Abstract

It is estimated that by 2050 as many as 75 million people in the Asia-Pacific region will be forced to migrate from their homelands due to the negative impacts of climate change. While many representations of Pacific Island communities affected by climate change emphasize helplessness, Pacific Islanders have been negotiating identities of empowerment and resilience in both political and cultural arenas. This essay provides an analysis of the messages that Islander performers have chosen to convey through three performance contexts: the 2011 Water Is Rising concert tour, which featured groups from Kiribati, Tokelau, and Tuvalu; 350 Pacific’s Pacific Warrior Campaign, including both the 2013 Warrior Day of Action and the 2014 Canoe Building Day of Action; and the multimedia dramatic performance Moana: The Rising of the Sea, written and produced by Vilsoni Hereniko. Through these three campaigns, we can see that Islanders are actively shaping their identity in the face of climate change, choosing to be seen not as victims in a far and rising sea but rather as a sea of warriors with the power to rise up, work together, and make their voices heard in order to save the lands and cultures that they cherish.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9464
Print ISSN
1043-898X
Pages
pp. 147-180
Launched on MUSE
2015-06-05
Open Access
No
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