Byron screening of film to highlight plight of West Papua

A group of surfers travelled to West Papua looking for waves and adventure but instead found the country’s people living under a brutal regime.

Their story is the subject of a film, called Isolated, that will screen at Pighouse Flicks in Byron Bay on Friday night, for one showing only.

The film follows the surfers – Travis Potter, Andrew Mooney, Josh Fuller, Jenny Useldinger, Jimmy Rotherham – as they travel into the ‘no media’ zone of West Papua in search of unexplored waves.

Pro-independence militiamen in traditional headdress stand with their primitive weapons in the Baliem Valley, in West Papua, also known as Irian Jaya province, Indonesia. (AP Photo)

Pro-independence militiamen in traditional headdress stand with their primitive weapons in the Baliem Valley, in West Papua, also known as Irian Jaya province, Indonesia. (AP Photo)

Josh Fuller will make a special appearance at Friday’s film session to speak of their experience and answer questions.

Organiser Emma Capp, who attended the West Papua Freedom Forum in Darwin last year, said all proceeds from the film would go to the Free West Papua Campaign and United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).

‘West Papua one of the most forgotten conflicts on earth,’ Ms Capp said.

‘Ever since the Dutch left and Indonesia brutally occupied West Papua in 1963 its people have been traumatised by the military controlling their daily life.

‘In 1969 the UN officially and shamefully handed West Papua over to Indonesia, this and a series of events leading up to it were orchestrated by the US and their hunger for control of natural resources.

‘This was the beginning of oppression and slow-motion genocide of the West Papuan people that continues to this day.

‘The military presence dominates and often they shoot before asking questions.’

Ms Capp said anyone attending the film night with personal experience of West Papua would be welcome to speak at the event. They should contact her on 04166 34774.

The film will be screened on Friday at 6.30pm. Tickets are $18 and the film is not suitable for children.


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