Kurdish refugee Farhad Bandesh has released a song from Manus Island

Manus Island detainee, Farhad Bandesh, has overcome insurmountable odds to release a music video for his debut single The Big Exhale.

It’s a stunning song with striking vocals and an overwhelming sense of longing.

Kurdish asylum seeker Farhad Bandesh has written a solemn, heartbreaking lament for freedom from within Manus Island detention.

Farhad Bandesh has been held on Manus Island for nearly six years. The Kurdish artist has been writing within the confines of detainment and has released a stunning, yet heartbreaking piece of musicThe Big Exhale. 

The Big Exhale was written across borders with the help of David Bridie (Not Drowning, Waving) and Jenell Quinsee, who connected with Bandesh through the Writing Through Fences initiative. Writing through fences is a group of people who have been, or are, incarcerated in the Australian government detention regime. It works to shed light on the colonialism that still exists and divides those living on the stolen lands of Australia by illuminating the voices and artists forces of those living in detainment.

The new music video for The Big Exhale was made in collaboration with the Melbourne City Ballet, and features dancer Bilal Zeine, in a powerful evocation of the claustrophobia of detention. It’s a powerful piece of music and clip takes place entirely within a caged fence.

The song can be purchased on Bandcamp with all proceeds going to Farhad Bandesh’s future.