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Walking to the beat of the same drum for Harmony Week

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A group of young migrants from multilingual backgrounds are the stars of a new music video that calls for all cultures living in Australia to be united and live in happiness and peace.

Their song Same Drum delivers a strong message to other migrants about embracing life in Australia while never forgetting about where you come from.

Frank Mucho, one of the 17 year old rappers on the track says, “Sometimes some people look down on others that don’t speak English, but this project gives us kids an opportunity to explore our ideas and talents and break those stereotypes.”

The song and music video clip were created during a series of workshops with students from the Intensive English Centre at Aranmore Catholic College in Perth. It’s sung in three African languages – Swahili, Dinka and Kinyarwanda – and English. The project was devised by Curtin fine art graduate Poppy van Oorde-Grainger in collaboration with the young participants.

Once a teenage migrant herself, Poppy said she wanted to direct this project to empower young people.

“My intention was to give new Australians a voice and increase diversity on screen,” she says. “This project is a unique opportunity for young people to be leaders in telling their own stories.”

Seventeen-year-old Juk Yuang was one of the lead female vocals on the track.

“I just hope people will accept each other as one, cos we’re all the same, it doesn’t matter where you come from, your culture, who you are. We’re basically human beings,” she says.

The young participants worked with a team of high-profile artists to create a music video and script for a short film. The team included musician Scott Griffiths, writer David Vincent Smith, cinematographer Matsu, dancer Rita Nita, filmmaker Gemma Parsons and members of South Sudanese wrestling team, Western Empire.

The music video clip will be released online for Western Austra lia’s Harmony Week 15th-21st March and for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Same Drum is supported by project partners Beyond Empathy, Aranmore Catholic College, DADAA and Community Arts Network and the Australia Council for the Arts.

About Poppy van Oorde-Grainger

Poppy van Oorde-Grainger graduated from Curtin in 2002 with a Bachelor of Art (Fine Art). She is a filmmaker and artist specialising in collaborating with communities. Her work has been broadcast on Nickelodeon, SBS and ABC and presented at numerous festivals including London International Festival of Theatre, Japan Media Arts Festival, ImagineNATIVE in Canada and Ars Electronic in Austria.

Poppy has previously been awarded the Fremantle Print Award and the Australia Council Kirk Robson Award for young leaders in Community Arts and Cultural Development.

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