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Manoa 17.2 (2006) 1-11

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Community-association members of the Vaiava, "Sagéco," neighborhood of Fa'a'ā. March 2004.
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Repeta Tiatia of Sagéco, talks with Aimeho Charousset, initiator of a restoration project for disadvantaged neighborhoods. March 2004.

FA'A'Ā: With more than 28,000 people, Fa'a'ā has the largest population of any town in the Islands. A congested district that is the location of both the Tahiti-Fa'a'ā International Airport and many poor immigrants neighborhoods, Fa'a'ā is the port of entry where wealthy global tourism encounters scenes of economic displacement. It should not be surprising that Fa'a'ā has long been the center of social and political movements.

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Near the entrance of Hotuarea, a neighborhood of Fa'a'ā. April 2004.
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A schoolgirl sits reading in Vaiava on the day the minister of housing, Gilles Tefaatau, visits. October 2004.
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A young woman fixes her hair in the communal kitchen in Vaiava. April 2004.
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Oscar Temaru welcomed by two girls as he arrives in Hotuarea to celebrate the completion of the new communal shower-and-toilet building. December 2004.
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While crowds wait for him, Temaru chats with neighborhood residents in Hotuarea just before the celebration.
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Temaru suppporters celebrate the new president's unexpected victory in the territorial elections and the beginning of taui, or change. May 2004.

Oscar Manutahi Temaru, who was born in Fa'a'ā, was elected the town's mayor in 1983; three years later, he was elected to the Territorial Assembly. In May 2004, Temaru's political party joined with others in the Assembly to form a majority, and Temaru was elected president the following month. In October 2004, a political crisis developed, and Temaru's majority in the Assembly was defeated. Following massive street protests against the actions of the Assembly, new elections were held in early 2005, and Temaru once again became President of French Polynesia.

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Following Temaru's loss of power, new elections were held the following year. A Temaru supporter offers lei of taire flowers in celebration. February 2005.
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Oscar Temaru's supporters await news of the results of the 2004 presidential election, then erupt with emotion as Temaru's victory is announced.
Michel Chansin is a self-taught photographer and author who was born in Tahiti. His most recent book of photographs is Te ata mau: c'est une terre mā'ohi (Au Vent des Îles, 2001). He is the subject of a 2004 film, Un chinois de Pape'ete, which was selected for the 2006 International Oceania Festival of Documentary Films.