Music acts as an evocative communicative tool for many people, and there’s no other form of musical communication that’s more or direct or to the point than punk.
Currently, the situation on Manus Island has reached a pivotal point. With their water, food and electricity permanently cut off, 600 detainees refuse to leave as there have been no promises made regarding their safety by the Indonesian government. The situation has been a focal point for many Australians with issues being discussed, but the problem seemingly never really addressed. In the midst of all this debate stands Farhad Bandesh, a Kurdish detainee who’s been on Manus Island for 6 years after fleeing from Iran. He hasn’t let his situation stem his creativity.
“Flee From War” rattles open with distorted guitars and a throbbing drum beat that’s consistently threatening to overthrow the whole structure of the song. Here Farhad outlines perfectly the complexities of his situation, coming from a place of conflict there is relief in the chorus: “No more tears, no more war”. Yet there is also irony, in that his current environment is far from a utopic vision of peace. The guitar riff blares on in dirty noise as the group vocals chant on, representing a community in rebellion.
Overwhelmingly, the song stands as something rather special. Here we hear the voices of Kurdish and Rohingyan men in turmoil. Their perspective is emphasised far more clearly and urgently than any myriad of think pieces about the Manus Island debate ever could.
“Flee From War“ stands as a testament to the power of music to arrest attention and dissolve communicative barriers in order to get a message across. A message which is expressed no clearer than it is in the closing lyrics: “Human rights are our rights”.