Sanggar Sarak

This series of portraits are of Sanggar Sarak, a traditional tribal band hailing from Village Yenbekaki in Raja Ampat, West Papua

These portraits help show the rich and colourful culture of Papua, which is often unseen. The band’s homemade attire resembles the art and craftsmanship the people of Papua possess which includes their own homemade instruments.

The focus in their eyes towards the camera is what is striking with these photographs: it shows the ongoing struggle for freedom from Indonesia and to be independent like their neighbours in Papua New Guinea.

These portraits were taken during my time in Sorong, where I co-facilitated a week-long filmmaking workshop for Papuan activists called ‘Papuan Voices’.

The band had made the trip to Sorong from Raja Ampat, in which was their first stop before embarking on a tour around Java for performances. This was the first time for most of the band members to be traveling outside of West Papua.

‘Papuan Voices’ was run by Engage Media, with the activist’s finished films being screened throughout Indonesia and Australia. These films are viewable on http://www.papuanvoices.net.

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