Sorong Samarai by ARIA nominated musician Airileke Ingram is the powerful first release on the politically motivated record label, Rize of the Morning Star. Featuring West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda, Ingram has brought in the help of a talented mix of musicians, including log drumming from the Manus Islands and vocals by PNG artists Twin Tribe on vocals to create a potent mix of traditional and modern sounds. Raised between Darwin and his hometown in Papua New Guinea, Ingram has been involved in the Indigenous music scene for many years, collaborated with some of our top artists such as Blue King Brown and is passionate about raising awareness of genocide taking place in West Papua.
On 1st December 1961 former Dutch colonial power prepared West Papua for independence, with its own flag, national anthem and coat of arms. Only a year later, the Indonesian government invaded and has been committing genocide, including horrific massacres and incarcerations ever since.
'Sorong Samarai' or "S2S" is a term commonly used throughout Papua New Guinea and West Papua to express solidarity and oneness and makes reference to both Sorong, a town on the northwest tip of West Papua, and Samarai, a small township two thousand kilometres southeast, on the lower tip of Papua New Guinea — only 5kms from Queensland's Cape York Peninsula.
The chorus chant — "Sorong Samarai, one people, one soul, one destiny" is from Benny Wenda's now famous address to the United Nations 20 years ago.
“We wanted to positively present the beauty of West Papua and PNG and the strength of its culture and people so the wider community connects emotionally to the situation and begins to take a stronger interest,” says Airileke, the Melbourne-based Melanesian artist whose 2012 Weapon of Choice album was ARIA nominated.
The powerful clip was shot by Ingram and Blue King Brown's Carlo Santone, who traveled the length of the divided country capturing the beauty and complexity of its people, culture and landscape.
Check it out.