*bespoken 3rd Edition in print now!

photos from The Social Studio Collection 1 fashion parade as part of the RISE (Refugees, Survivors and Ex-detainees) Festival at Federation Sqaure.

@3 years ago with 1 note
#the social studio #fashion #local #newspaper #melbourne #australia 

Roll up, roll up!

*bespoken is now in print. With 5000 copies floating around Australia you might just come across one. Keep an eye out or pick one up at The Social Studio, 128 Smith St Collingwood.

@4 years ago
#the social studio #yarrareporter #local news #collingwood #fitzroy #melbourne #newspaper #first edition 

100 days: Still no resolution for Tamil Asylum Seekers

January 18, 2010 marked 100 days since the 255 Tamil asylum seekers, escaping civil war in Sri Lanka, have been moored at Merak in Indonesia, afraid that if they disembark, they will be sent back to their war-torn country.

A protest was held at the State library in Melbourne on this date, with similar demonstrations held around the world, to mark the 100 days and to demand that the Tamil asylum seekers on board the Jaya Lestari be allowed into Australia and processed as refugees of war.

The rain fell as the crowd gathered to express their opposition to the Rudd Governments “Indonesia Solution”, whereby the Australian government is funding detention centres in Indonesia to house asylum seekers, despite the fact that Indonesia is not a signatory to the UN’s refugee convention.

The demands of the day were to say no to this policy, to bring the Jaya Lestari boat from Merak to Australia to process the refugees and to close the Christmas Island detention centre.

Anthony Main, national organiser for the Socialist party, was part of a delegation of human rights activists, lawyers and trade unionists that visited the refugees that are currently on the boat moored in Merak in November 2009.

“It was an eye-opener. It’s such a small boat…250 or so people and it’s absolutely horrific the conditions, the weather is atrocious, the boat is leaking water onto the boat and people are having to lay side by side…there’s only one toilet for 250 people! The food that has been provided is causing people to get really sick.”

Such appalling conditions have already resulted in the death on board of George Jacob Samuel Christin, 29, who died due to medical negligence on Christmas Eve. Conditions have led to widespread illness for those on the boat.

There is strong evidence from the UN, with the war crimes Tribunal in Dublin giving evidence, that Sri Lanka has committed war crimes and human rights abuses, with internment camps being compared to concentration camps.

Kanchana Senthuran, the first speaker who is from the Australian Tamil Congress, stated that persecution and discrimination was the cause of the desperate exodus on unsafe vessels.

A number of Tamil asylum seekers in detention were subject to interrogation by the Sri Lankan military, a clear violation of the UN human rights convention.

Senthuran stated that Tamils are well-integrated members of society and have made valuable contributions to Australia, both culturally and economically. They are not, as the Sri Lankan government have claimed, ‘radicalised’ or ‘extremists’.

She argued: “How can one jump a queue, when one was never allowed to join the queue?”

Indonesian Solidarity Forum spokesperson, Setyo Budi, raised the fact that the ‘Indonesia Solution’ has propped up the Indonesian regime, a quasi Suharto’s New Order regime that has “ignored the past human rights abuse and given impunity to the perpetrators.”

As the weather started to break further, a live crossover to the boat was performed with Sanjeev “Alex” Kuhendrarajah’s, who is currently on board and corresponds online. His voice pierced the air giving a chilling testimonial:

“We have had 100 days of suffering and pain, neglected, denied, threatened, assaulted, physically and verbally. The children are asking questions and I don’t know what to say to them.”

He doesn’t understand why the Australian government is not supporting them. He wants to send a clear message to Kevin Rudd and is willing to campaign for as long as it takes.

He said that Indonesia has made it clear that it is not their problem and politicians should put away their politics and get a clear solution with the Sri Lankan and Afghan refugees, a solution fairer than the Indonesian one.

“We just want freedom.” He said.

A representative from the Australian Greens, Sarah Hanson Young, also expressed her opinion to the “failed” Indonesian Solution, which she said was disgraceful for Australia to think that other people don’t deserve the basic human rights.

“I think it’s shameful that we have an Australian Government, who despite pledging to take a more humane approach, is simply allowing business as usual, given that the lives of the people on this boat are being destroyed.” She said.

Kevin Rudd made the phone call to the Indonesian government to stop this boat from arriving so “That it wouldn’t have to be Australia’s problem.” According the The Age newspaper, Australia maintains it is solely up to Indonesian authorities to negotiate the disembarkation of the asylum seekers.

Since the protest took place, the asylum seekers on board remain in a state of uncertainty. Indonesian authorities arrested Australian activists Pamela Kerr and Saradah Nathan and Canadian Jessica Chandrashekar during their January 2010 trip to help those on the boat. After being interrogated and detained without charges being laid, they were deported back to their respective countries.

The Indonesian Navy seized the Jaya Lestari on the 18th of October, 2009. Amongst the 255 on board are 39 children, 29 women (One who is about to give birth) and 186 men. A high proportion of the group has already been assessed as genuine refugees by the UNHCR.

For more information, visit www.indonesiansolidarityforum.blogspot.com and for further photo’s from the event, visit www.yarrareporter.org.au

@4 years ago with 3 notes
#merak #Asylum Seekers #tamil #sri lanka #civil war #melbourne #australia #indonesia 

Sneak peak at The Social Studio Collection 01 filmed at the RISE Festival. thesocialstudio.org MUSIC: SIA Clap Your Hands (Diplo Remix)

@3 years ago
#the social studio #refugee #melbourne #australia #fashion #RISE #festival #ethical #clothing 

Making music to find an identity

By Akech Manyiel, yarraReporter.org.au Photo - Asiah by Andrew Wuttke

Contemporary music is being used as a tool for young Sudanese artists to help find their identity and challenge the past.

Manyang Beriberi, one of the organisers of the Sudanese Talent Show that happens in Melbourne every December says that “The young artists sing in English, they break from their older counterparts who predominantly sing in  Sudanese languages such as Arabic juba, Dinka and Nuer.  They have embraced the modern music and use their cultural background to express themselves”

Many of them fled from Sudan with their families due to the civil war that engulfed the country for over 2 decades.  They formed music bands to express their thoughts.  Bands such as Sudaboys, Revolution, City Noise, TLD AMCs, Mackz and solo artists such as Bang, Dadi-dy and Mismusic are quite known amongst Sudanese community.  Their adoption to the contemporary genre of music is sometimes criticised for forgetting the past.

“Many young Sudanese who grew up here lost their identity as Sudanese.  They are into American rap music and their lyrics often have no substance” said DJ MG or Manga’r Chuot, one of the well known Sudanese musicians.

Their upbringing and understanding of music is quite different from the Sudanese older generation of artists, who had to endure hardship which denied their talents because the Sudanese Government bans artists from expressing their thoughts and criticism.

Plath Diar is one these artists who experienced such treatment.  He survived and escaped from trauma that was caused by the war through music.  “I never stopped performing; I was often in conditions of extreme danger.  (To me) music was an escape from bad things that the war has created.  Artists and performers in south Sudan showed the same determination; they are local heroes there, and deserve to be recognized” said Diar.

Diar’s talent was recognized as early as when he was 2 years old.  He practiced singing at home, school and in the church.  He was placed as a runner up at the age of 17 in a national Arabic singing contest that is equivalent of Australian Idol.  He was the first southern Sudanese to win this prestigious singing contest.  Instead of gaining fame, the victory brought him into misery.  It changed his entire life.

For this achievement, he was given a house by the government, but he had to change his identity: changing his name and religion.   Shocked by what he got himself into and concerned with his life and family safety, he left for Khartoum, the capital.  Here he was forcefully recruited into the army and threatened to be dispatched to southern Sudan to fight other southerners.  His love of music and Dinka, the southerners’ vernacular, made him escape from the military camp.

“I fled the military training camp during Ramadan holiday break, I came home and packed my stuff and headed to the border where I crossed to Egypt” he said.

Such a story is quite familiar with Sudanese

older artists.  After living in Egypt for 4 years, he finally arrived in Australia in Dec 2002.  He gradually recovered from years of hardship; it took him 4 years before he could play music again.

“I had to work to support my family here in Australia and in the Sudan.  Any chance of me ever playing music again was remote” Diar said.

Bec Reid, one of the artists of the Footscray Arts Centre says, “When we talked with Diar, we realized that there is a need for a centre to help members of the Sudanese community.  Now the centre offers them a safe cultural place to develop as strong performing artists.”

To help other Sudanese artists, Diar with the help of Footscray Arts Centre formed the Sudanese Artist Association that aims to provide a network for Sudanese artists with organisations in the music industry.

“We offer members of the association professional development opportunities and chances beyond music which are out there, it just a matter of knowing how to look for them” said Reid.

Although there is a section of young Sudanese artists who totally embrace contemporary music and forget about their past, there are Sudanese young artists with a fresh memory about what they and their families went through in Sudan.  One of them is Joshua who uses music as a medium to reach an understanding about the effect of war on the population in Sudan.

“He expresses his angst about the war situation through his songs.  The lyrics of his songs often point out about the cancerous effects of war.  He also talks about suffering that is experienced by Southern Sudanese children” said Beriberi.

Such songs help raise awareness about the effect of war in the community; and the “Sudanese Talent Show” helps to forge a Southern Sudanese identity.  Such is another aim of Sudanese Arts Association, as Diar said. “(Being in Australia) is an opportunity for me and other Southerners to create a music identity.  Our culture has been denied; Sudan culture is synonymous with Northern Sudanese Arabs”.

yarraReporter are looking for participants in the City of Yarra to undertake journalism training.

Contact Anya via email anya@infoxchange.net.au


@4 years ago with 2 notes
#music #refugee #melbourne #sudanese #bespoken newspaper #yarrareporter 
3 years ago
#the social studio #fashion #local #newspaper #melbourne #australia 
3 years ago
#the social studio #refugee #melbourne #australia #fashion #RISE #festival #ethical #clothing 
Roll up, roll up!

*bespoken is now in print. With 5000 copies floating around Australia you might just come across one. Keep an eye out or pick one up at The Social Studio, 128 Smith St Collingwood.

4 years ago
#the social studio #yarrareporter #local news #collingwood #fitzroy #melbourne #newspaper #first edition 
Making music to find an identity

By Akech Manyiel, yarraReporter.org.au Photo - Asiah by Andrew Wuttke

Contemporary music is being used as a tool for young Sudanese artists to help find their identity and challenge the past.

Manyang Beriberi, one of the organisers of the Sudanese Talent Show that happens in Melbourne every December says that “The young artists sing in English, they break from their older counterparts who predominantly sing in  Sudanese languages such as Arabic juba, Dinka and Nuer.  They have embraced the modern music and use their cultural background to express themselves”

Many of them fled from Sudan with their families due to the civil war that engulfed the country for over 2 decades.  They formed music bands to express their thoughts.  Bands such as Sudaboys, Revolution, City Noise, TLD AMCs, Mackz and solo artists such as Bang, Dadi-dy and Mismusic are quite known amongst Sudanese community.  Their adoption to the contemporary genre of music is sometimes criticised for forgetting the past.

“Many young Sudanese who grew up here lost their identity as Sudanese.  They are into American rap music and their lyrics often have no substance” said DJ MG or Manga’r Chuot, one of the well known Sudanese musicians.

Their upbringing and understanding of music is quite different from the Sudanese older generation of artists, who had to endure hardship which denied their talents because the Sudanese Government bans artists from expressing their thoughts and criticism.

Plath Diar is one these artists who experienced such treatment.  He survived and escaped from trauma that was caused by the war through music.  “I never stopped performing; I was often in conditions of extreme danger.  (To me) music was an escape from bad things that the war has created.  Artists and performers in south Sudan showed the same determination; they are local heroes there, and deserve to be recognized” said Diar.

Diar’s talent was recognized as early as when he was 2 years old.  He practiced singing at home, school and in the church.  He was placed as a runner up at the age of 17 in a national Arabic singing contest that is equivalent of Australian Idol.  He was the first southern Sudanese to win this prestigious singing contest.  Instead of gaining fame, the victory brought him into misery.  It changed his entire life.

For this achievement, he was given a house by the government, but he had to change his identity: changing his name and religion.   Shocked by what he got himself into and concerned with his life and family safety, he left for Khartoum, the capital.  Here he was forcefully recruited into the army and threatened to be dispatched to southern Sudan to fight other southerners.  His love of music and Dinka, the southerners’ vernacular, made him escape from the military camp.

“I fled the military training camp during Ramadan holiday break, I came home and packed my stuff and headed to the border where I crossed to Egypt” he said.

Such a story is quite familiar with Sudanese

older artists.  After living in Egypt for 4 years, he finally arrived in Australia in Dec 2002.  He gradually recovered from years of hardship; it took him 4 years before he could play music again.

“I had to work to support my family here in Australia and in the Sudan.  Any chance of me ever playing music again was remote” Diar said.

Bec Reid, one of the artists of the Footscray Arts Centre says, “When we talked with Diar, we realized that there is a need for a centre to help members of the Sudanese community.  Now the centre offers them a safe cultural place to develop as strong performing artists.”

To help other Sudanese artists, Diar with the help of Footscray Arts Centre formed the Sudanese Artist Association that aims to provide a network for Sudanese artists with organisations in the music industry.

“We offer members of the association professional development opportunities and chances beyond music which are out there, it just a matter of knowing how to look for them” said Reid.

Although there is a section of young Sudanese artists who totally embrace contemporary music and forget about their past, there are Sudanese young artists with a fresh memory about what they and their families went through in Sudan.  One of them is Joshua who uses music as a medium to reach an understanding about the effect of war on the population in Sudan.

“He expresses his angst about the war situation through his songs.  The lyrics of his songs often point out about the cancerous effects of war.  He also talks about suffering that is experienced by Southern Sudanese children” said Beriberi.

Such songs help raise awareness about the effect of war in the community; and the “Sudanese Talent Show” helps to forge a Southern Sudanese identity.  Such is another aim of Sudanese Arts Association, as Diar said. “(Being in Australia) is an opportunity for me and other Southerners to create a music identity.  Our culture has been denied; Sudan culture is synonymous with Northern Sudanese Arabs”.

yarraReporter are looking for participants in the City of Yarra to undertake journalism training.

Contact Anya via email anya@infoxchange.net.au


4 years ago
#music #refugee #melbourne #sudanese #bespoken newspaper #yarrareporter 
100 days: Still no resolution for Tamil Asylum Seekers

January 18, 2010 marked 100 days since the 255 Tamil asylum seekers, escaping civil war in Sri Lanka, have been moored at Merak in Indonesia, afraid that if they disembark, they will be sent back to their war-torn country.

A protest was held at the State library in Melbourne on this date, with similar demonstrations held around the world, to mark the 100 days and to demand that the Tamil asylum seekers on board the Jaya Lestari be allowed into Australia and processed as refugees of war.

The rain fell as the crowd gathered to express their opposition to the Rudd Governments “Indonesia Solution”, whereby the Australian government is funding detention centres in Indonesia to house asylum seekers, despite the fact that Indonesia is not a signatory to the UN’s refugee convention.

The demands of the day were to say no to this policy, to bring the Jaya Lestari boat from Merak to Australia to process the refugees and to close the Christmas Island detention centre.

Anthony Main, national organiser for the Socialist party, was part of a delegation of human rights activists, lawyers and trade unionists that visited the refugees that are currently on the boat moored in Merak in November 2009.

“It was an eye-opener. It’s such a small boat…250 or so people and it’s absolutely horrific the conditions, the weather is atrocious, the boat is leaking water onto the boat and people are having to lay side by side…there’s only one toilet for 250 people! The food that has been provided is causing people to get really sick.”

Such appalling conditions have already resulted in the death on board of George Jacob Samuel Christin, 29, who died due to medical negligence on Christmas Eve. Conditions have led to widespread illness for those on the boat.

There is strong evidence from the UN, with the war crimes Tribunal in Dublin giving evidence, that Sri Lanka has committed war crimes and human rights abuses, with internment camps being compared to concentration camps.

Kanchana Senthuran, the first speaker who is from the Australian Tamil Congress, stated that persecution and discrimination was the cause of the desperate exodus on unsafe vessels.

A number of Tamil asylum seekers in detention were subject to interrogation by the Sri Lankan military, a clear violation of the UN human rights convention.

Senthuran stated that Tamils are well-integrated members of society and have made valuable contributions to Australia, both culturally and economically. They are not, as the Sri Lankan government have claimed, ‘radicalised’ or ‘extremists’.

She argued: “How can one jump a queue, when one was never allowed to join the queue?”

Indonesian Solidarity Forum spokesperson, Setyo Budi, raised the fact that the ‘Indonesia Solution’ has propped up the Indonesian regime, a quasi Suharto’s New Order regime that has “ignored the past human rights abuse and given impunity to the perpetrators.”

As the weather started to break further, a live crossover to the boat was performed with Sanjeev “Alex” Kuhendrarajah’s, who is currently on board and corresponds online. His voice pierced the air giving a chilling testimonial:

“We have had 100 days of suffering and pain, neglected, denied, threatened, assaulted, physically and verbally. The children are asking questions and I don’t know what to say to them.”

He doesn’t understand why the Australian government is not supporting them. He wants to send a clear message to Kevin Rudd and is willing to campaign for as long as it takes.

He said that Indonesia has made it clear that it is not their problem and politicians should put away their politics and get a clear solution with the Sri Lankan and Afghan refugees, a solution fairer than the Indonesian one.

“We just want freedom.” He said.

A representative from the Australian Greens, Sarah Hanson Young, also expressed her opinion to the “failed” Indonesian Solution, which she said was disgraceful for Australia to think that other people don’t deserve the basic human rights.

“I think it’s shameful that we have an Australian Government, who despite pledging to take a more humane approach, is simply allowing business as usual, given that the lives of the people on this boat are being destroyed.” She said.

Kevin Rudd made the phone call to the Indonesian government to stop this boat from arriving so “That it wouldn’t have to be Australia’s problem.” According the The Age newspaper, Australia maintains it is solely up to Indonesian authorities to negotiate the disembarkation of the asylum seekers.

Since the protest took place, the asylum seekers on board remain in a state of uncertainty. Indonesian authorities arrested Australian activists Pamela Kerr and Saradah Nathan and Canadian Jessica Chandrashekar during their January 2010 trip to help those on the boat. After being interrogated and detained without charges being laid, they were deported back to their respective countries.

The Indonesian Navy seized the Jaya Lestari on the 18th of October, 2009. Amongst the 255 on board are 39 children, 29 women (One who is about to give birth) and 186 men. A high proportion of the group has already been assessed as genuine refugees by the UNHCR.

For more information, visit www.indonesiansolidarityforum.blogspot.com and for further photo’s from the event, visit www.yarrareporter.org.au

4 years ago
#merak #Asylum Seekers #tamil #sri lanka #civil war #melbourne #australia #indonesia