This article examines the production of doubt and apathy within climate change debates and argues that the material outcomes of this affective regime perpetuate colonialism in Oceania. By furthering land dispossession, resource depletion, cultural loss, and impoverishment, the affective and material impacts of climate change have been and continue to be a site of activism for Native Pacific peoples. While climate change functions in many ways as an affective regime of colonialism, this affective regime is dismantled through Indigenous Oceania’s affects, epistemes, and ontologies, as exemplified by Marshallese poet and activist Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner’s poem “Dear Matafele Peinam” and its performance at the 2014 UN Summit on Climate Change. Through her use of experiential and embodied knowledges, which inform the affects that circulate in the performance, Jetn̄il-Kijiner intervenes into the colonial affective regime of climate change. Furthermore, her evocation of Indigenous epistemes and ontologies regarding nonhuman entities points to forms of sociality that I argue can provide alternative frameworks of thinking through not only climate change and its effects but also what an inter-Indigenous Oceanian sociality and politics might look like within contested colonial territories.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 311-339
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.