16 May 2012

New technology means West Papuans' plight won't fade away, says author

2:19 pm on 16 May 2012

A new book about the indigenous people of Indonesia's Papua region says Papuans have seemingly never-ending reserves of hope for self-determination.

Freedom in Entangled Worlds is the culmination of almost 15 years of research about the West Papuan freedom struggle by American cultural anthropologist Eben Kirksey.

His book documents the way West Papuans have collaborated with outside forces to further their cause rather than continue resistance against the Indonesian military forces in the region.

Mr Kirksey says a lot has changed since last century when he witnessed atrocities by the security forces against Papuans in Biak.

"Whereas in 1998 I witnessed this massacre (in Biak) and nobody knew about it, nobody knew how to represent it. This book that's just come out is the first time I've published anything about it. I was afraid to talk about it for fear of being killed myself. Now we have people instantly uploading videos, we have people sending text messages in real time. This isn't something that can be hidden from the international community anymore."

Eben Kirksey