Australian singer songwriter Missy Higgins has pens a song and animated video that pays tribute to the plight of Syrian refugees.
It is called ‘Oh Canada’ and powerfully captures the story of three-year-old Syrian boy Alan Kurdi, whose body washed ashore after fleeing for Canada with his brother and parents in September last year.
“Like most people, the photo of little Alan Kurdi being carried out of the water shook me to my core,”.
“We often read about the tragic plight of refugees but I think that picture exposed us to the reality in such a raw way that the truth became inescapable.”
The song begins with an image of the soldier who lifted the young boy from the beach, undercut by news reports that echoed across the world. Higgins then moves to tell the story from his father’s perspective.
“But at night he said a quiet prayer into the wind: Oh Canada, if you can hear me now, won’t you open up your arms towards the sea?” sings Higgins.
“Oh Canada, if can help me out, all I ever wanted was a safe place for my family.”
The song is matched perfectly that uses child drawings and animations to pen the story of the Kurdi family.
“I first heard the song as an iPhone recorded demo that Missy sent me. I was driving while I listened to it and had to pull over,” Director Natasha Pincus told.
“The video concept needed to bring the song and Alan’s story to life sensitively, boldly, but also without overwhelming either of them.”
The song and video come after a series of politically-charged videos released this week by comedians Tim Minchin on George Pell and Matt Okine on racism in Australia.
For Higgins, she simply aimed to “tell a story”.
“It’s not preaching anything in particular, it’s simply my attempt to make sense out of senselessness.
“If the song inspires anyone to do something on behalf of refugees – to speak up for their rights and to push back against those who seek to inflame our fears and prejudices — then I think that would be best of all.”