Australian singer-songwriter Missy Higgins has written a song, dedicated to the memory of Alan Kurdi, the Syrian refugee whose photo shook the internet, and brought the refugee issue to the surface of international media. This song, titled Oh Canada, tells the story of the boys family, and their fearful journey of hope in pursuit of refuge in Canada. Whilst raising awareness for refugees and challenging the prejudices placed on “boat people”, in producing this song Missy has also empowered refugee children, through giving them a chance to tell their own story. The song’s powerful music video features images illustrated by refugee children, detailing their own experiences, making the clip overwhelmingly honest, showing that this issue is affecting real people, real children, not just statistics or unseen faces.
This song has affected us on an emotional level, and is unlike anything we have listened to or seen before. And it couldn’t have been released to the world at a more fitting time, with the Australian Government considering returning over 260 immigrants into detention on Nauru. The momentum the refugee activism movement within Australia is growing every second, and change is well and truly in the air. To show your support of the movement, sign the Amnesty petition – asking the government to not send refugees back to Nauru – here (and why not share it with your friends?). You can watch Missy Higgin’s video clip here, and download Oh Canada on iTunes – all proceeds are donated to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Change is on it’s way. Australia does have a heart, and it’s starting to beat faster and faster.