Title: The Unheard Nation
Medium: Online interactive documentary
Available via: www.theunheardnation.com
Year: 2020
Demmy Koerni, my in-law father, came to the Netherlands in 1994 because he was at risk of being murdered by the Indonesian military elite.

Why? Because he was a member of the musical group Mambesak.

In their songs, they expressed their feelings and opinions which talk about the wrong doings by the Indonesian military they had experienced. This was seen as an act of separatism, which is why their chairman, Arnold Ap, was the first to be murdered in 1984.

Several members of Mambesak from left to right:
Marthen Sawaki (Second chairman), Arnold Clemens Ap (Chairman),
Demianus Waryap Koerni (Theater), Sam Kapisa (Music).

‘The Unheard Nation’ is an interactive documentary and a digital safe space that reveals how an imperial legacy has and still does, affect the lives of Native Papuans across the world. Colonialism, oppression, and human rights violations are sadly still the daily reality for many Papuans in West Papua. The Republic of Indonesia has occupied the land and treated its people unfairly and unjustly for decades without any international repercussions.

Through a visual essay, personal stories, a conversation piece, and background information you learn about this seemingly mythical place. But as you progress you realize that this is in fact not a mythical place, but a very dystopian reality. A place where something as a simple a raising a flag can get you 15 years in jail. A place where already 500,000 lives have been lost to the military occupation.

Because there is close to none foreign media access, with The Red Cross and Amnesty International not being allowed in, West Papua’s story gets no coverage. That is why it is essential that the story of West Papua is being told through other routes, like these. As Raki Ap, the son of Arnold Ap, shares in his story ‘Change is a choice, and it starts with you’.

Free West Papua.

View the documentary on desktop via www.theunheardnation.com

Rotterdam based
Digital artist