“What I try to do is just storytelling, I want people to know what is happening in West Papua, while Indonesia has been banning foreign media for 57 years. It’s up to the citizens of other countries, when they know what is happening there, to use your democratic voice and rights to tell political representatives to act in the name of humanity, in the name of international law and peace and justice.” ~ Raki Ap
E67 – RAKI AP ON COLONIAL RACISM, CLIMATE CRISIS AND EMPOWERED ACTIVISM
A VOICE IN THE DARKNESS: SPEAKING OUT FOR THE SILENCED
Listen to the conversation:
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About this interview:
How can we use our freedom to stand up for the oppressed?
In this episode Amisha connects with civil servant and activist Raki Ap.
Raki shares the story of his life: fleeing West Papua as a child, growing up in the Netherlands and joining the Dutch army, and now living in political exile in The Hague. He wants the world to know what has been happening in West Papua to West Papuans and what we as individuals can do to support them and stand up for their freedom.
Raki tells his father’s story and the story of the indigenous West Papuan people. He shares horrors and atrocities that have been hidden from the world for 50 years due to the foreign media blackout in West Papua. He speaks about the work he is doing in the Netherlands to inspire young people to act, to raise their voices and to feel empowered to speak out for those who are silenced by oppression.
Together Raki and Amisha share personal stories of their experiences of West Papua and West Papuans, speaking about reclaiming ancestral heritage and the root cause and impact of climate breakdown.
“It is like instantly a connection from human to human – that is my experience when I meet an indigenous person I’ve never met – it’s like instant “Oh you love nature too, nature is your mother as well – yes mine too. So what can we do together.” It’s instantly a click. This is the connection that we have lost with each other in this so-called civilised society, modern society.” ~ Raki Ap
Raki Ap is currently working as a civil servant at the Ministry of the Interior in the Netherlands, where he fled with his mother and three brothers after the murder of his father Arnold Ap. He is known as an all-round activist, who is committed to political, human rights and climate activism. Because in West Papua all three elements have common ground.
Raki entered the Dutch army because he wanted to contribute to international peace and security and it gave a good foundation to his turbulent youth, as well as discipline, knowledge and experience, which he has used for the storytelling campaign in the past 10 years.
In the Netherlands Raki gives the climate debate a more indigenous perspective, because in order to solve climate change in only 11 years, we don’t have to turn around the facts, but to point out what needs to be raised. West Papua is a story that includes all elements and Raki tells that story with passion, so that we can inspire each other to win the important battle and stop climate change.
To find out more about Raki, visit freewestpapua.org
To connect or work with Amisha, visit amisha.co.uk
Links from this episode:
Sign Avaaz petition to Free West Papua
IPCC Calls for Securing Community Land Rights to Fight Climate Change
Eunice Kerexu from the Guarani people of the Amazon
The Feminine Rise Event with One Billion Rising
The Wretched of the Earth speech on climate strikes
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