning Best Short Documentary, Best Featurette, Best Editing and Best Screenplay at the 2017 Global Independent Film Awards.

Screening dates for this tour kicked off in Murwillumbah then onto Sydney, Canberra, Newcastle (*note change of date & venue) and Brookvale as part of the ‘Banned In Indonesia Screening Tour’, presented by The Free West Papua Campaign and Hired Gun TV. All screenings will be hosted by film director Anthony Ash Brennan along with guest speakers at each event.

Friday 10 March – Regent Cinema, Murwillumbah
7pm, $15.

Tuesday 14 March – PSA House, Sydney
5.30-7.30pm, Free Entry.

Friday 17 March – ANU Food Co-op, Canberra
7pm, Free Entry.

Thursday 22 March – Croation Wickham Sports Club, Newcastle*
6pm, Free Entry.

Thursday 23 March – 4Pines Brewery, Brookvale
7pm, Free Entry.

Proceeds go to The United Liberation Movement Of West Papua.

The confronting 46 minute short film documents an Australian wide movement spearheaded by a Sydney punk band to raise awareness of the genocide of the Indonesian people by the Indonesian military, and contains footage by West Papuan film maker Wensi Fatubun who has spent years documenting human rights abuses against the West Papuans by the Indonesian military. Wensi has travelled to the UN in Geneva on many occasions, presenting his footage as proof of the ongoing human rights abuses occurring in West Papua. The UN human rights commission are now taking Wensi's footage very seriously.

On Saturday 10th December 2016 Indonesian police shut down a screening of the “Punks For West Papua” documentary for film students in Manado, Northern Sulawesi Province, Indonesia. Several West Papuan students were taken away for questioning. No one was detained. The shutting down of this screening is further proof of the lack of freedom of speech and human rights of the West Papuan people. This is a film that the Australian Government does not want you to see.

Along with the Global Independent Film awards last month, “Punks For West Papua” has won a host of other awards around the world over the past 12 months including the Sydney Indie Film Awards & the Hollywood International Independent Documentary awards; was the Humanitarian Feature Film Winner at the 2016 Variety Film Festival Online, received an Award Of Merit at IndieFest San Diego 2016 and has also been included in the Official Selection and screenings at many film festivals.

Since filming ‘Punks For West Papua’, Ash has continued to help spread awareness of the plight of the West Papuans, from organising global Rockin For West Papua live music & arts events to staging personal protests in various locations around the world, and has recently been invited to become the Australian representative for the Free West Papua campaign by the International Leader of the campaign Benny Wenda.

PIC ATTACHED: Ash Brenna & Benny Wenda

Punks For West Papua – trailer