This essay centers on three Melanesian women artist activists who use art as a tool for social justice and as visual archive: Camari Serau and Mere Tuilau both of iTaukei descent living on the island of Viti Levu, Fiji, and Sonja Larson of Papuan Tolai descent living in New Mexico. This essay adds to Black/Indigenous Studies in conveying a more nuanced understanding of Blackness from within the Pacific. In this context, Black Oceania is not merely a conceptual counterpoint to the Black Atlantic but a center point of political and artistic solidarity that recognizes the sacredness of Black lives in unexpected and unpredictable ways. Drawing upon the activism and mentorship of the late Dr. Teresia Teaiwa, this essay also illustrates the necessity of highlighting and acknowledging the work of Black/Pacific women artists engaged in West Papua’s struggle for self-determination and collective liberation.

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