Chorographing the Vanuatu Aquapelago
Keywords: Chorography, water music, aquapelago, aquapelagic assemblage, sand drawing, multiscalar, Vanuatu
Abstract: This article applies the concept of aquapelagic assemblages to an understanding of artistic and cultural expression in Vanuatu. Using the radical interdisciplinarity of a chorography, I explore the ways that ni-Vanuatu cultural practices such as water music and sand drawing manifest themselves as components of aquapelagic assemblages. Building on Epeli Hau’ofa’s idea of the Pacific as a “sea of islands” (1993) this article continues a project that privileges the voices of ni-Vanuatu artists and cultural producers. A sand drawing is presented as a chorographic inscription of multiscalar Oceanian ontologies informing an analysis of the livelihood aspects of human and non- human (inter)relations in-between, throughout and with islands, shores, seabeds and waters. This chorographic approach foregrounds the multiscalar dimension of aquapelagic assemblages and the interdependence of different aquapelagic assemblages with 21st Century globalised industry, science, and development. A case study of the Leweton community, featured in the Vanuatu Women’s Water Music DVD, shows that the framework of aquapelagic assemblages has value for revealing the creative processes in generating innovations in local art forms and the step-by-step process of commodification of intangible cultural heritage.
Micro Nation – Micro-Comedy
Keywords: Television, online television, comedy, micronations, Pullamawang Island
Abstract: This article considers how the concept of micronationality served as a launching pad for a broadcast comedy, the 2012 Australian television series, Micro Nation, set on the fictional island of Pullamawang. I argue that by setting the series within a fictional micronational environment, the creators were able to develop a distinct type of situation for the comedy, embedding the theme of relative size and isolation as a key aspect of the show’s content and utilising unusual production and broadcast techniques. The article’s analysis draws on literature from Television and Broadcast Studies, Island Studies and Genre Studies and reflects on the media representation of micronations more generally.
- Islonia: Micronationality as an expression of livelihood issues
Keywords: Islonia, Dry Island, micronation, absurdity, livelihood, shima, aquapelago
Abstract: This article describes the manner in which the owner-inhabitants of Dry Island, off the coast of the Western Scottish Highlands, claimed micronational status (as ‘Islonia’) in 2013, examines their reasons for claiming this status and identifies the results of the venture. Drawing on these characterisations, the article discusses the expression of local livelihood issues in micronational discourse and the manner in which local issues pertaining to Dry Island/Islonia can be understood with regard to the concepts of shima and aquapelagism advanced within Island Studies.
- Three Islands of the Portuguese Atlantic
Keywords: Madéira, São Tomé, Cape Verde Islands, economy, crops
Abstract: Three islands of the Portuguese Atlantic – Madéira, Santiago de Cabo Verde, and São Tomé – were all uninhabited upon discovery, were all settled about the same time, and were under similar political, social, and economic conditions imposed by their Portuguese rulers. However, their economic evolution was quite different. Differences in location, environment and the external needs of Portugal (and Brazil) caused these islands to have very different economic histories. Different crops, different climate, different ecology and different political influences, all played a role in causing the historical differentiation that these three seemingly similar islands went through. This article examines the rise and fall, and sometimes the recovery, of these islands’ economic past. It traces their economic history from the 15th through the 19th centuries, and draws some conclusions and lessons as to why they differed so, despite their seeming commonalities. It concludes with some suggestions regarding the ways in which islands can, or cannot, cope with economic and political change.
- Three Kilometres and Three Centuries: Kulusuk Island, Greenland
Keywords: Kulusuk, Greenland, modernisation, cultural landscape
Abstract: The cultural landscape of Kulusuk Island in East Greenland reflects the interaction/integration of the traditional and the modern on this arctic island that was isolated from the rest of Greenland and the outside world until the late 19th Century. The island had never been a significant hunting area for the region’s Inuit and exhibited little trace of permanent habitation until 1909 when the Danes established a religious mission on the island and a village arose around it. This was the first of several external forces that would change the face of the island. Modernisation brought new technologies and new material culture and the cultural landscape of the island was transformed. This report describes the cultural landscape of the island today and discusses how it reflects the composite effects of traditional subsistence hunting and fishing, governmental programs, World War Two, the Cold War, the regional economy, and tourism. Possible future scenarios are also presented.
- Island Reflections: Lingering colonial outlier yet miniature continent
Keywords: Archipelago, heterotopias, Island Studies, Sicily, Italy, Malta, Mediterranean, periphery
Abstract: The fortunes of the wider Mediterranean Sea, the world’s largest, have never rested on Sicily, its largest island. A stubbornly peripheral region, and possibly the world’s most bridgeable island, Sicily has been largely neglected within the field of Island Studies. The physically largest island with the largest population in the region, and housing Europe’s most active volcano, Sicily has moved from being a hinterland for warring factions (Sparta/Athens, Carthage/Rome), to a more centrist stage befitting its location, although still remaining a political outlier in the modern era. Unlike many even smaller islands with smaller populations, however, Sicily has remained an appendage to a larger, and largely dysfunctional, state. The Maltese islands are part of ‘the Sicilian archipelago’, and it was a whim of Charles V of Spain that politically cut off Malta from this node in the 1520s, but not culturally. This article will review some of the multiple representations of this island, and its changing fortunes.
- [Feature Review] New Atlantis: Bringing Science to the Theatre
Keywords: Immersive theatre, climate change, floating islands, science communication
Abstract: An immersive theatre show set in the future provided an opportunity for scientists to try out a different form of public engagement, alongside informing members of the public about climate change. The experiences of one particular area of the show (related to the polar regions and floating island communities) are discussed. Feedback suggested that the scientists involved rated the experience highly and found it thought provoking, although more involvement in the creative process earlier on in the show’s development would have been beneficial.
- [Feature Review] Sea Otters, Aquapelagos and Ecosystem Services
Keywords: Haida Gwaii, sea otter, aquapelago, aquapelagic assemblages, ecosystem services
Abstract: N.A Sloan and Lyle Dick’s Sea Otters of Haida Gwaii: Icons in Human-Ocean Relations (2012) provides an historical overview of sea otter populations in Haida Gwaii, their environmental context, the crucial role that human intervention has played in their decline and a discussion of the impacts of their possible reintroduction to the region. This review essay considers conceptual aspects of the volume with regard to the reviewer’s previous discussion of Haida Gwaii as a paradigmatic aquapelago (Hayward, 2012b) and outlines how an awareness of the sea otters’ role in particular historical ‘acts’ in the aquapelagic space can inform understandings of the constitution of such spaces.
- [Correspondence Received] Sark and Breqhou (Continued)
- About The Authors