ISSN: 1834-6057


  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. Introduction — Submergence: A special issue on Atlantis and related mythologies 10.21463/shima.10.2.03
    Helen Dawson and Philip Hayward
  4. The Atlantis Story: An authentic oral tradition? 10.21463/shima.10.2.04
    Oliver D. Smith
    Atlantis, Solon, Egypt, Oral Tradition, Plato
    The story of Atlantis appears in Plato’s Timaeus-Critias (c. 355 BCE) as an oral tradition Solon acquired in Egypt and adapted into an epic poem, but which he left unfinished. Nevertheless, Solon told the story to his family relative Dropides, who passed it orally to his son (Critias the elder), who in turn told it to his grandson (Critias the younger). Either this oral transmission actually took place, or Plato was the fabricator. If the latter, the entire tradition (including the island of Atlantis) is likely to be fiction. This article shows there is a lack of evidence for the Atlantis story being an authentic oral tradition and highlights problems with the transmission. Supposing oral retellings of the tradition did take place, it is seemingly impossible to distinguish fact from fiction in the story since the tale of Atlantis must have been garbled as it was retold over generations; reciting a tradition by word of mouth is unreliable.
  5. Operation Atlantis: A case-study in libertarian island micronationality 10.21463/shima.10.2.05
    Isabelle Simpson
    Operation Atlantis, micronations, seasteading, libertarianism
    This article discusses Operation Atlantis, a project by a millionaire pharmaceutical entrepreneur, Werner K. Stiefel, to build a libertarian micronation off the coast of the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It reviews the history and motivations behind Operation Atlantis and discusses how it relates to contemporary libertarian new-nation ventures. Operation Atlantis developed in parallel to ‘back-to-the-land’ communities, which used small-scale technology to return to a ‘natural’ state through simplicity and self-sufficiency. But the main influence on Stiefel’s project was Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (1957), a novel inscribed with her Objectivist philosophy that tells the story of a group of millionaire industrialists who find refuge in a hidden community, Galt’s Gulch, also referred to as Atlantis. Interestingly, in recent years, a number of new offshore micronational projects sharing common influences and purposes and, in their own way, reviving the legacy of Operation Atlantis, have been launched in the United States. The Seasteading Institute is a non-profit working to build floating island nations. Designed as a ‘post-political’ manufactured space, Stiefel’s Operation Atlantis and seasteading borrow aspects of the cruise ship. To better understand the motivations behind Operation Atlantis and similar projects and to situate them within Island Studies, it is helpful to adopt Hayward’s concept of aquapelagos and uncover the disconnection between libertarian offshore micronations and the aquatic environment they intend to occupy.
  6. Stargate Atlantis: Islandness in the Pegasus Galaxy 10.21463/shima.10.2.06
    Sarah R. MacKinnon
    Atlantis, island, islandness, aquapelagic assemblage, science fiction, Stargate
    This paper explores how ‘islandness’ is constructed within the science fiction television program, Stargate Atlantis. While fictional, considering the Atlantis of Stargate offers the opportunity to examine what islandness may be like outside the physical, technical and social parameters of Earth; and to this end this paper offers three insights. Firstly, this paper proposes that even in a distant galaxy, and on an island that is arguably not really an island, several familiar features of ‘islandness’ can be found in places entirely surrounded by water. Secondly, the sea surrounding Atlantis plays an important role in the survival of the city yet remains mostly unexplored by the Earth expedition team, echoing Earthly island scholarship that calls for greater understanding of the maritime aspects of islands. Thirdly, Atlantis is a mobile city-ship and its islandness shifts and transforms to the point of refutability but this paper argues that it resembles an aquapelagic assemblage despite its extraterrestrial capabilities.
  7. Chart Mythos: The JAMs’ and The KLF’s Invocation of Mu 10.21463/shima.10.2.07
    Jon Fitzgerald and Philip Hayward
    Mu, Atlantis, Illuminatus trilogy, The JAMs, The KLF
    The JAMs and The KLF, two overlapping popular music ensembles led by British multi-media performers Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond, were notable for both the success they had with a batch of singles in the late 1980s and early 1990s and the complex mythology they constructed and celebrated in song lyrics, music videos, press releases and short films. Key to their mythological project was their association with the fictional lost island-continent of Mu (with the band name JAMs being an abbreviation for ‘Justified Ancients of Mu Mu’). The latter identity was derived from Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminatus trilogy of novels in which the aforementioned “ancients” were a secret brotherhood involved in combatting the rival Illuminati, who originated in Atlantis. As the JAMS’ and KLF’s oeuvres progressed, aspects of Mu and Atlantis were synthesised by Cauty and Drummond with elements of other actual and fictional islands. The article traces the initial imagination and representation of Mu in esoteric crypto-historical literature, its rearticulation in Shea and Wilson’s counter-cultural novels and its invocation and function in Cauty and Drummond’s work with The JAMs and The KLF.
  8. Deep Sea Dwellers: Drexciya and the Sonic Third Space 10.21463/shima.10.2.08
    Nettrice R. Gaskins
    Drexciya, Black Atlantic, Middle Passage, electronic music, third space
    This article addresses the complex conceptual framework of Drexciya, an electronic music duo from Detroit who established an origin myth based on the Middle Passage, the route for ships carrying enslaved African people from one geographical location to another across the Atlantic Ocean. Whereas the origin myth of Plato’s Atlantis ends in a permanent submersion into the sea, the world of Drexciya begins with the creation of an underwater country populated by the unborn children of pregnant African women thrown off of slave ships. Drexciya exists as a sonic third space characterised by embedded myths, the construction of culture and the invention of tradition. I will highlight the development of this sonic fiction that spans several decades, influencing many artists, musicians and scholars, by focusing on the Drexciyan concept of an intercultural, transnational network that shows the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from their homeland, and newly created spaces that transform identities and cultures. This article draws on obscure artist interviews and well-known sources about Drexciya, including essays by Kodwo Eshun and Ben Williams, while advancing the notion of non-physical, sonic islands that sit in spaces between the island and the ocean.
  9. Azealia Banks, Seapunk And Atlantis: An Embattled Humanist Mixtape 10.21463/shima.10.2.09
    Justin D Burton
    Atlantis, Azealia Banks, Afrofuturism, embattled humanism, Sylvia Wynter
    Azealia Banks’s 2012 Atlantis music video garnered attention for its use of imagery that borrowed its visual aesthetic from a group of internet artists who identified themselves as “seapunk.” Banks released the video months after seapunk’s originators had declared the scene dead and she herself responded to questions about her style by saying “seapunk isn’t real, you know?” Starting at Banks’s declaration of fakery, this article considers Atlantis in the context of the first four songs of the rapper’s Fantasea mixtape, which map a space/sea continuum that uses Afrofuturist signifiers but also frustrates the future-oriented teleology of Afrofuturism. This frustration works as what Sylvia Wynter calls “embattled humanism,” which extends beyond a conception of Afrofuturism that combines the vision of a future elsewhere with the commitment to a present struggle over what it means to be human.
  10. The Lost Lands Of Lyonesse: Telling stories of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly 10.21463/shima.10.2.10
    Marea Mitchell
    Lyonesse, Cornwall, Isles of Scilly, tourism, Arthurian legends
    Lyonesse an imaginary territory, often represented as a lost space, containing a once vibrant, now submerged, land and peoples, was most commonly portrayed as having occupied an area between or including Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, in south west England. Drawing on Arthurian legends, poets, novelists, musicians, and dramatists from the mid-19th Century onwards use Lyonesse, particularly within the romantic mode, to suggest both the loss of some kind of superior social and geographical space, and as a critique of existing conditions. In addition, Lyonesse becomes a space for rethinking gender, class, history and nationality, while also being harnessed for commercial purposes such as tourism. In these representations Lyonesse encompasses lost land, existing islands and a presqu’ile (a peninsular ‘almost island’).
  11. Atlantis/Lyonesse (The plains of imagination) 10.21463/shima.10.2.11
    Sheila Hallerton
    Atlantis, Lyonesse, crypto-history, online micronations
    This research note looks at the confluence of myths of Atlantis and Lyonesse in contemporary Internet culture. It examines online crypto-historical accounts that have hypothesised that the city of Atlantis was located in close proximity to the area usually associated with Lyonesse and, separately, discusses the nature of the mythical territories claimed by the online micronation of Lyonesse. These discussions lead to a characterisation of the manner in which Internet culture promulgates mythic entities such as Atlantis and Lyonesse and gives them fresh inflections for contemporary aficionados to elaborate upon.
  12. Revealing Guernsey’s Ancient History In Fact And Fiction 10.21463/shima.10.2.12
    Peter Goodall
    Guernsey, Neolithic Age, megaliths, G. B. Edwards, Victor Hugo
    In G. B. Edwards’ novel of 20th Century Guernsey life, The Book of Ebenezer Le Page (1981), Ebenezer becomes the unlikely custodian of an ‘ancient monument’ discovered on his land. The incident is treated, in the main, as a topic for comedy—a part of the novel’s satire of the many pretences and frauds of modern Guernsey—but the underlying issues should not be lightly put aside. ‘Les Fouaillages’, a megalithic site discovered in 1978, the year after Edwards’s death, on L’Ancresse Common, a short walk from the place where the fictional Ebenezer spent his whole life, is thought to be 6000 years old, and has a claim to be amongst the oldest built sites on the planet. There are many other ancient sites and monuments on this small island, as there are on the neighbouring Channel Island of Jersey. This article looks at the interconnected yet contrasting ways in which this extraordinary legacy on Guernsey has been revealed and described: the scholarly discourse of archaeology, the myth and legend of the popular imagination, and the literature of Guernsey’s poets and novelists.
  13. About The Authors

Previous Issues


  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. Introduction: Towards an Expanded Concept of Island Studies 10.21463/shima.10.1.03
    Philip Hayward
  4. Toponymy, Taxonomy and Place 10.21463/shima.10.1.04
    Christian Fleury & Benoît Raoulx
    Peninsula, péninsule, presqu'île, almost island, toponymy, Kerguelen Islands, Cotentin
    This article discusses the concepts of and differences between the French terms presqu'île (almost island) and péninsule (peninsula) and their toponymic uses. The discussion raises a number of questions including how and why particular places are named presqu'île or péninsule. We will first focus on examples located in the French Southern and Antarctic Lands and then in mainland France. These two case study areas are complementary. The first example, the Kerguelen Islands in the Southern Indian Ocean, has been the site of a recent attempt to normalise place-naming for the purpose of asserting sovereignty. The second one, the Cotentin, is a part of Normandy, whose long history of human inhabitation has provided several layers of toponymy. Finally we refer to the use of the term presqu'île in the context of urban riverfront revitalisation. In the latter usage, cities try to promote their locations by using the image of the peninsular ‘almost island’. The reflections presented in the article show the complexity involved in naming and interpreting locations as either peninsulas or ‘almost islands’.
  5. Gibraltar: A Paradigmatic Presqu'ile? 10.21463/shima.10.1.05
    Peter Gold
    Spain, Britain, Gibraltar, Ceuta, Melilla, Morocco, peninsula, isthmus, enclaves
    Gibraltar would appear to be a paradigmatic peninsula—a small, elongated territory linked to a substantial mainland by an isthmus, with the many communication advantages that this positioning confers. But because for over three centuries Gibraltar has been a British Overseas Territory (formerly referred to as a colony) attached to Spain, which claims sovereignty of the territory, Gibraltar has had to struggle for survival as a separate entity under the shadow of Spanish antagonism and—at times—outright hostility, especially over the past fifty years. At the heart of the disagreement between Spain and Britain/Gibraltar are the issues of territorial integrity versus self-determination, plus (with regard to the isthmus) the validity of title by prescription. This article examines these issues, as well as the effect of the dispute on the residents on both sides of the border, and considers whether in some respects Gibraltar would have been better off as an island rather than an 'almost island'. It also considers the comparable but distinct situation of Spain's North African territories of Ceuta and Melilla.
  6. Islands Within an Almost Island: History, myth, and aislamiento in Baja California, Mexico 10.21463/shima.10.1.06
    Ryan Anderson
    Aislamiento, Baja California, peninsula, Mexico, Shima
    This paper examines the persistent histories and lasting effects of the Baja California peninsula's status as an "almost island". The peninsula is almost an island in so many ways. Its reputation as an island-like entity has also been strengthened by a longstanding myth that it was, in fact, an actual island. In many senses it was an island—isolated, remote, difficult to envision, understand, and control. Geography and climate played a vital role in all of this, but so, too, did human imagination. The author uses the concept of shima, along with discussions about the dual meanings of the Spanish word aislamiento as a way to explore these issues. Aislamiento can refer more concretely to the effects of being on a landform surrounded by water, on the one hand, or the deep social and psychological effects of isolation. Ultimately, the author argues that it is this sense of isolation that works to produce, regardless of geographic and cartographic reality, a powerful sense of islandness.
  7. Sakurajima: Maintaining an Island Essence 10.21463/shima.10.1.07
    Henry Johnson & Sueo Kuwahara
    Islandness, Japan, Kagoshima, peninsula, Sakurajima, toponymy, volcano
    Sakurajima (Cherry Island) began its existence about 26,000 years ago as a volcanic island rising from the northern end of Kagoshima Bay in the south of the island of Kyūshū, Japan. What makes Sakurajima a topic of significance in the field of Island Studies is that it is no longer an island, yet maintains many island-like characteristics—an island essence. In 1914, there was a major volcanic eruption on Sakurajima with a massive lava flow that covered several parts of the island and beyond, and joined it to the Ōsumi Peninsula as part of Kyūshū. Sakurajima is a part of Kagoshima City, the capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture, but the main urban part of the city is located about 3.8 km across the water from Sakurajma on the Satsuma Peninsula. This paper examines the life of Sakurajima from island to peninsula, and argues that the former island maintains an island-like identity through such factors as toponymy, shape, travel and tourism. Even though Sakurajima is now a peninsula, which is joined to another peninsula on a much larger island, it is discussed in terms of its islandness as determined by its features, attractions and predominant mode of transport to and from the former island.
  8. The Otago Peninsula, A Unique Identity 10.21463/shima.10.1.08
    Megan Potiki
    Otago Peninsula, Māori, Ōtākou, history, indigenous, insider
    The Otago Peninsula on the South Island of New Zealand has a long indigenous Māori history that is rooted in the land and the people of the area. The stories and genealogy that connect Māori New Zealanders to the Otago Peninsula are well documented and retold. After European contact with and connection to the Otago Peninsula was initiated the colonisation of the area occurred rapidly. The Otago Peninsula historically, and to the modern day, has always had a separate character to that of the adjacent mainland (around the city of Dunedin). Despite the short distance between them, the culture of the Otago Peninsula remains distinct to that of the mainland as if it were an island.
  9. Historico-Economic Traces in the Former Island Cities of Zadar and Trogir 10.21463/shima.10.1.09
    Zrinka Mendas
    historico-economic traces, former island cities, peninsula city, Zadar, Trogir, Croatia
    This article explores historico-economic traces in the ancient cities of Zadar and Trogir in the Adriatic Sea. Islands in the past, they emerged later as small peninsula cities, connected by bridges, canals or both. The reasons for this were economic and political: to protect the islands’ natural resources, trade and territoriality. The historico-economic angle, covering the early and late medieval period, offers insight into ancient, urban and economic traces in Zadar and Trogir. Findings suggest that the peninsula city space, representing the Mediterranean archetype, had an important purpose in organising political, economic and social life. Ancient traces point to the events contributing to the economic prosperity of Trogir and Zadar while urban traces remind us of the military and religious purpose of the peninsula city walls. Market squares served as the hubs of the economic life and influenced the development of various trading activities and artisan occupations. Such organisation of the peninsula-city space has created the foundations for a contemporary cultural heritage and has important implications for regional tourism. The biggest challenge for the administration lies in exploring creative ways of preserving the ancient peninsula city space, including artisan trades and archaeological artefacts. This requires stakeholder engagement between city planners, public and artisan tradesmen as well as finding and utilising various funding sources, including European Union funds, inward investment and education about heritage.
  10. Dudley Peninsula: Linguistic Pilgrimage and Toponymic Ethnography on an Almost Island 10.21463/shima.10.1.10
    Joshua Nash
    Insularity, linguistic pilgrimage, Kangaroo Island, toponymic ethnography, toponyms, Dudley Peninsula
    Toponymy as an active and resourceful medium is used to explore fieldwork experiences and insularity on Dudley Peninsula, Kangaroo Island. Placenames are employed as memes and means to understand emotional connections to place and to reconcile the ‘almost-island’ sentiment on Dudley with the larger island(er)-ness of greater Kangaroo Island.


  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. Chorographing the Vanuatu Aquapelago
    Thomas Dick
    Chorography, water music, aquapelago, aquapelagic assemblage, sand drawing, multiscalar, Vanuatu
    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.
  4. Micro Nation – Micro-Comedy
    Liz Giuffre
    Television, online television, comedy, micronations, Pullamawang Island
    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.
  5. Islonia: Micronationality as an expression of livelihood issues
    Sheila Hallerton & Nicole Leslie
    Islonia, Dry Island, micronation, absurdity, livelihood, shima, aquapelago
    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.
  6. Three Islands of the Portuguese Atlantic
    Robert Garfield
    Madéira, São Tomé, Cape Verde Islands, economy, crops
    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.
  7. Three Kilometres and Three Centuries: Kulusuk Island, Greenland
    Anthony J. Dzik
    Kulusuk, Greenland, modernisation, cultural landscape
    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.
  8. Island Reflections: Lingering colonial outlier yet miniature continent
    Godfrey Baldacchino
    Archipelago, heterotopias, Island Studies, Sicily, Italy, Malta, Mediterranean, periphery
    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.
  9. [Feature Review] New Atlantis: Bringing Science to the Theatre
    Sammie Buzzard
    Immersive theatre, climate change, floating islands, science communication
    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.
  10. [Feature Review] Sea Otters, Aquapelagos and Ecosystem Services
    Philip Hayward
    Haida Gwaii, sea otter, aquapelago, aquapelagic assemblages, ecosystem services
    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.
  11. [Correspondence Received] Sark and Breqhou (Continued)
    Gordon Dawes
  12. About The Authors


  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. An Unhemmed Dress: Popular Preservation and Civic Disobedience on the Manhattan Waterfront from the 1960s-2010s
    Fiona Anderson
    New York City, Manhattan, waterfronts, preservation, urban studies, maritime history
    This article examines preservationist attitudes towards the derelict Manhattan waterfront from the early 1960s to the present. It explores the complex relationships between civic disobedience, selective public engagement and ‘proper’ metropolitan citizenship that have characterised the constantly-shifting urban geography and built landscape of Manhattan for over two hundred years and have been complicated at the island’s perimeter. Looking at popular preservationist writing by New Yorker staff writer Joseph Mitchell, the photographer Walker Evans, and the New York Times architectural critic Ada Louise Huxtable, among other sources, I argue that Manhattan’s identity as a city of, in novelist Henry James’ words, “restless renewals” (1907: 111), is cast in relief at its watery edges. A study of the waterfront’s particular place in Manhattan’s public imagination and popular culture, provides a unique vantage point from which to consider the city’s complex and exclusive notion of public access and acceptable citizenship, its longstanding disinclination to archive itself in its promotion of urban developments that tend to resist the renewal of existing buildings and landmarks, and the commitment of its citizens to engaging Manhattan’s past in the service of its present and future.
  4. Cockatoo, The Island Dockyard: Island Labour and Protest Culture
    Lisa Milner
    Cockatoo Island, unions, labour history, Sydney
    The Cockatoo Island dockyard, off the shores of Balmain in Sydney Harbour, was the largest and most important shipbuilding and repair site in Australia for many decades. It has also been the nation’s most convoluted and industrially complex and disputatious site. The nature of the island and its dockyard workforce from 1850 until its closure in 1992 made for unique industrial and social outcomes, and affected how people were organised, and how they shaped the physical and cultural spaces of Cockatoo Island. Cockatoo Island constituted a geographically concentrated force of power.

    This article interrogates the cultural and industrial constitution of the Cockatoo Island workforce through its industrial life in the mid-twentieth century. Employing the perspectives of labour geography with its emphasis on space and place, and an emphasis on worker agency, it discusses the importance of a spatially, locally and globally constituted island workforce to the nature of Cockatoo Island’s working culture. It argues that interrogating the concept of place is vital to understanding the industrial history of the island-dockyard.
  5. Career Decision Making in Island Communities: Applying the concept of the Aquapelago to the Shetland and Orkney Islands
    Rosie Alexander
    Orkney, Shetland, aquapelago, careers, migration
    Geographical location plays an important part in the career decision making of young adults, both in terms of the economic opportunities provided by the local labour market, and in terms of framing the social and cultural context within which decisions are made. Despite employment and migration being key concerns within island settings, little research has been done into the role of island contexts within career decision making of young islanders. In order to conceptualise the role of island contexts, this paper explores the potential of the concept of the aquapelago – identifying how the notion of the aquapelago brings together three key aspects of island contexts: labour markets, migrations and cultural background. The paper concludes that the concept provides a useful reframing of island contexts, but suggests that a greater awareness of diversity between different island aquapelagos and different inhabitants within these aquapelagos may be necessary.
  6. Cocos Malay Language Since Integration with Australia
    Alistair Welsh
    Cocos Malay, linguistic imperialism, language extinction, language convergence
    The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are a remote Australian territory in the Indian Ocean and are home to the Cocos Malay people, who have developed a distinct dialect. It was predicted over 30 years ago that the Cocos Malay language faced extinction, perhaps even within the timeframe of one generation. Two possible threats to the Cocos Malay language were identified. It was felt that English, as the language of power, may replace the Cocos Malay language. The other possibility was language convergence, where Cocos Malay would be subsumed by another, larger Malay dialect. With these issues in mind, I explore developments in the Cocos Malay language since the Islands’ full integration with Australia in 1984. Drawing from extensive ethnographic work and linguistic research into Cocos Malay I also refer to the work of other researchers to analyse how the Cocos Malay language has developed over the past 30 years, in a time of great social change. I argue that integration with Australia and attempts at assimilation have resulted in social dynamics where Cocos Malay language remains a defining marker of Cocos Malay identity positioning. In this social environment, Cocos Malay therefore remains viable and, despite language change, does not face immediate extinction.
  7. Fleeting and Partial Autonomy: A historical account of quasi-micronational initiatives on Lundy Island and their contemporary reconfiguration on MicroWiki
    Philip Hayward & Susie Khamis
    Lundy, temporary autonomous zones, micronations, virtual micronations, MicroWiki
    Micronations are small territories that have been identified as independent by individuals or communities without recognition of that status by either the nation states within whose borders they fall and/or relevant international bodies. The term is of comparatively recent coinage and has largely been used to refer to entities that have claimed autonomous status since the 1960s. As a result, discussions of the phenomenon (such as those included the 2014 theme issue of Shima on islands and micronationality – v8n1) have tended to avoid engagement with the pre-history of the concept and have not examined how and why certain locations (and, especially in this context, types of islands) have leant themselves to quasi-micronational ventures at particular historical points. This article discusses the manner in which the history of the (now indisputably) English island of Lundy has seen a number of quasi-micronational incidents and outlines the shifting nature of their bases and manifestations. The article’s analyses emphasise the significant role that geography and, particularly, (in)accessibility play in forging micronational endeavours. The final section expands this frame of reference to discuss the imaginative reconfiguration of quasi-micronational initiatives on Lundy through the virtual micronation of the ‘New Kingdom of Lundy’ constituted within the online MicroWiki arena.
  8. Brecqhou's Autonomy: A Response to Henry Johnson’s ‘Sark and Brecqhou: Space, Politics and Power’ (2014)
    Gordon Dawes
    Brecqhou, Sark, Barclay Brothers
  9. The Sark/Brecqhou Dyad: Jurisdictional Geographies and Contested Histories
    Henry Johnson
    Sark, Brecqhou, politics, power, space
    Over the past few decades, the islands of Sark and Brecqhou have featured in much media and legal discourse. Such factors as jurisdictional contestation, tension and criticism have arisen either between the owners of the private island of Brecqhou and the jurisdiction in which it is located, or as a result of other factors that have an association with Brecqhou on the larger island of Sark. As a type of microstate with a contested history and distinct traditional ways of life, the jurisdictional geographies in the Sark/Brecqhou dyad are of particular interest to the field of Island Studies. I use the term ‘Sark/Brecqhou dyad’ as a way of emphasising the distinct physical, political and social binaries that exist between the islands of Sark and Brecqhou. It is argued that key to understanding some of the points of contestation within and between this island dyad is a comprehension of some of the ways jurisdictional geographies and contested histories have been (re)interpreted. This article is an extension of my earlier article on the subject (Johnson 2014), and one that offers clarification, or one interpretation, of several significant points that help in comprehending this particular case of inter- and intra-island dynamics.
  10. About The Authors


  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. Critiquing the Pursuit of Island Sustainability: Blue and Green, with hardly a colour in between
    Godfrey Baldacchino and Ilan Kelman
    Climate change, sustainable development, small island developing states
    This article critiques a focus on ‘sustainable development’ which highlights a liveable ‘future’ without paying adequate attention to what, we argue, are more pressing issues for a liveable present. We contend that, while inherently commendable, the thrust of many current initiatives related to sustainable development, especially those associated with climate change, promote an ethos which crowds out other pressing policy pursuits with more immediate relevance – although often also associated with sustainable development – such as health, basic education, poverty reduction, and productive employment and livelihoods. Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are at the forefront of these initiatives, given their prominence in discussions on sustainable development, but especially climate change, alongside the basic challenges that they face in maintaining viable economies. Long-term thinking and planning is needed and welcomed; but we may now have gone too far in the opposite direction in terms of aiming for sustainable development in, and for, a distant future that emphasises climate change, without better balancing of that concern with the pressing needs of the moment.
  4. Chars: Islands that float within rivers
    Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt
    Char, River islands, Tropical Rivers, Bengal, Hybrid environments
    Chars are pieces of land that rise temporarily from river-beds in South Asia only to disappear at the whim of the Monsoon Rivers. Chars exist in the vocabulary neither of those who study rivers, nor those who study islands, and have largely remained beyond the mainstream discussions on nature/culture. As analytical constructs and as real life examples of hybrid environments, chars have the potential to extend several theoretical boundaries. This paper presents chars as both the products of ecological processes of floodplain processes and delta building, and the processes of historical developments in colonial and post-colonial land and water management, and offers an outline of char environments, their people and their livelihoods in South Asia.
  5. Island Paths: Divergent fisheries in the Shetland Islands
    Robert W. Gear
    Shetland, herring, drift net, maritime cultural landscape, technological diffusion
    This paper offers a case study in a methodology of island analysis drawn from Pope’s concept of maritime cultural landscapes (2008). It analyses the different responses of two islands to the arrival of new fishing technology. These two islands are part of the Shetland archipelago whose population has relied on fisheries for centuries. The peak of the islands’ fish production was in the early 1900s, when the herring industry was at its height. It then entered a period of long decline, during which time the catching sector concentrated into two islands: Burra and Whalsay. In 1965 a new method of herring fishing was introduced from Scandinavia that revolutionised the industry. While Burra did not adopt this technology, Whalsay did, and experienced great success thereafter. The islands continued down very different paths, and remain in stark contrast today. It is argued that the main reasons for the divergent paths lay in the particular historical, social and geographical makeup of the two isles.
  6. Continuity and Change: Identity and rights protection among later generation Banabans
    Gil Marvel P. Tabucanon
    Banaba Island, Rabi Island, Fiji, cultural rights, resettlement, environmental migration
    Identity and minority rights protection within migrant communities are not a new concern in Migration Studies. However, the issues assume poignancy if resettlement is not voluntary, as was the case with the Banaban community that relocated to Rabi Island, Fiji, in 1945. This article explores why later generation Banabans chose to retain core Banaban identity, notwithstanding evidence of acculturation into Fijian society. In the context of current environmental changes threatening to permanently displace low- lying island communities, the Banaban case demonstrates that not only is retention of collective identity possible among later generations but that ethnically distinct peoples need collective rights protection if they are to survive as a community. Despite laws providing land and establishing Banaban autonomy over Rabi Island pursuant to Banaban customary practices, Banaban minority protection is not as secure as it seems. The claims on Rabi Island by its original settlers are bolstered by Fiji’s political instability and, arguably, by the 2013 Fijian Constitution, relative to ownership of Banaban lands. These social and legal developments not only cast doubt on Banaban land tenure but on Banaban minority rights protection generally. Ethnic or cultural minorities, including those displaced by environmental triggers, have distinct customs, traditions and histories requiring legal protection as well as physical and social space to thrive. The protection of cultural diversity, promoting a balance of cultural identity retention and acculturation as a by-product of a healthy interaction with the host society, constitutes a component of successful long-term resettlement.
  7. Gazing at Haw Par Villa: Cultural Tourism in Singapore
    Voon Chin Phua and Joseph W. Miller
    Tourism, Singapore, tourist gaze, cultural tourism
    Tourism is an important and growing industry in Singapore. Studies on Singapore cultural tourism have generally focused on three major sites: Chinatown, Little India and the Malay Village. The Haw Par Villa tourist site has not been examined in recent years. The case study of Haw Par Villa offered here demonstrates how changing times in Singapore have affected the popularity of tourist sites in an island nation. This article discusses the decline and potential rebirth of Singapore’s Haw Par Villa theme park in the context of cultural tourism, placing a special emphasis on Urry’s concept of the ‘tourist gaze’. Multiple methods were used in gathering data for this study: a survey conducted in Singapore of both local residents and foreign tourists; participant observations of Haw Par Villa; and a thematic content analysis of tour guide books and online documents pertaining to the site. Our analyses suggest that Haw Par Villa represents a treasured past of Singapore, although one in danger of fading away with the changing interests of newer generations of tourists.
  8. ‘Halfway’ Island: The Creative Expression of Identity Markers within The Band From Rockall project
    Jon Fitzgerald
    Identity markers, Hebrides, Gaelic, Celtic music, rock and roll, Rockall
    This article explores island identity and identity markers through a case study of a musical and audio-visual project entitled The Band from Rockall (2012) by Scottish songwriters Calum and Rory Macdonald (co-founders of successful Celtic-Rock group Runrig in 1973). The Band From Rockall was inspired by the Macdonald brothers’ experiences growing up in the Hebrides during the late 1950s and early 1960s, when North American rock and roll began to impact strongly on local Gaelic culture. The tiny rocky outcrop of Rockall lies in the North Atlantic approximately 250 miles west of Scotland. Its location between the Hebrides and North America symbolises the meeting of musical cultures that lies at the core of the project. The article describes the genesis of The Band From Rockall and examines its creative outcomes: a CD, vinyl album and behind-the-scenes DVD. It focuses on ways in which various identity markers (involving language, lyrics, music, visual elements and technology) are embedded within the project texts.
  9. “Give Me Fish, Not Federalism”: Outer Baldonia and Performances of Micronationality
    Lachlan MacKinnon
    Atlantic Canada, Outer Baldonia, micronation, performance, environment, diplomacy
    In 1949 Russell Arundel, an American businessman and sport tuna fisherman, asserted the sovereignty of a small island off the south coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. Arundel drafted a Declaration of Independence for the ‘Principality of Outer Baldonia’ and declared the nascent micronation to be a space of recreation, relaxation and tuna-fishing. International newspapers began to cover the story, and a critical letter in the Soviet Liternaya Gazeta prompted a flurry of tongue-in-cheek responses from Baldonian ‘citizens’. Although ownership of the island was transferred to the Nova Scotia Bird Society in 1973, the history of Outer Baldonia reveals a great deal about the types of social performances that correspond with declarations of micronational sovereignty. This article explores how the events surrounding the creation of Outer Baldonia reflect mid-20th Century elite attitudes towards nature and wilderness, as well as non-state diplomacy in the Cold War era.
  10. About The Authors


  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. Islands And Micronationality: An Introduction
    Philip Hayward
    Micronations, micronationality, islands, seasteading
    Since the 1970s the term ‘micronation’ has been applied to small territories that have been declared as independent but are largely unrecognised as such. Although micronational status has been claimed for various types of location, islands have been particularly prominent as the bases for such endeavours. This essay serves to provide a brief pre-history of island micronations; to characterise the attributes and circumstances of notable micronations; to identify conceptual frameworks pertinent to their promotion; to introduce the case study articles on the topic presented in this theme issue of Shima; and to provide a bibliography of relevant previously published analyses of island micronationality.
  4. Sark And Brecqhou: Space, Politics and Power
    Henry Johnson
    Brecqhou, politics, power, Sark, space
    Sark is a British Crown Dependency that could be described as a type of micronation. It has been a fief of the Crown since the 16th century, and in the 21st Century instituted a form of democratic government. While not part of the UK, nor a sovereign state in its own right, Sark is a self-governing territory within the Bailiwick of Guernsey, and has substantial political autonomy, with its own legislature and judicial system. Sark’s political context comprises a binary existence as a jurisdiction spanning two populated islands: Sark and Brecqhou. This inter-island setting is complicated by Brecqhou having a special relationship with some privileges within the Fief of Sark, and offers a further level of quasi-micronationalism. This article discusses the history of Sark’s and Brecqhou’s inter- island relations. In the context of examining this island binary and the background to the contested ownership of Brecqhou and challenges to Sark’s political system, emphasis is placed on reframing the islands’ intertwined history and locality in connection with notions of space, politics and power. There have been various disputes over Sark and Brecqhou for many centuries, and in recent years the current owners of Brecqhou have argued that the island does not fall under Sark’s jurisdiction. This article shows that Sark exists in several ways within different island groupings and political relationships, and argues that closer analysis of this island context contributes both a case study of inter- island relations to Island Studies, and more broadly to re-thinking the political geography of islands in the context of spatial and power relationships.
  5. Captain Calamity’s Sovereign State Of Forvik: Micronations and the Failure of Cultural Nationalism
    Adam Grydehøj
    Micronations, Forvik, cultural nationalism, Shetland, independence movements
    Micronations are often viewed as humorous phenomena, but, when linked to serious political movements, they have the potential to exert real political influence. In 2008, Stuart Hill (known as Captain Calamity) founded the micronation of Forvik on a small island in the archipelago of Shetland (Scotland, UK). Arguing that Shetland had never become part of the Scottish state, Hill sought to use Forvik as the springboard for a Shetland-wide self-determination movement. Although Hill’s rationale was primarily economic, Shetland possessed a strong pre-existing sense of cultural distinctiveness and tendencies toward cultural nationalism, which came to be popularly associated with Hill’s project. The Forvik micronation, however, received virtually no popular support, and, since its founding, Hill has struggled to make his argument heard through an amused global media and a hostile court system. Ultimately, this micronation has been detrimental to the development of a genuine Shetland self-determination movement and has weakened Shetland’s culturally rooted resistance to wider Scottish nationalism. This study illustrates how, far from bolstering associated nationalist movements, some micronations may lower them into ridicule and defeat.
  6. Contested Space: National and Micronational Claims to the Spratly/Truong Sa Islands - A Vietnamese Perspective
    Giang Thuy Huu Tran
    Truong Sa, Spratly Islands, Bien Dong, South China Sea, Vietnam, micronations
    The archipelago located in the eastern Pacific Ocean around 4-11 degrees North and 109-117 degrees East, known in English language as the Spratly Islands, in Vietnamese as the Truong Sa Islands and in Chinese as the Nansha Islands, has been subject to contesting claims that have intensified in recent decades with the growing perception that the area has substantial sub-surface oil and/or mineral deposits that could prove a lucrative asset to whichever country can establish a definitive claim over and related exploitation of them. Following an account of Vietnam’s historical presence in the area, the article discusses some of the more fanciful micronational claims that have been made over the region and Vietnamese efforts to consolidate their claim to sovereignty in the face of contesting claims from other regional powers. [Editorial Note – Shima invites submissions offering other perspectives on disputed island and marine sovereignty issues in the South East Asia Pacific region.]
  7. Queer Sovereignty: The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands
    Judy Lattas
    Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands, micronation
    The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom (G&LK) seceded from Australia in 2004. Emperor Dale Parker Anderson declared independence upon raising the rainbow pride flag on Cato Island in the Coral Sea Island. The decision to secede was made as a response to the Australian government’s 2004 action in presenting the Amendment of the Marriage Act 1969. In giving my account I draw on a 2007 interview, correspondence with Emperor Dale and other ethnographic material concerning the G&LK. Among other articulations, I consider its secessionist move in light of Linda Bishai’s critique in Forgetting Ourselves (2004). This is that for all its liberationist motivation, secession is essentialist in its conception, and inherently anti-democratic; her prediction is that its preoccupation with state formation is making it irrelevant in the age of ‘rhizomatic’ community networks. In its micronationalist ‘queering’, however, I find secessionist politics more relevant in late modernity, not less, as the pluralising democratic politics of identity and representation are increasingly unable to contest key outcomes of ‘family values’ and ‘national values’ rhetoric in the 21st Century. [Editorial Note – This is a revised version of an essay that was originally published in the journal Cosmopolitan Civil Societies in September 2009]
  8. “This Mere Speck in the Surface of the Waters”: Rockall aka Waveland
    Stephen A. Royle
    Rockall, Waveland, Greenpeace, UNCLOS
    Rockall is a tiny granite knoll isolated in the stormy waters of the North Atlantic. It is not habitable and has of itself no economic value. However, given its location it has been a prize insofar as at one time it was thought its possession could bring control of an exclusive economic zone. Iceland, Ireland and Denmark laid claim in addition to the UK, which had annexed Rockall in 1955, the last territory to be taken into the British Empire. In 1972 Rockall was declared to be part of Scotland. However the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (1982) now precludes rocks incapable of supporting life to be awarded economic zones. Interest in Rockall then reverted to symbolism especially in its occupation by Greenpeace in 1997 when the global state of Waveland was declared from Rockall’s summit, with Rockall itself as the capital. Greenpeace stayed on Rockall longer than anybody else and a claim has been established to it thereby, but Waveland itself collapsed with the failure of the company that serviced its online presence.
  9. North Dumpling Island: Micronationality, the Media and the American Dream
    Clarice M. Butkus
    North Dumpling Island, Dean Kamen, micronationality
    North Dumpling Island is a 3-acre stretch of land off the Atlantic Coast of the United States. The island has had five known owners since 1639, the most recent of whom is famed inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen. In 1986, Kamen launched a humorous campaign for the island’s secession in response to the State of New York’s denial of permission to build a wind turbine tower on his residentially zoned island property. The following article traces highlights of the media’s response to that campaign and discusses how Kamen has leveraged media publicity around his claims for micronationality to draw attention to his scientific and environmental initiatives, including a micronational model for sustainable energy consumption.
  10. In a Stew: Lamb Island’s flirtation with micronationality and the related consideration of a local representative body for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands
    Philip Hayward
    Lamb Island, micronation, South Moreton Bay, Southern Moreton Bay Islands (SMBI), Queensland
    This research note profiles the background to the short-lived secessionist impulse on Lamb Island in Southern Moreton Bay, Queensland (Australia) in 2013, the role that the media played in disseminating news about the initiative, the manner in which it was represented and its local significance. Further to this, the note outlines the manner in which discussions concerning the viability of an independent council for the four inhabited Southern Moreton Bay Islands (Lamb, Karragarra. Macleay and Russell) relate to the impetus for Lamb Island’s flirtation with micronationality.
  11. Shards of the Shattered Japanese Empire That Found Themselves as Temporary Micronations
    Daniel Long
    Micronations, Japan, Bonin/Ogasawara, Izu islands
    In this short research note, I present a couple of instances in the 20th Century when some Japanese islands temporarily became tiny independent political entities not because of a conscious push to make them so, but because the islands went overlooked in the midst of international political maneuvering. In a manner of speaking, the islands were small and insignificant (and, being islands, not part of mainland Japan) isolated enough that when world leaders drew broad sets of lines on a map, it was easy to overlook the fact these islands had fallen through the cracks.
  12. About The Authors


  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. Aquapelago Debates (part 4):
    Skimming the Surface: Dislocated Cruise Liners and Aquatic Spaces
    David Cashman
    Cruise ships, floating, aquatic spaces, aquapelago
    Modern, highly facilitated and luxurious cruise ships provide a highly particular type of environment and a very particular placement within oceanic and harbour spaces. In these regards they may be understood as floating entities effectively removed from their locales or, rather, as removed as they can be, barring issues of technological failure, accident and/or intrusion of extreme weather or geo-physical phenomena. Conceptualised as ‘floating pleasure palaces’, they are less like islands (with their complex gradations of connection to and social engagement with aquatic and sub- surface topographic space) and (increasingly) more like hovercraft that skim across aquatic surfaces. Indeed, in many recent examples, the access to and connection with the marine space that provides the medium for and rationale of ‘the cruise’ is marginalised. This essay begins to theorise the rationale implicit in such disconnections.
  4. Special Issue on The Canary Islands:
    Introduction: Special Issue on the Canary Islands
    Dirk Godenau
  5. Feeding Two Million Residents and Ten Million Tourists: Food (in)sufficiency in the Canary Islands
    Dirk Godenau and Juan Sebastián Nuez Yánez
    Islandness, food sufficiency, vulnerability, Canary Islands
    The level of food self-sufficiency in the Canaries is low and decreasing. The growing demand for food, both due to demographic and touristic expansion and to the population’s increased purchasing power, has not seen a corresponding increase in local food production. This paper details the factors behind the growing dependence on imported food, emphasising the role of insularity and the institutional framework of food production activity. Based on this diagnosis, the main courses of action are identified that could allow for the selective recovery of that portion of the local production that is intended for the internal market.
  6. Young African Migrants Reinventing Their Lives in the Canary Islands
    Paloma López-Reillo
    Unaccompanied minors, immigrants, young Africans, personal goals, emotional experience, integration, transition to adult life
    The intensification of irregular African immigration in the Canary Islands resulted in the arrival of thousands of unaccompanied foreign minors (MENA in Spanish: Menores Extranjeros No Acompañados), reaching a peak of maximum intensity in 2006 during the so-called ‘cayuco crisis’. This population of immigrants under the age of 18 is under the tutelage of the government of the Canary Islands and is placed in specific reception centres for foreign minors (CAME in Spanish: Centro de Acogida para Menores Extranjeros). This paper presents the methodology and main results of a research project, implemented by the author for the Observatory of Immigration in Tenerife (OBITen), on what these young Africans experienced when turned into Unaccompanied Foreign Minors by an administrative process whose aim is to protect them as vulnerable persons. The project fieldwork included in-depth interviews with immigrant minors and experts. Additionally, we carried out semi-structured interviews with professionals involved in the development and education of the unaccompanied foreign minors. We also organised focus groups with the resident Canary Islands population. The results we obtained reveal shortcomings in several areas: in the personal and emotional experience this process implies for the migrants, in the area of administration and management and, particularly, in the transition from the condition of unaccompanied foreign minor to that of adult immigrant.
  7. Connecting the Disconnected: The Migratory Transnationalism of Moroccans in the Canary Islands
    León Juan Salvador Santana and Dirk Godenau
    Transnationalism, international migration, islandness, Canary Islands
    The Canary Islands, a region of Spain and the European Union, are just over 100 kilometres away from the coast of western Africa off Morocco’s southern border. Moroccan immigration to the Canaries grew during the last boom in Spain’s economy (1994-2007), which saw an influx of people from the regions surrounding Morocco who responded to the needs of the local labour market that caters to the tourism industry. This paper presents evidence of an emerging transnational social field that unites the Canaries to these regions through the transnational activities of migrant families. It also considers the unique features that insularity introduces into the analysis of migratory transnationality. The case of the Canaries shows that the territorial dimension and the proximity of borders exert selective effects on migratory flows and on the stratification of the transnational social field.
  8. Cultural Realignment, Islands and the Influence of Tourism: A new conceptual approach
    Donald MacLeod
    Cultural realignment, identity, islands, tourism, anthropology, Canary Islands, La Gomera
    This article introduces a new concept: ‘cultural realignment’, which embraces phenomena such as cultural representation, interpretation, stereotyping and branding. Cultural realignment is the intentional depiction or interpretation of a culture (or part of one) for a specific preconceived purpose. It relates directly to power, and there is a need for this broad concept to help comprehend processes in an era of increasing globalisation, the growth of cultural commodification and the proliferation of representations in media including the internet. A prime concern of the article is the way that cultural realignment impacts on the identities of the communities subject to the realignment. The main examples given relate to island communities and their representation by anthropologists, and to island tourist destinations that have been subject to various descriptions, physical transformations and commodification driven by the tourism industry. A case study is examined as an example in the Canary Islands, using original research material related to recent and longitudinal fieldwork.
  9. Emergence and the Insula Improvisa: St. Brendan’s Island and Afro/Canarian (Jazz) Fusion Music
    Mark Lomanno
    Canary Islands, improvisation, cartography, jazz music, fusion, St. Brendan’s Island
    This article addresses the historical creation of the Canary Islands as spaces of isolation and spaces that isolate, and suggests how these spaces are re-appropriated and re/worked as critiques of that isolation. Beginning with the mythical St. Brendan's Island, I will outline some episodes through which we can critique the actively produced elisions that confine the Canary Islands and their inhabitants to the periphery, perhaps glimpsing opportunities for emergence from within these boundaries. By outlining some historical gaps in Afro/Canarian historiography and geographic gaps in Afro/Canarian cartography, I will demonstrate how the politics of the cite can gloss over the actualities of the site. Amid these gaps and fissures lie spaces in which inhabitants of the Canary Islands can re/form local and global ideas about the Islands and local cultures. Based on ongoing ethnographic research begun in 2009, this article explores how Afro/Canarian jazz musicians draw on local histories and historiographies of fusion to resist and rewrite their peripheral status, reasserting and re/placing themselves on the map through critical re-appropriation of cartographic, historiographical, and sonic technologies.
  10. About The Authors


  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. The Island/Sea/Territory Relationship: Towards a broader and three dimensional view of the Aquapelagic Assemblage
    Christian Fleury
    Aquapelagic assemblage, aquapelago, Channel Islands, Island Studies, maritories/merritoires, St-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Trinidad
    Through my research in geography I have developed a particular interest in insularity and territorialisation of marine spaces. By linking these two elements, the concept of aquapelagic assemblage has appeared at the right time and provides me with the opportunity of making a contribution to the exchanges about it in two directions. The first will pick up Philip Hayward’s remark that aquapelagic research “does not simply offer a surface model, it also encompasses the spatial depths of the water” (2012a: 5). This sentence reminds us of the stress on the issues that constitute – out of any specifically insular context – an important tendency in the appropriation process of marine space. Furthermore, the author, in a second article, has taken care to dispel doubts on a question which, he tells us, produced a reaction in a number of readers of his initial exposition of the concept – namely that the aquapelagic assemblage cannot simply be equated with archipelagic sites (2012b: 1-2). By promoting this concept, he establishes a distinction of a chorographic nature that deserves to be extended to more strictly insular and coastal contexts. I will return to this point in the second part of this article, principally with reference to examples of islands with which I am more familiar.
  4. Locating Shima in Island Drumming: Amami Ōshima and its Archipelagic Drum Groups
    Henry Johnson and Sueo Kuwahara
    Amami Ōshima, community, drum groups, Japan, shima
    Amami Ōshima to the southwest of Japan is an island between cultures. Geographically situated between Okinawa prefecture to the southwest and the much larger island of Kyūshū to the northeast, Amami Ōshima is the largest of a chain of islands known as Amami-guntō (the Amami archipelago) within Kagoshima prefecture and the Nansei archipelago. In the contemporary sphere of global cultural flows, some new traditions of group drumming have emerged on Amami Ōshima that have recognised roots either in Okinawa, in mainland Japan or in Amami Ōshima itself. This article focuses on these new traditions of ensemble drum performance and has the aim of showing not only where, how and why such groups have been established but also how a notion of community is constructed within these groups on several different levels of island and archipelagic identity. In doing this, the discussion draws on the notion of shima, meaning both ‘island’ and ‘community’, as a way of discussing select drum groups on the island as case studies for cultural analysis. As well as outlining the background of the drum groups, the article focuses on exploring the notion of shima from different perspectives that cover local, regional and national cultural flows. The article argues that the unique geographic terrain of the island is inextricably linked to a specific notion of islandness, and that this relates to further spheres of belonging in an islandscape of drum groups, villages, islands and archipelagos.
  5. Austronesian Cultural Heritage: Historic Preservation and Archaeological Conservation in the Western Pacific
    William S. Ayres
    Historic preservation, island archaeology, archaeological heritage, Austronesians, Micronesia, Pohnpei
    The idea of shared cultural heritage is significant today for many who speak languages of the widely-dispersed Austronesian language family and who are bearers of a set of related island cultures found extensively in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Shared heritage is an emerging issue throughout the region from Taiwan to Rapa Nui (and even Madagascar to the west), and from Hawai’i to New Zealand. In this paper, cultural heritage is considered in relation to ‘historic’ or ‘heritage’ preservation and archaeological conservation. Historic preservation includes a set of concepts related to conservation of materials from the past and their interlinked interpretations that we value today and selectively re-use. Since the 1970s, archaeological work done in the chains of small islands representing Micronesia in the west central Pacific has been adding to our understanding of the origins and adaptations of early Austronesian colonisers beginning some 3,000-4,000 years ago; it has also provided training in historic preservation at the local level. Illustrations, primarily from Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, reflect some of the developments in historic preservation in that area.
  6. Mission-Educated Girls in 19th Century Saint-Louis and their Impact on the Evolution of Tayo
    Karin Speedy
    Tayo, creole languages, Saint-Louis, New Caledonia, Mission schools, sociolinguistics
    Between 1860 and 1920, a creole language, Tayo, emerged as the community language of Saint-Louis a former Marist mission in southern New Caledonia. This article briefly introduces the demographic history of Saint-Louis and the arrival of Melanesian neophytes from different ethno-linguistic areas of the colony before discussing the influence of education on the development of Tayo, the Pacific’s only French-lexified creole language. It closely examines the role played by the mission-educated Saint- Louis girls in the formation of this language of intra-village communication, exploring the teaching conditions at Saint-Louis at both the boys’ and girls’ schools and comparing these with other mission schools in New Caledonia. Highlighting the exceptional nature of the linguistic ecology of Saint-Louis, it considers the reasons why a French-based creole evolved in Saint-Louis as opposed to an indigenous language-based creole or the adoption of one of the Kanak languages spoken by the neophytes as a vehicular language.
  7. The Determinants of Migration in Small Islands
    Jingqiu Guan and Jerome L. McElroy
    Small islands, migration, political status, immigrant, emigrant
    This study examines the determinants of migration in forty two small mainly tropical islands less than three million in population. Thirteen independent variables are used to measure various economic, social and demographic influences on small island migration patterns. Two profiles are constructed contrasting the characteristics and behaviour of twenty three immigrant and nineteen emigrant islands. The former are found to be more affluent than their emigrant counterparts with higher per capita income and lower unemployment. They also exhibit lower infant mortality, fertility and greater progress through the demographic transition. Immigrant islands are also characterised by dependent political status and the assumed favourable advantages of substantial trade, investment and tourism linkages with their patron countries. Finally, a provisional multivariate model is developed that suggests a combination of determinants account for most of the variation in island migration. They include per capita income, working-age population, literacy and political status.
  8. The Blasket Islands and the Literary Imagination
    Irene Lucchitti
    Blasket Islands, Tomás O’Crohan, Maurice O’Sullivan, Irish literature, cultural politics
    As part of an ancient mythology that saw an animated nature reflected in every place and thing, the island motif has long resonated with spiritual and political significance within Irish culture, and none more so than the Blasket Islands, which rose to prominence as Ireland undertook the processes of national Revival. Reverberating with the ancient significances of the island motif as a place of heightened metaphysical experience, the Great Blasket Island, home of Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Peig Sayers and Muiris Ó Suilleabháin, stirred the imaginations of those who lived upon it and of those who visited. Although the island community ceased to be more than half a century ago, the Blasket Islands continue to fascinate. This article will offer a brief telling of the Blasket story and then examine the various significances of the island motif in Irish culture that drew the Blasket Islands into the nation’s story of cultural and political revival. It will then consider various representations of the Blaskets in literature written since the demise of the island community – poetry, including Brendan Behan’s ‘A Jackeen Says Goodbye to the Blasket’, Desmond Egan’s ‘The Great Blasket’, Dairena Ní Chinnéide’s suite of poems ‘An Blascaod Mór/The Great Blasket’, and Julie O’Callaghan’s poem, ‘The Great Blasket Island’ followed by two short stories, ‘The Islanders’ by Andrew Sean Greer and Brian Doyle’s ‘The Train’.
  9. But who Crafted the Craftspeople? Examining craft policy on three Atlantic Canadian islands
    L. Lynda Harling Stalker
    Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, craftspeople, identity, cultural production
    Drawing upon the work of Pierre Bourdieu, this paper sets out to examine the connection between craft policy and the construction of the island craftsperson. This involves examining the craft policies of three Atlantic Canadian islands: Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton. These policies were all released in the early 2000s with desires to promote their respective islands to tourists. Through this examination, it is evident that the notion of the craftsperson is not self-determined, is not tied to class of origin, and is not presented as being connected to the culture of the particular island. The official construction of the craftsperson is one that is market- driven and determined by perceived tourists’ desires.
  10. 'Patangis-Buwaya': Reflection and praxis ten years after engaging with Iraya- Mangyan internal refugees
    Jonas Baes
    Iraya-Mangyan, internal refugees, Philippines, Mindoro, Luzon, ‘Patangis-Buwaya’
    In January 2003, I heard the news that a number of Iraya-Mangyan families from Mindoro Island had fled their homes and ancestral domain to seek refuge in the island of Luzon. The news reported that they were escaping a growing militarisation of their island. Having engaged the Iraya-Mangyan in ethnomusicological research from 1982 to 1987, I felt the dire necessity to at least find out who these families were and what the situation was on the island. Through a reliable network of cultural workers and after a month’s search, I eventually found them in a place they called Kanlungan (a ‘place of refuge’) and there heard horrifying stories of terror inflicted by paramilitary units, of arbitrary arrests and of summary executions. That was too much for a people who have lived through the land and relied mainly on the forests for sustenance. I am a composer and an ethnomusicologist by profession and while my academic position in one of the most prestigious universities in the Philippines gives my praxis some degree of stature, my work both as ethnomusicologist and composer fits uncomfortably in both those fields. In looking back, ten years after my last engagement with the Iraya-Mangyan, I reflect on my praxis and the manner in which the plight of the Iraya-Mangyan informed the creation of my composition ‘Patanngis-Buwaya’, a work that attempts to give insight into the Iraya-Mangyan experience for international audiences.
  11. About The Authors


  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. The Constitution of Assemblages and the Aquapelagality of Haida Gwaii
    Philip Hayward
    Aquapelago, aquapelagic assemblages, actants, Haida Gwaii, Gwaii Haanas
    Aquapelagos can be defined as assemblages of the marine and terrestrial spaces of groups of islands and their adjacent waters that are generated by human habitation and activity. This article explicates the nature of an assemblage (in this context) and addresses the manner in which assemblages are constituted at particular historical points and subsequently modified due to indigenous and/or exogenous processes, influences and/or events. It outlines the parameters of these modifications and the variegation of aspects of aquapelagality. The article uses the communally constituted locale of the Haida Gwaii aquapelago as a paradigmatic example with particular regard to historical factors and particularly those related to the establishment of the Gwaii Haanas marine conservation area and Haida heritage site. Discussion of these aspects illuminates key elements of the concept of the aquapelago.
  4. Naming the Aquapelago: Reconsidering Norfolk Island fishing ground names
    Joshua Nash
    Toponymy, fishing ground names, language aesthetics, linguistic fieldwork, toponymic ethnography, aquapelago
    Fishing ground names are an understudied taxon in toponymy. By reviewing the author's recent consideration of this toponym taxon, this article claims that an aesthetic appreciation of fishing ground names and their emplacement as linguistic and cultural ephemera is warranted within Island Studies and recent scholarship in aquapelagos.
  5. Introducing Island Detentions: The placement of asylum seekers and migrants on islands
    Alison Mountz and Linda Briskman
  6. Embodied Possibilities, Sovereign Geographies and Island Detention: Negotiating the 'right to have rights' on Guam, Lampedusa and Christmas Island
    Kate Coddington, R. Tina Catania, Jenna Loyd, Emily Mitchell-Eaton, and Alison Mountz
    Rights, asylum, island detention, embodied epistemologies
    Sixty years after the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees attempted to negotiate the problematic political relationship between states and refugees highlighted by Hannah Arendt, shifting geopolitical, legal, and sovereign geographies have exacerbated the unevenness of refugees' ability to claim the right to seek asylum. In this article, we employ a framework of embodied epistemologies to extend Arendt's insights into the role of the stateless for sovereign logics. We argue that the 'right to have rights' as an embodied possibility is not only integral to the logics of sovereignty, but also to the creation of new political spaces. Our article draws on collaborative case studies in Guam/ Northern Marianas Islands, Lampedusa, and Christmas Island. We argue that while Arendt paid singular attention to the terrain of the sovereign, there exists a far more complex geography of the state that must be negotiated to claim rights. The 'right to have rights' is necessarily an embodied possibility and practice that creates new political spaces on the grounds of and across sovereign spaces and nation-state territories.
  7. Immigration Detention in Guantánamo Bay: (Not going anywhere anytime soon)
    Azadeh Dastyari and Libbey Effeny
    Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Immigration Detention, Migrant Operations Center
    The detention facilities at the United States' Naval Station at Guantánamo Bay, 45 square miles (120 km2) of land located at the south-eastern corner of the island of Cuba, gained global notoriety since the 'War on Terror' began in 2002. It is not so widely known, however, that since 1991 the base has been extensively used as an immigration detention facility for asylum seekers and refugees. This paper is concerned with the 'Migrant Operations Center' (MOC), which is the immigration detention facility operating at the base under a cloak of relative secrecy. It places the Guantánamo Base in its historical and geographic context. It shows that the very particular imperial geography of Guantanamo Bay anticipated its use as a detention facility for 'aliens'. This paper argues that it is problematic for the US to continue the decades old policy of interdicting and detaining refugees at Guantánamo, despite its alleged, though empirically unfounded, role as a deterrence mechanism for others considering a boat journey to US shores.
  8. Border Economies: Lampedusa and the Nascent Migration Industry
    Heidrun Friese
    Undocumented mobility, border regime, border economy, Lampedusa
    Given extensive media coverage, the island of Lampedusa became a prominent symbol of undocumented mobility in the Mediterranean. The intensification of border controls, the Schengen treaty and the externalisation of borders to the European ex-colonies in North Africa fostered informal economic activities. Moreover, mobile actors invented new strategies to adapt or to circumvent impediments to free movement. Whereas new forms of Foucault's concept of gouvernementalité have been critically scrutinised, the interplay between the informal and the formal, institutionalised border economies has escaped attention so far. Based on long-term and multi-sited anthropological fieldwork on Lampedusa and Tunisia, this addresses the border regime and the nascent migration industry that involves various local, national and supra-national actors such as the Italian Civil Defence Department, the (private-public) detention system and NGOs (such as the International Organisation for Migration, Save the Children, and the Italian Red Cross).
  9. Separate and Invisible: A Carceral History of Australian Islands
    Amy Nethery
    Incarceration, Australia, history, Bruny Island, Norfolk Island, Palm Island, Rottnest Island
    This article examines the history of four islands used for incarceration in Australia: the 'secondary punishment' of convicts on Norfolk Island; the management and quarantine of indigenous people on Palm Island; the quarantine of all new migrants and visitors on Bruny Island; and the incarceration of enemy aliens on Rottnest Island. Incarceration has been used throughout Australia's history as a method of social and political control, targeting categories of people perceived to pose a threat to the racial composition, social cohesion, or national security of the Australian community. By providing a space both separate and invisible to the community, Australia's carceral islands served as a solution to a recurring problem for a young nation apprehensive about the composition, durability and security of its community. The human consequences of incarceration could be devastating.
  10. Collateral Damage: The impact of Australian asylum seeker policy on Christmas Islanders (2001-2011)
    Linda Briskman, Lucy Fiske, and Michelle Dimasi
    Christmas Island, asylum seekers, community attitudes, critical events
    Since the Tampa incident in 2001, Christmas Island has been a central site where Australia's border protection and asylum seeker policies are visible This article takes four key events over a ten year period to track the impact on Christmas Islanders and on the Islanders' changing attitudes towards asylum seekers, detention and federal government policies. The views of Christmas Islanders are not often heard in public discourse about detention on the island. This article seeks to provide a platform for a snapshot of views and to call for a greater role for Islanders in decisions that profoundly affect their lives.
  11. The Passage of Authority: Imagining the Political Transformation of Australia's Christmas Island, from Sovereignty to Governance
    Peter Chambers
    Christmas Island, immigration detention, border security, palliative communication, bureaucratic sincerity, utopia
    In 2012, Australia's Christmas Island is best known as an island of immigration detention, a key component of Australia's growing offshore border security apparatus, where interdicted boat arrivals seeking asylum are detained and processed. This article offers one account of how the Island came to be what it is, by providing two snapshots of the operable set of power relations on Christmas Island, then and now: 'Island in the Sun', and 'Tropics of Governance'. Side by side, their stark contrast reveals the passage of authority through time and place, from the embodied, unified voice of the sovereignty of the British Empire to the palliative communication and bureaucratic sincerity that characterise governance. By disclosing shifting patterns of emergence and decay and showing border security's intimate relation to governance, this article seeks to offer a deepened understanding of the current detention situation in its immanence. What can now be seen as Christmas Island's past follies also reveals the restless work of successive political imaginations, the shifting ways and means by which an island can be translated into a solution to a political problem, and how successive solutions tend toward wreck and ruin.
  12. Twenty First Century Appraisals of Palm Island
    Caroline Atkinson
    Palm Island, historical trauma, cultural trauma, political trauma, trauma, prison colony, Aboriginal, Indigenous
    Palm Island, situated off the mid-north Pacific coast of Queensland, was established as an Aboriginal settlement in 1918. By the late 1930s close to 2,000 Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders had been forcibly interned there by Queensland authorities. The island housed a variety of Indigenous peoples with marked differences in language and cultural heritage and was a complex community that developed a new syncretic identity. With many of the internees being classed as 'disruptive', a harsh militaristic regime was maintained by white administrators and guards. The repressive regime persisted until the 1960s and it wasn't until 1986 that ownership of the island was ceded to its inhabitants. Left with little infrastructure and minimal employment opportunities, social problems and criminality rose in the 1990s leading to increasingly harsh and often insensitive policing of the island by the Queensland police. One outcome of the latter was the death-in-custody of Cameron Doomadgee, also known as Mulrunji, in 2004, an event that provoked what was labelled as 'rioting', followed by a formal investigation by the state government that delivered a report in 2005 recommending major redevelopment of the island. The events described above resulted in wide media coverage and, in particular, the publication of three books: Jeff Water's Gone for a Song (2008), Jill Watson's Palm Island: Through a Long Lens (2010) and Chloe Hooper's The Tall Man (2010). This article analyses the books, more particularly Through a Long Lens; considers Palm Island's history as an incarceration centre through a trauma-informed lens; and proposes that just as incarcerated Aboriginal men caught in the trauma vortex have insight into their own needs, so do Palm Islanders.
  13. About The Authors


  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. Aquapelagos and Aquapelagic Assemblages: Towards an integrated study of island societies and marine environments
    Philip Hayward
    Archipelago, aquapelago, aquapelagic assemblages, Island Studies
    The loose interdisciplinary field known as 'Island Studies' has recently recognised the need to formulate an address to archipelagos in addition to the more atomised or generalised studies that have typified its first two decades of operation. While this is a significant development in itself, it also serves to identify the necessity for a more holistic comprehension and analysis of the interrelation of marine and terrestrial spaces in areas of the planet in which small fragments of land are aggregated in marine spaces. In order to focus on the character and dynamics of the latter, this paper proposes a reconceptualisation of such spaces in terms of their constituting 'aquapelagic assemblages'; a term I propose to emphasise the manner in which the aquatic spaces between and around groups of islands are utilised and navigated in a manner that is fundamentally interconnected with and essential to social groups' habitation of land.
  4. Shima and Aquapelagic Assemblages: A Commentary from Japan
    Juni'chiro Suwa
    Archipelago, aquapelago, aquapelagic assemblage, shima, Japan
    This commentary is a response to Hayward's article about aquapelagos elsewhere in this issue (2012), mainly elaborating on his passages concerning Japan by providing a response from that national context and adding some theoretical considerations pertinent to his concept of 'aquapelagic assemblages'. In order to bridge the two parts, I re-introduce and re-characterise the spatial idea of shima, which I initially proposed in an earlier article in this journal (Suwa, 2005), as a type of aquapelagic assemblage.
  5. Archaeology, Aquapelagos and Island Studies
    Helen Dawson
    Archaeology, archipelago, aquapelago, Mediterranean, Malta
    The burgeoning concept of the aquapelago is reviewed here in general terms and specifically in light of its applicability to archaeology, where a comparable debate has been taking place over the development of an archaeology of the sea to match that of the islands. The study of the sea in its own right is a promising approach, nonetheless we should still aim to address the continuum formed by islanders, land and sea.
  6. Getting Wet: A Response to Hayward's concept of Aquapelagos
    Godfrey Baldacchino
    Archipelago, aquapelago, maritimity, ocean, sea
    This brief rejoinder explores some of the nuances of the archipelago as they connect and contrast with Philip Hayward's suggestions (elsewhere in this issue). In particular, it charts three sets of navigational forays into the implications of a stronger appreciation of the marine in island(er) lives.
  7. Seas As Places: Towards a maritime chorography
    Ian Maxwell
    Aquapelago, chorography, local knowledge
    This short response to Hayward's proposal of the concept of aquapelagos elsewhere in this issue provides a context for such re-imaginings of place and human occupation and identifies chorography as a potential model for further exploration.
  8. Risky Places: Climate change discourse and the transformation of place on Moch (Federated States of Micronesia)
    Christine Pam and Rosita Henry
    Micronesia, climate change, risk and uncertainty, local knowledge
    Scientific predictions of climate change that place small islands 'at risk' from sea-level rise and an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme climatic events are well accepted by Small Island States. This paper discusses responses to climate change discourse on Moch Island, a coral atoll in the Mortlock Islands of Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia. We examine climate change discourse in terms of how it contributes to the constitution of 'risky environments', and focus on how the concept of 'risk' contributes to the way that people currently engage with and understand their island places. Whilst a past history of human resourcefulness in response to social and environmental change in the Pacific is well documented in the literature, the contemporary discourse of climate change introduces a notion of risk that stifles people's agency and trust in the effectiveness of their own knowledge and practices.
  9. Negotiating Turnour Island: Diaspora, memories and contemporary land claims in British Columbia
    Jon Corbett and Zach Romano
    Tlowitsis Nation, place-based memory, community-based research, British Columbia Treaty Process, aboriginal community
    The territory of the Tlowitsis Nation spans the coastal area of Northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Seasonal travel routes, food processing spots, burial and cultural sites and other named places extend across the entire territory. Since the turn of the 20th Century Karlukwees, located on remote Turnour Island, became a central settlement for the Tlowitsis Nation. In the early 1960s the Nation was displaced from Karlukwees; this has led to community members becoming culturally, as well as physically, removed from their traditional territories. A rising urban population with little attachment to these lands has reduced the opportunity and ability for members to take an active and informed role in their community. This paper describes the Tlowitsis relationship to its island-based homeland. Further, it explores how contemporary efforts to reclaim territories and mobilise the community within the context of the Canadian government land claims negotiations help to shape the ideal of what their island's past means for the future of the Nation.
  10. North of Hollywood North: Bowen Island and screen production networks
    Rebecca Coyle
    Bowen Island, screen production, Hollywood North, network analysis
    Bowen Island is located close to the British Columbian metropolis of Vancouver, in southwest Canada. Its proximity to Vancouver's audiovisual studios and screen production services has enabled several professional screen industry workers to reside on the island and commute for employment. At the same time, the island attracts film and television productions from the Vancouver-based 'Hollywood North' due to its convenient location and highly attractive land and sea environments. These productions offer some social and financial benefits to islanders, while creating portraits of island life that are disassociated from locals' experiences. Meanwhile, resident screen producers (and other cultural workers) create their own productions that utilIse the island's features and show aspects of life on Bowen Island. This article draws on a network analysis to investigate the interrelated factors of island geography, transport and communications, screen industries and cultural production. It explores various audiovisual representations of the island and how they are informed by internal and external flows of people, services and products.
  11. Home And Away: Constructions of place on Stewart Island
    Arianne Carvalhedo Reis
    Cold water islands, hunting, hiking, tramping, place, space, tourism, host-guest relationship
    Located south of the South Island of New Zealand, separated by Foveaux Strait, Stewart Island is the southern-most of New Zealand's three main islands. Stewart Island's magnificent landscapes and wildlife provide excellent opportunities for hiking and hunting. The nature of these experiences, however, is quite distinct from one another. The vast majority of hikers visiting the island are international tourists and first- time visitors, while most hunters are New Zealanders, who have been visiting the island for several years. This difference in background facilitates experiences of place that are distinct from one another, and the performances of these visitors are highly modulated by how place is constructed by themselves and by others with whom they share their experiences. This article explores these constructions of place and the production of a space that allows for these distinct experiences to occur simultaneously and in the same location. It investigates the roles a remote island destination plays in the experience of visitors/tourists, and how these roles are constructed and subsequently performed.
  12. Cultural Events and Tourism in Jersey
    Brychan Thomas and Simon Thomas
    Jersey, Cultural Events, Tourism, Channel Islands
    The paper considers the importance of cultural events for the development of tourism in the Island of Jersey. In recent years there has been a decline in tourism that appeared to take effect in the 1980s with the changing tourism market. A number of research methods have been used, including consideration of secondary data, to assess the development of tourism and a historical analysis of the development processes of the tourism industry. The research has been carried out in three distinct stages. The first stage assessed the historical development of the tourism industry in the 20th and 21st centuries. It draws primarily on archival material, existing research and secondary data sources. The second stage considered the role of cultural events in the modern development of the tourism industry. The third stage examined the nature and importance of the events in terms of the recent development of the industry. This has involved both internal (island) and external (international) influences on evolution. From this, a summary of the salient issues arising from trends has been made enabling direct analysis of the importance of cultural events.
  13. The Geography of the Psyche: In Wayne Johnston's 'The Story of Bobby O'Malley' and Alistair MacLeod's 'The Boat' and 'The Lost Salt Gift of Blood'
    Laurie Brinklow
    Islandness, boundedness, resilience, identity, Newfoundland, Cape Breton Island
    Just as islands have physical boundaries that mark where they begin and end, so too do people have boundaries that define them—physical, psychological or emotional, and societal. Often these boundaries are shaped in early childhood. How porous these psychological boundaries are can determine how resilient individuals are. Are they adaptable enough to let emotions flow through and around them like the tides? Or are they vulnerable to being flooded by everything life throws at them? Or are they trapped inside an emotional shoreline that does not allow anything in or out? This paper explores the theme of islandness and, in particular, the emotional boundedness that can result from living on an island. It looks at the role family plays in shaping characters in Wayne Johnston's 'The Story of Bobby O'Malley' and Alistair MacLeod's 'The Boat' and 'The Lost Salt Gift of Blood', and at how islands imprint themselves on the psyche at an early age—both negatively and positively. This can result in an emotionally bounded personality, or a more porous person who can connect with his or her island and grow up to be more resilient. All are a part of islandness and contribute to the creation of a strong island identity.
  14. Kellerman: EXPANDED. A Live Audio-Visual Performance in the Whitsundays
    Grayson Cooke
    Annette Kellerman, live cinema, Whitsundays, VJ, performance
    'Kellerman: EXPANDED' was a live audio-visual performance and improvisation, specially produced for the Seventh International Small island Cultures Conference in the Whitsundays (June 2011). It was a 'live cinema' remix project, in which footage from films featuring and about Australian champion swimmer and silent film star Annette Kellerman was mixed live against a soundtrack made up of songs about the Whitsundays and tracks by sound artist Mike Cooper. Annette Kellerman was an Australian performer who achieved fame as a synchronised swimmer in the London and New York Hippodromes in the 1910s and, later, as a silent film star. She spent a year in the Whitsundays in 1933/34, performing at resorts and appearing as a mermaid in a series of quasi-documentary films about coral reefs. In this performance, undersea footage was mixed in with the Kellerman films to produce an undersea fantasia, a meditation on the expanded temporality and fantasy of the island paradise. Audience members were invited to interact live with the performance, by submitting silent-film inter-titles as blog comments, which were mixed into the performance via RSS feeds.
  15. About The Authors


  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. Introduction
  4. L'identité Par Les Racines
    Or, Saying 'Indigenous' in Tahiti: The term Mā'ohi
    Bruno Saura
    Mā'ohi, indigenous, behaviour, ethnic term, representation, land, identity
    This article reflects upon the rise of the word mā'ohi since the 1980s as a term by which (French) Polynesians refer to themselves. Some older people believe the term unsuitable for humans and restrict it to plants and animals. This contrasts with contemporary identity discourses that see the term mā'ohi as articulating an indigenous condition and intrinsically conveying the concept of dignity. These differing interpretations express conflicting representations relating to land, praised by contemporary nationalists but sometimes perceived by older people as tainted. A comparative linguistic analysis of the term mā'ohi shows that it does not always express the idea of purity or dignity, even if it is often used in other Polynesian islands to designate humankind.
  5. Norman Languages of the Channel Islands: Current situation, language maintenance and revitalisation
    Julia Sallabank
    Channel Islands, indigenous languages, endangered language revitalisation, Norman French, symbolic identity
    The Channel Islands have been self-governing dependencies of the British Crown since 1204, but their geographical location, indigenous languages and older cultural traditions are much closer to Normandy (north-west France). However, acculturation to English language and customs has accelerated in the last 200 years, and is now pervasive. This paper examines the situation of the indigenous languages of the islands, which are now highly endangered: practically all native speakers are aged over 70. The island varieties of Norman have traditionally had low status, which contributed to their decline, but in recent years there have been attempts to raise their status and to raise awareness of their imminent disappearance; these attempts have borne fruit with a degree of support from the islands' governments. The paper first describes some of the linguistic features of Channel Island Norman, and then discusses efforts to preserve this aspect of island culture. The outcomes of the various revitalisation measures are also considered.
  6. Insularity, Political Status and Small Insular Spaces
    Francois Taglioni
    Insularity, political status, typology, human development, determinism
    This article focuses on islands and archipelagos around the world and considers their field of study. It aims first to trace the outline of the geographical object and its limits. Rather than attempting to provide a positive definition of an island, the article posits a category of small insular spaces. Next, by providing a thorough analysis of the notion of insularity, the study demonstrates the limits of certain physical determinisms. I propose a typology of insularities in order to open lines of inquiry and provide indications as to the levels of development and integration of small insular spaces in a world economy. However, the trends laid out in this typology should by no means be expanded into rules or laws relating to the relative influence of insularity. The position of islands in the world system does not take precedence over their relative position in relation to the main island or an industrialised home country. The influence of political status on the levels of development will also be examined.
  7. One Island, Two Landscapes
    Or, How does Otherness manifest itself on Other Sides of the Border? (Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten & Haiti/Dominican Republic)
    Marie Redon
    Borders, divided islands, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Saint Martin, Sint Maarten
    This article investigates the impacts and implications of the imposition of national boundaries across islands that were unified and homogenous prior to political partition by western colonial powers. The article explores these aspects with regard to two politically divided Caribbean islands: Quisqueya (shared between Haiti and the Dominican Republic) and the Island of Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten (whose different spellings reflect the French and Dutch ownership of separate parts of the Island). The article examines the creation of 'Otherness' on either side of the borders and the manner in which territorial 'Others' sharing the same island space develop mechanisms for both separation and interaction.
  8. Accessibility Challenges Facing Mauritius and La Réunion
    M-Annick Lamy-Giner
    La Réunion, Mauritius, island, accessibility, transport, tourism
    Mauritius and La Réunion, two islands located in the South West Indian Ocean, could not be more different. One, a highly ambitious island state striving to maintain its position on the international chessboard, contrasts with the other, an island endowed with greater resources and controlled by a powerful state. However, both islands are isolated and far away from mainland centres. In their determination not to remain isolated from the international community they have forged sea and air links with the rest of the world. Mauritius seems to have been more successful at this than its neighbour. Nevertheless, sea and air transportation not only contributes to their extroversion but also reflects their extra-regional dependency and shared interests. However, accessibility is not only about developing links with the outside world but relates to domestic mobility and alternative forms of transport to tackle the traffic congestion on both islands.
  9. About The Authors


  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. 'Lundy's Hard Work': Branding, Biodiversity and 'A Unique Island Experience'
    Susie Khamis
    Lundy, branding, biodiversity, North Devon
    Over the last 15 years, the island of Lundy has become increasingly associated with important conservation projects, particularly in regards to its biodiversity. At the same time, the island's appeal continues to be channeled through a well-worn discourse of 'untouched', 'unspoiled' islandness – or a generic charm that is popularly attributed to small islands (Grydehoj, 2008). This article shows that this perception is highly misplaced, and fails to take stock of the considerable effort that goes into managing Lundy. If anything, Lundy's growing profile constitutes effective place branding (Anholt, 2008), whereby various stakeholders strive towards a cohesive and coherent strategy. This article considers the history of Lundy as well as decisions made by seminal individuals and organisations, particularly the Landmark Trust, and shows that Lundy's management carefully acknowledges tourism opportunities and environmentalist objectives. The Lundy brand is thus an ideal example of small-island branding in the 21st Century as its marketing both acknowledges and incorporates principles of sustainable development.
  4. Jersey & Guernsey: two distinct approaches to cross-border fishery management
    Christian Fleury
    Jersey, Guernsey, France, fishing agreements, insularity, marine borders, sea appropriation conflicts
    The Channel Island bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey have a land area of 196 km2 and, together with their surrounding waters, cover a total surface area of approximately 5000 km2 within the Normand-Breton gulf. The bailiwick of Jersey comprises its main island and the uninhabited, rocky shelves of the Minquiers and the Ecrehous. The bailiwick of Guernsey comprises the inhabited islands of Alderney, Sark, Herm and Brecqhou in addition to its main island and a number of uninhabited offshore islets. Emphasising the autonomy of the two bailiwicks, each has a significantly different relationship with France over the issue of coastal fisheries; with Guernsey having had no dialogue with France over access issues and related disputes since the mid-1990s whereas Jersey has developed a relationship based on trust, as manifest in the Joint Advisory Committee of the Bay of Granville, which is part of the proceedings set up within the framework of an international treaty signed between France and the United Kingdom in July 2000. The following text will describe the stakes, strategies and convergent and divergent views between these parties over the issue of access to regional fisheries.
  5. Multi-ethnic coexistence in Kilwa island, Tanzania: The basic ecology and fishing cultures of a Swahili maritime society
    Ryo Nakamura
    Multi-ethnic coexistence, basic ecology, fishing culture, Swahili, Kilwa Island, Tanzania
    This article examines the socio-cultural structure of a Swahili maritime society in which many ethnic groups continue to live together. The focus of the article is on Kilwa, a Swahili island off the south coast of Tanzania famous for the prosperity it secured from Islamic Indian Ocean trade in the era of the medieval Kilwa Kingdom. By analysing the exploitation and sharing of natural resources particular to the sea surrounding this island, the article details how Bantu people and those of Arab descent have managed to live together in such a small area. The three ecological zones that make up the maritime environment of Kilwa are home to two general types of fisheries, each of which is largely practiced by one of the main ethnic groups. Fishers of Arab descent use expensive keeled boats for gillnet fishing in the open sea while Bantu fishers gather marine products using a dugout canoe, a flat-bottomed boat, or on foot in the shallow inland sea1 and coral pools. By occupying different maritime zones and targeting different species, the two fishing cultures of Kilwa Island enjoy a harmonious coexistence. Because each zone has different products, the catches for the two ethnic groups are different. Thanks to the diversity of the marine resources around Kilwa Island, each ethnic group can monopolise its own fisheries, thus reducing conflict between fishing activities. This contributes to maintaining a peaceful and harmonious multi-ethnic coexistence on the island.
  6. The Mitigation of Vulnerability: Mutiny, resilience and reconstitution - a case study of Pitcairn Island
    Maria Amoamo
    Vulnerability, social capital, sustainable livelihood, resilience
    Over the past few decades the Pacific region has undergone much change through decolonisation and postcolonial (re)adjustment. Political change in new and existing Pacific nations is marked by efforts to re-conceptualise identities, histories and futures. Descriptions of islands as fragile, small, peripheral and dependent are often taken for granted; reiterated within a discourse of 'vulnerability'. Such rhetoric sets up a perception of what constructs 'islandness' or island societies. This article uses a case study of Pitcairn Island, the last remaining British Overseas Territory in the Pacific, to argue for a theorisation of social capital as a counter-narrative to such discourse. It contends that an understanding of the historical trajectories of sustainable livelihoods (SL) show that strengths emerge from livelihood strategies specifically adapted to such isolated places. This moves beyond the spatial rhetoric of colonial and postcolonial theory by showing how the materiality of place and people are fundamental parts of colonial and postcolonial formations in the present.
  7. The Geopark as a Potential Tool for Alleviating Community Marginality: A case study of Langkawi Geopark, Malaysia
    Sharina Abdul Halim, Ibrahim Komoo, Hood Salleh and Mustaffa Omar
    Sustainable livelihood, tourism, geopark, community development, social marginality
    This study has three main purposes. The first is to examine the planning and implementation processes involved in Langkawi's development - particularly since its establishment as an international tourist destination - providing a brief account of the stages of its development from a duty-free island (1987) to Global Geopark (2007). The second purpose is to identify Langkawi's degree of marginality in terms of its livelihood assets, particularly its human, social and financial capital. The third focus of study addresses the issue of whether Geopark status has the potential to enhance livelihoods and the sustainability of island communities. Case studies of three locations on Langkawi (Padang Mat Sirat, Kilim and Pulau Tuba) are used to illustrate marginalisation in different types of locality. The results confirm that at local levels, the trickle-down effect of growth that benefits and reaches poor and vulnerable groups takes time due to the degree of accessibility of groups to resources, social and physical infrastructures and achievement in education and technical skills. In fact, the unemployment rate was significantly high for these areas, especially for Pulau Tuba due to its location off the main island. Regarding local participation based on types of employment, the results confirm little movement in terms of upward mobility. Hence, investment efforts, either by government or the private sector, are needed to revive the present economic activities with diversified concepts that are appropriate for the local community. The challenge to ensure effective participation and sustainability is a multifaceted one which requires commitment from individuals, the community and development agencies such as LADA and the District Office, to channel suitable socio-economic-driven projects to improve local livelihoods and to encourage bottom-up participation among locals by empowering them in the development and planning processes.
  8. Listening for The Past: A composer's ear-lead approach to exploring island culture past and present in the Outer Hebrides
    Cathy Lane
    Outer Hebrides, sound, composition, recording, history
    The landscapes of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland are littered with the visual remnants of a turbulent past but can past events be said to leave sonic as well as visual traces? This article discusses three aspects of a practice-based research project. The first is the author's exploration of these islands and their history through sound in order to try to find elusive sonic traces of the past. The second concerns the issues and problems of finding and recording sound in the Outer Hebrides. The third is the artistic challenge of communicating something about history and memory, related to the Outer Hebrides, through the medium of composed sound using a mixture of monologues, field recordings and interviews collected during a number of trips to the islands as well as material from oral history archives.This article refers specifically to two finished compositions, 'Tweed' and 'On the Machair', which are both freely available to listen to online. 'Tweed' is available as part of 'Playing with Words: an audio compilation' at: - and 'On the Machair' is available as part of Autumn Leaves at:
  9. About The Authors


  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. The Giantess as a Metaphor for Shetland’s Cultural History
    Andrew Jennings
    Shetland, Norway, Scotland, folklore, giantess
    This paper examines the giantess figure in the traditions of Shetland. Debate continues in Shetland about the extent to which the cultural heritage of the archipelago can be described as Norse or Scottish. There is widespread popular belief in the existence of an extensive Norse cultural inheritance, a view that is not always borne out by scholarship. However, this study of the traditions surrounding the giantess, known by various reflexes of the Old Norse word gýgr, will show that in the field of intangible cultural heritage, the Norse cultural component is strong. Indeed, if the giantess can be seen as a synecdoche for cultural tradition in general, Shetland’s traditions are primarily Norse, but with a Scottish admixture.
  4. Defining the Archaeological Resource on The Isle Of Harris: An assessment of the impact of environmental factors and topography on the identification of buried remains
    Kevin Colls and John Hunter
    Western Isles, Scotland, archaeology, new discoveries, culture
    Recognition of the richness and diversity of Scottish coastal archaeology has been one of the most important developments in the study of the archaeology of Scotland during recent times. The Isle of Harris, however, has been left behind. Perhaps due to its lack of upstanding archaeological monuments, or because of its harsh terrain — steep mountains, secluded valleys and deep machair (blown sand) dunes — little research has been undertaken to characterise the archaeological resource of the island and how this might be integrated into the wider trends of past human activity in the Western Isles. This paper introduces some of the preliminary results from a long-standing archaeological research project on Harris and offers a new insight into the archaeological and cultural resource of this island. The unique geological, topographical and geomorphological characteristics will be outlined and explored, with particular reference to how these factors have impacted upon the recognition of buried archaeological remains. The results from key sites will be summarised and the importance of this new dataset within local and regional studies of the development and history of the Western Isles archipelago outlined. Key themes within the discipline of island archaeology will be discussed, focusing upon the reaffirmation of the need to understand fully the cultural and archaeological development of each individual island before expanding into inter-island studies.
  5. Isolation and Interaction Cycles: Small Central Mediterranean Islands from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age
    Valentina Copat, Michela Danesi And Giula Recchia
    Interaction, exchange, small islands, prehistory
    This article considers cycles of interaction and isolation within the small islands of the central Mediterranean. It analyses these holistically, reflecting the manner in which the cycles appear to have been influenced by processes and historical phenomena that operated beyond the island groups. Available data on interaction from the different islands is compared and fluctuations in exchange networks between the 6th and 2nd millennium BC are identified. The article highlights similarities and differences in patterns of interaction between islands and mainlands and, particularly, changing demands for raw materials, the diverse motives for interaction and the shifting directions of such interaction. It is argued that cyclic patterns of interaction occurred and that small islands played a vital role in central Mediterranean exchange networks at particular periods.
  6. Opportunities for Tourism and Dialogue Between Civilisations: Rums’ Religious Fairs on the Islands of Gökçeada (Imbros) and Bozcaada (Tenedos), Turkey
    Vedat Çalişkan
    Imbros (Gökçeada), Tenedos (Bozcaada), religious fair, faith tourism, dialogue between civilizations
    This study concerns religious fairs that, in Turkey, are mainly limited to the islands of Gökçeada and Bozcaada. Continued by the resident Greek minorities (Rums), these traditional fairs attract the interest of not only off-island Rum communities but also of the Turkish public in general. Recently, the fairs’ religious, social, and cultural aspects have developed economic and political dimensions. Besides providing new opportunities for faith tourism in these small-economy islands, the fairs also prepare the ground for cultural and economic partnerships between Greece and Turkey. The cultural characteristics of Gökçeada and Bozcaada could set a global example for developing dialogue between civilizations. The centuries-old Greek Orthodox tradition of island fairs could function as a bridge between neighbouring civilizations today. These two Turkish islands in the North Aegean await the world’s interest and continue to contribute to positive relations between Greece and Turkey.
  7. A Case of Geocide: The Political and Cartographic Erasure of the Island Cache (British Columbia
    Mike Evans and Stephen Foster
    Urban Aboriginal communities, historiography, Island studies, British Columbia
    In this photo and text essay we chronicle the disappearance of an Island community of marginalised Aboriginal people. This disappearance is the result of changes in both the landscape (rendering the Island itself part of the mainland) and landscape memory (erasing the historiographic markers of the former insular community). The essay alerts us to the various ways that Islands are transformed in the context of relations with powerful neighbours.
  8. Salvage and Regeneration: Stories of Regeneration and Loss from two North East American Barrier Islands
    Rob Snyder
    Ocracoke, Portsmouth Island, North Carolina Barrier Islands, regeneration
    The unifying aspects of island life become clearer when leaving one archipelago to experience and hear the stories of another. The following reflection resulted from an invitation to participate in a seminar entitled ‘Island People: Island Culture’ conducted on Ocracoke Island by the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching in the winter of 2010. I was invited to listen and to share thoughts about the challenges and solutions to sustainability facing Maine’s island communities. As I listened, I recalled reading Margaret Rodman’s Houses Far From Home (2001) where she recorded the movements of the pieces of a home she built decades earlier on Vanuatu. This memory blended with my own experiences on Maine’s islands over the past eight years. I was moved to capture stories of salvage and regeneration, loss and longing, of successes both small and large, and of the physicality of life on two north eastern US barrier islands.
  9. The Ambon Statement (On small islands, coral reefs, archipelagos and related marine ecosystems)
    Small islands, coral reefs, archipelagos, marine ecosystems
    The International Conference on Small Islands and Coral Reefs (ISI-C) was held on August 3rd-5th 2010 in Ambon City, Indonesia. The conference was organised to share knowledge, information and experiences about the management and academic study of coral reef ecosystems. Within this, its main focus was on the effort needed to ensure sustainable small island development in balance with ecosystem health and social justice for island communities. An additional objective was to ensure that action plans were established that could respond to the impact of climate change on small islands, a priority identified at the World Ocean Conference in Manado (north Sulawesi) in May 2009. During ISI-C, the nature of archipelagos and archipelagic planning arose as key factors in debates. Reflecting these elements of discussion, the following statement was drafted during and formerly presented at the conclusion of the conference.
  10. About The Authors


  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. Introduction
  4. Grey Areas in Past Maritime Identity?: The case of Final Neolithic-Early Bronze Age Attica (Greece) and the surrounding islands
    Margarita Nazou
    Attica, mainland-island interaction, exchange, maritime networks, situational approach to cultural identity
    This article explores the issue of archaeological construction of maritime identity in the region of Attica and the surrounding islands (Greece) during the Final Neolithic and the Early Bronze Age. By investigating the theoretical implications of a situational approach to ethnicity and cultural identity, it is argued that maritime identity in the region was fluid, formed and transformed to meet social circumstances. Archaeological evidence indicates a change through time in maritime exchange networks within communities in the region. The exchanged materials, for example pottery and metals, played an important role in these networks. In addition, burial habits in the coastal zone of Attica and Euboea have many similarities to those of the neighbouring communities in the Cyclades but they are in fact a unique combination of ‘mainland’ and ‘island’ cultural traditions. Maritime networks in the region would have operated along with other overland networks. Finally, mainland- island interaction is only a part of the cultural practices underway at the time.
  5. Re-capturing the Sea: The Past and Future of ‘Island Archaeology’ in Greece
    Ina Berg
    Island Archaeology, Greece
    Research into past and present islands and coastal communities in Greece has long remained steeped in biogeographical concepts. An overview of relevant surface survey publications highlights their focus on landscape investigations, such as settlement patterns, mortuary landscapes, land use, soil analysis, botanical reconstructions and terracing. If mentioned, the sea occurs in the context of sea level changes or trade contacts. The new comprehensive agenda for an inclusive ‘island archaeology’ put forward by Broodbank (2000) and Rainbird (2007) has not yet been implemented. With the theoretical agenda clearly formulated, it is hoped that the potential of such a new, more outward-reaching survey design will soon be realised.
  6. Expanding the Horizons of Island Archaeology - Islandscapes Imaginary and Real, Ely: the case of the Dry Island
    David A. Barrowclough
    Island archaeology, islandscape, insularity, dry island, Ely, mappa, cognitive map
    This paper takes as its starting point a definition of islands that goes beyond geographical isolation to consider islands as social constructs insofar as they reflect feelings of isolation, separateness, distinctiveness and otherness. Nowhere is this truer than in the case of the ‘dry’ island, an island that although once surrounded by water has long since lost its physical isolation due to changes in sea level and drainage patterns. Taking the Isle of Ely in the fens of East Anglia in the United Kingdom between AD 1200-1600 as a case study, and utilising archaeological evidence for diet and for the local Ely ware pottery, it is possible to reconstruct a cognitive mappa, which describes the perception of islandness amongst the island’s medieval inhabitants.
  7. Islands, Islets, Experience & Identity in the Outer Hebridean Iron Age
    Rebecca Rennell
    Experience, identity, Scottish islands, Outer Hebrides, Iron Age
    This paper is concerned with exploring aspects of experience and the creation of place within the Iron Age landscapes of the Atlantic islands of the Outer Hebrides as a means of addressing questions of social identity. These prehistoric landscapes are defined primarily by monumental domestic roundhouse sites, brochs, duns and wheelhouses, which are typically found on the low-lying west coast of the islands or on small islets within freshwater lochs. In this paper the evidence for varying scales of island experience and identity in the Outer Hebridean Iron Age is explored. It is argued that the island, and the islet dwelling, more specifically, were central to the everyday experiences of these Iron Age communities, albeit in varying guises; and was a key component in the creation of domestic places and a mechanism for expressing and reinforcing social identity within this Iron Age society.
  8. The Past in the Prehistoric Channel Islands
    Paul Driscoll
    Reuse, Bronze Age, Channel Islands, identity, interaction
    This article examines Bronze Age activity at Neolithic and Chalcolithic monuments in the Channel Islands. It shows that during the Middle Bronze Age the use of monuments was focused upon funerary structures of the Neolithic, but that by the Late Bronze Age the appropriation of these sites had diminished. Such a change, it is argued, was the result of a transition in the way the past was viewed at a time when ritual practices themselves were changing away from monuments and towards mobile material culture. What emerges from this paper is that the monuments chosen for reuse were primarily coastal, reflecting connections to the sea at a time of increased maritime movement.
  9. “One, None, and a Hundred Thousand”: Settlements and identities in the prehistoric Mediterranean Islands
    Helen Dawson
    Identity, island, settlement, ‘sense of place’, colonisation, abandonment
    This paper explores the relations between island settlement, identity and sense of place in the prehistoric Mediterranean. It uses modern examples and archaeological case studies to discuss the effects of colonisation and abandonment on island communities and the creation of distinctive identities as a form of cultural resistance. Abandonment had a homogenising effect on prehistoric cultures, as the resulting movement of people encouraged cultural exchange. At the same time, however, certain traits were maintained, reflecting people’s sense of place and community affiliation. This homogeneity therefore is only superficial, masking different layers of identity constructed through cultural interaction. Time and space are critical factors in the creation of different cultural identities, which are not fixed but in continuous transformation.
  10. “Our Struggle” - Mauritius: an Exploration of Colonial Legacies on an ‘Island Paradise’
    Krish Seetah
    Mauritius, ethnicity, cultural diversity, national identity
    It is unlikely that anyone reading this article can say that they have not been affected in some way by past colonial activity. Whether through diasporas, interaction with new cultural attitudes or the exposure of our taste buds to new foods, one thing is certain: no one remains unaffected. However, for some, the colonial experience is one that is very present in day-to-day life. This article examines Mauritius, an island ‘created’ in its modern guise by colonialism. It juxtaposes the colonial legacies of Europe with the ideals of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, former Prime Minister of Mauritius and unequivocal père de la nation, as laid out in his (co-authored) book Our Struggle (1992). The book outlines the ‘epic struggle’ of a colonial island, under British rule, to achieve a peaceful transition to independence. For an island foreshadowed by doom in the years following independence, how has ‘islandness’ and isolation helped it to become a rare economic success story? By finding an equilibrium between the turbulence of its past and the needs of its future, Mauritius has used the colonial experience to shape the modern island and in so doing develop a sense of nationhood. That sense of cultural heritage, currently defined through literature, could undergo a dramatic transformation as an archaeological perspective is added to the historic.
  11. Te Mwaneaba Ni Kiribati - The Traditional Meeting House of Kiribati: ‘A Tale of Two Islands’
    Tony Whincup
    Status, nexus, identity, material culture, inter-generational continuity, agency
    Te mwaneaba (the traditional meeting-house) is central to social existence on the isolated coral atolls that form Kiribati. It is a place of tradition and ritual, changing only slowly since the establishment of “the original prototype maneaba of Tabontebike” around 1650 (Maude, 1977: 10). In te mwaneaba the seating positions of the old men of the village (unimwane) demonstrate their hierarchy. It is also a place of formal decision- making and significant social events. This paper developed from an initial photographic documentation of mwaneaba in 2008. The images revealed recent changes in building materials and construction techniques which, it is argued, have a significant effect upon social practices and the symbolic status of mwaneaba. It is further proposed that te mwaneaba acts as an agency for either change or inter-generational continuity in relation to the use of imported or local materials in its construction. Mwaneaba on the islands of Tarawa and Tabiteuea North form the primary sites for this examination.

    Text and image are constructed to form a dialectical relationship, maximising one another’s potential and sharing an equally important role in the dialogue. The photographs provide both specific detail and general contextualisation of the subject, while the written text adds to and builds upon the imagery.
  12. About The Authors


  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. Orality and Mā’ohi Culture: An Introduction to Flora Devantine’s ‘Orality: Written Tradition, Oral Tradition, Literature, Fiuriture’
    Kareva Mateata-Allain
    Mā’ohi literature, Orality, Flora Devatine, French Polynesia
    For many Mā’ohi people - the Polynesians indigenous to the Oceanic area known as French Polynesia - transitioning from an oral culture to transcribing the fluidity of spoken words and contexts onto the etched landscape of a page is a challenging passage. For Mā’ohi writers, writing often becomes a tool to merge oral and personal histories that are a major component of a local cultural identity that grounds Mā’ohi writing. In a colonised society such as French Polynesia in which people have traditionally remained silent, there is a general understanding that they do so. Consequently, in order for Mā’ohi writers to overcome stumbling blocks with writing, academics and traditional societies must intrinsically recognise the important contributions of Orality to modern discourses and creative production. As Flora Devatine, a Mā’ohi scholar, writer, editor, and purveyor of Mā’ohi culture contends, Orality can be a vehicle to expand one’s consciousness and place in the world. Devatine’s (2002a) article, ‘Orality, Written Tradition, Oral Literature, and Fiuriture’, was originally written in French with reo Mā’ohi insertions. She crafts her essay in a poetic style that mirrors a Mā’ohi ‘orero, a traditional Polynesian oratory. In this extended ode, she stresses how Orality is an ever-expanding, forever innovative concept that shifts and evolves with indigenous consciousness amidst pervasive global change.
  4. Written Literature, Oral Tradition, Oral Literature, Fiuriture
    Flora Devantine
    Orality, Oral Literature, nana’oture and nene’iture, oral writing, fiuriture and French Polynesian Literature
    Traditionally, Orality characterises a human society that does not write and that has no recourse for transmitting cultural traditions, or inscribing the reflections, thoughts, and emotions of its members. Further, each of the members of such a society is responsible for perpetuating Orality and its memory. From this point of view, Orality is the restitution of memory transmitted through diverse expressions of voice or words of a culture. Similar to reproduction by language, sounds and images are transported through a particular level of creation and expression. This happens especially with oratory arts, in which Orality, with its other contexts, also touches upon the liberation of memory and the re-creation of culture.
  5. But the Language has Children now: Manx Language revitalisation
    Gary Wilson
    Reversing Language Shift; language revitalisation; education planning; Bunscoill Ghaelgagh
    This article examines the revitalisation of Manx Gaelic, the indigenous language of the Isle of Man, through acquisition or through education planning (which is one of a number of planning strategies used to preserve and promote endangered languages). Language scholars argue that the key to ‘Reversing Language Shift’ is to encourage language development in the domestic sphere (in the home and community) rather than (solely) in the education system. In the Isle of Man, however, the specific emphasis on education planning initiatives was a response to the dearth of fluent speakers and a complete absence of native speakers1. This break in intergenerational continuity necessitated the development of a solid cohort of younger speakers before revitalisation could even begin to take place in the domestic sphere. While the creation of a Manx medium primary school in 2001, as well as other educational initiatives at the pre- school, primary, secondary and adult levels have instigated a revival of Manx, providing opportunities for the growing cohort of Manx speakers to use the language outside of school remains contentious and will pose the single biggest challenge for the linguistic revitalisation process in the future.
  6. Jersey and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon
    Christian Fleury
    Jersey, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, insularity, border, cultural resurgence
    Despite their obvious differences, comparisons of Jersey and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon are pertinent and informative due to their respective institutional statuses and locations. Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, situated close to the Canadian island of Newfoundland, is fully included within the French Republic but does not belong to the European Union. It thereby has room for manoeuvre beyond the scope of standard regions within the national context. Jersey, a dependency of the British Crown, lies 24 kilometres off the Cotentin Peninsula, part of the French region of Basse-Normandie. Not included within the United Kingdom and, by extension, out of the European Union, it has been able to develop a set of skilled activities, mainly in the financial sector.

    At their different levels and temporalities, these island-border territories are institutional and geographical margins that have tended to develop dematerialised activities within extended spatial systems. In addition to addressing this aspect, the article also stresses a second aspect of the islands’ relational pattern that has - in recent years, at least - led them to remember and revive former (and largely forgotten) cultural links with their continental vicinities. The phenomenon of local resurgence is prevalent in Jersey, where it operates in something of a counterbalance to global drifts in the finance industry and in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, with particular regard to the reactivation of its historical links to Acadia.
  7. Islands and Archaeological Research in Western France
    Marie-Yvane Daire
    Archaeology, islands of Western France, heritage, environments, sea level, vulnerability
    The Brittany region corresponds to the largest peninsula of France, including hundreds of isles and small islands. Almost all of these contain remains of ancient human occupation dating from Prehistoric times and historical periods: megalithic monuments, Neolithic and Metal Ages settlements, Stone Age tool deposits, pre-Roman salt production workshops, early Christian hermitages and chapels, fish traps built in various periods etc. This article presents a collaborative research project dedicated to island archaeological research in Western France. The geographical, cultural and historical background throws light on the genesis and development of the collaborative research carried out over the past two decades by the AMARAI Association1; the objectives, methods, content and main results of the research projects are summarised, along with a short presentation of the plans and prospects that aim at opening up new perspectives on coastal and island archaeology in Western France.
  8. Mummers on Trial: Mumming, Violence and the Law in Newfoundland
    Joy Fraser
    mumming, violence, Newfoundland, criminal trials
    This paper investigates the violence surrounding the custom of Christmas mumming as practised in the urban centres of Conception Bay on Newfoundland’s northeast coast, and in the island’s capital, St. John’s, in the mid-19th Century. Until recently, few contemporary accounts have come to light between the first known description of mumming-related violence in this area in January 1831 and the alleged murder of Isaac Mercer by mummers in the town of Bay Roberts in December 1860. This paper argues that the proceedings of several criminal trials involving mummers recently uncovered at the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador provide significant new evidence of a close relationship between mumming, violence and the law in Conception Bay and St. John’s during this period. The paper also explores the insights that the trial proceedings offer into the practice of mumming itself, the backgrounds of participants and the motivations underlying the violent incidents. In light of this new evidence, I argue for the need to re-examine the links that have been posited between mumming-related violence and the wider social, ethnic, religious and political tensions that affected life in mid-19th Century urban Newfoundland.
  9. Wandering Rocks: Island Politics in the Offshore Locales of James Joyce
    John D. McIntyre
    Ireland, Aran Islands, Isle of Man, representation, House of Keys
    This article addresses the representation of islands within the fiction of the 20th Century writer James Joyce. It is argued that Joyce reveals how islands and concepts of islandness can be made to serve varying political, historical, and literary ends. Writing in the immediate aftermath of Irish independence and partition, Joyce used the island settings of the Aran Islands and the Isle of Man in order to comment on the implications of those recent historical developments. While contemporary writers like Yeats and Synge valued the Aran Islands for their inculcation of traditional Irish values, Joyce rejected that vision as parochial and outmoded. Instead, Joyce drew attention to important comparisons and contrasts between Ireland and the Isle of Man. In Ulysses (1922) Joyce contrasted Ireland’s long and bloody struggle for independence with Man, whose legislature, the House of Keys, presented a dramatic counterexample of legitimate Home Rule. For both Joyce and his characters, Man was associated with familiar island stereotypes, including self-sufficiency and wholeness.
  10. Development or Despoilation? The Andaman Islands under colonial and postcolonial regimes
    M.V Krishnakumar
    Andaman Islands, forestry, development, environmental change, Andaman tribes
    The last quarter of the 19th Century marked an important watershed in the history of the Andaman Islands. The establishment of a penal settlement and an Imperial forestry service, along with other radical changes in the islands’ traditional economy and society, completely transformed the basic pattern of their forest resource use and entire system of forest management. These colonial policies, directly or indirectly, had a drastic impact on the indigenous population and island ecology. This article analyses the sources of environmental change in the Andaman Islands by examining the general ecological impacts of the state initiated development programmes. It also analyses the ‘civilising missions’ and forestry operations undertaken by British colonial administrators as well as the Indian state’s development initiatives under the ‘Five Year Plans’ that followed Indian independence in 1947.
  11. Naming The Sea: Fishing Ground Place names on Norfolk and Pitcairn islands
    Joshua Nash
    Norfolk Island, Pitcairn Island, place names, offshore fishing ground names
    Pitcairn Island and Norfolk Island place names depict a colourful aspect of the history of the islands. This paper presents and develops an undocumented facet of esoteric and unofficial place-naming on both islands namely locating and naming offshore fishing grounds and argues that this taxon is an important component of the place name landscape as well as the cultural history of the islands. A list of 10 Pitcairn fishing ground names and a list of 10 Norfolk fishing ground names are analysed considering (1) the nature of the place name lexicon, (2) the spatial aspect of locating and talking about the fishing grounds, and (3) the similarities between naming and locating of fishing grounds on Pitcairn and Norfolk. Data elicitation techniques are also described. The results suggest that the names of these offshore locations form a type of sea-based cognitive map especially important in the isolated island situation and argues that the implications of this research and field methods to other island environments should not be underestimated.
  12. About The Authors


  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. Introduction: Islands of Risk, Islands of Hope
    Ilan Kelman & J-C Gaillard (Issue Editors)
  4. An Island Characteristic: Derivative vulnerabilities to indigenous and exogenous hazards
    James Lewis
    Vulnerability, indigenous and exogenous hazards
    Island development policies need to take account of recurrently high proportional impacts of natural hazards that are set to increase. Assistance could best be considered as expiatory measures against perpetrations of former world powers; the occupation and exploitation of islands in history having played a part in present-day vulnerabilities of communities to an impressive variety of indigenous hazards. Exogenous hazards of invasion and appropriation cannot be regarded only as past events because, for some islands, they are continuing, and because aspects of past exploitations continue for today’s occupiers as derivative vulnerabilities. One islander describes the heightened significance of events in places of geographic smallness: For the people in a small place, every event is a domestic event... eventually they absorb the event and it becomes a part of them, a part of who and what they really are, and they are complete in that way until another event comes along and the process begins again...To the people in a small place, the division of Time into the Past, the Present and the Future does not exist. An event that occurred one hundred years ago might be as vivid to them as if it were happening at this very moment. (Kincaid, 1988: 52-54).
  5. Shaken, but not stirred: The 2004 Eruption of the Tristan volcano
    Vicky Hards
    Tristan da Cunha, volcanic eruption, earthquake, vulnerability, natural hazards
    Overnight on 29—30 July 2004, Tristan da Cunha, a remote volcanic island in the South Atlantic Ocean, was shaken by an intense earthquake swarm. The tremors felt by many of the island’s population evoked memories of events leading up to the 1961 volcanic eruption and the subsequent evacuation of the whole island. Shortly after this, fresh pumice was found floating near the island. Concern was immediate, and the population watched the site of the 1961 eruption, known locally as “the volcano”. Administrator Mike Hently sought advice from the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office — Tristan is a dependency of the UK Overseas Territory of St. Helena — requesting a scientific assessment of the situation. It was in direct response to this request that the author visited the island in September 2004. Events were reconstructed from the islanders’ accounts and, following requests from the local community, reassurance and advice were given. Both direct observations and subsequent analysis of seismic data are consistent with a small parasitic eruption having occurred on the lower (submarine) flanks of the Tristan volcano, whilst the sub-aerial portion of the volcano had not stirred. This event reiterates the responsibility of the scientific community to provide meaningful advice on potential hazards and hazard mitigation to those living with active volcanoes. It also illustrates the disproportionate vulnerability of small, remote island communities to natural hazards.
  6. Institutional and Social Responses to Hazards related to Karthala Volcano, Comoros
    Part 1: Analysis of the May 2006 Eruptive Crisis
    Julie Morin, Franck Lavigne, Patrick Bachelery, Anthony Finizola & Nicholas Villeneuve
    Crisis management, Karthala volcano, Grande Comore Island
    This paper aims at understanding the failure of the crisis management system during the 2006 eruption of Karthala volcano on Grande Comore Island. Since 2005, the eruptive activity of Karthala volcano had increased, with higher intensity and frequency. These changes should have led Grande Comore to be better prepared for confronting a volcanic threat. But the following analysis demonstrates that the country remained unprepared to face even a minor eruptive event. The weaknesses that led to poor crisis management are detailed and analysed and suggestions for improvement are made.
  7. Institutional and Social Responses to Hazards related to Karthala Volcano, Comoros
    Part 2: The deep-seated root causes of Comorian vulnerabilities
    Julie Morin & Franck Lavigne
    Volcanic hazards, vulnerability, risk perception, Karthala volcano, Grande Comore Island, Comoros
    Although Karthala volcano in Grande Comore Island has erupted four times since 2005, the government and the local population still remain unprepared for a major eruptive crisis. The reasons for this lack of preparation lie in a deep tangle of political, socio-economic, cultural, and environmental factors. Consequently, the population accepts the volcanic threat in different ways and to different levels. The ways in which Comorians deal with this threat lead to important changes in their society (eg social links evolving, exposure to volcanic hazards in exchange for some improvements in daily life, and easier access to resources). On a national scale, deep structural adjustments are required in order to reduce vulnerability sustainably.
  8. Experimental use of participatory 3-dimensional models in island community-based disaster risk management
    Emmanuel Maceda, Jean-Christophe Gaillard, Elodie Stasiak, Virginie Le Masson & Iwan Le Berre
    Participatory 3-Dimensional Model, Mapping, Community-Based Disaster Risk Management, Philippines, Divinubo
    This article documents an attempt to integrate Participatory 3-Dimensional Models (P3DM) into Community-Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM). It particularly focuses on the islet of Divinubo, located off the island of Samar on the Pacific edge of the Philippine archipelago. The P3DM methodology proved to be useful for many reasons — it facilitates the participation of the population; raises people's awareness of their territory; allows the 3-dimensional mapping of natural and other hazards, threatened assets, vulnerabilities and capacities; better enables CBDRM to be integrated into the larger development framework; proves very useful in marginalised areas like small islands; is cheap to set up and easy to reproduce; and may provide valuable data for scientists interested in disaster research. There are several issues that turned out to be instrumental in the successful implementation of such a methodology, since neither the scientists nor the sole NGO sector were able to achieve the best results with the community on their own but had to work together. The article also emphasises that it is critical to complete a long-term confidence-building stage before attempting to implement the project.
  9. Islandness: Vulnerability and Resilience in Oceania
    John Campbell
    Pacific islands, vulnerability, traditional disaster reduction
    Pacific and other islands have long been represented as sites of vulnerability. Despite this, communities on many Pacific islands survived for millennia prior to the intrusion of people from Europe into their realm. An examination of traditional disaster reduction measures indicates that traditional Pacific island communities coped with many of the effects of extreme events that today give rise to relief and rehabilitation programmes. Key elements of traditional disaster reduction were built around food security (production of surpluses, storage and preservation, agro-ecological biodiversity, famine foods and land fragmentation), settlement security (elevated sites and resilient structures) and inter- and intra-community cooperation (inter-island exchange, ceremony and consumption control). Many of these practices have been lost or are no longer employed, while other changes in the social and economic life of Pacific island communities are increasing the level of exposure to natural extremes. Pacific islands, and their inhabitants, are not essentially or inherently vulnerable. They were traditionally sites of resilience. Colonialism, development and globalisation have set in place processes by which the resilience has been reduced and exposure increased.
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  3. A Different Land: Heritage Production in the Island of Gotland
    Owe Ronström
    Gotland, Visby, heritage, tradition, islands
    In the early 1980s a massive heritagisation of Gotland and of Visby, the island’s capital and only city, began and in 1995 UNESCO awarded Visby World Heritage status. This article considers how the immediate success of the heritagisation of Gotland can be explained. I argue that an important explanation lies in the differences between the new heritage mindscape and that of the older, traditional peasant society of the 16th and 17th centuries. In the final part of the article I discuss heritage production in relation to island production and argue that ‘islanding’ is a process closely related to heritagisation. The concept of heritage seems to work especially well in remote and islanded places. For Gotland, heritage production has led to an intensified ‘islanding’, which, in turn, has led to a booming tourist industry. Precisely that which made islands central to previous times makes islands peripheral and marginal to the present world. Heritage is both an expression of, and an instrument for, that marginality.
  4. Sailing To An Island: Contemporary Irish Poetry visits the Western Islands
    Kim Cheng Boey
    Irish islands, poetry, Aran, Blaskets, Heaney
    The islands off the west of Ireland have always been regarded as a sanctuary of Irish identity. Having escaped the worst of Cromwellian despoliation, and untainted yet by what Yeats calls the “modern filthy tide” (1974: 196), the Gaeltacht or Irish-speaking areas are invoked by the Literary Revivalists as a site of Irish authenticity. But they seem like another country and are irreducibly other, their alterity testing the coherence of the mainland. My paper explores the trope of the island in the work of contemporary Irish poets. Although rejecting the nationalist appropriation of the western landscape, these poets are drawn to what MacNeice calls “island truancies” (1949:28). If the islands are no longer emblems of origins, they provide the distance from which to survey the twin issues of self and home. Physically and psychologically, the crossing to the islands is a journey into another country. In visiting these satellites that seem so much like home and yet are formidably alien, the tourist-poet negotiates the threshold between home and abroad, inside and outside, self and other.
  5. From Marginality To Resurgence: The case of the Irish Islands
    Stephen A. Royle
    Islands, Ireland, population, tourism, culture
    The islands off the coast of Ireland declined after the Irish famine of the 1840s. The number inhabited and the size of the population on those that remain populated both fell dramatically, faring worse collectively than the Irish mainland to which they were marginal in every sense. The reasons for this decline are examined. In the early 20th Century there are some signs of resurgence. The article considers that this might be put down to the efforts of islanders themselves, coupled with state and European Union support. There is an interest in and regard for the islands associated with their being seen as repositories of Irish culture and heritage. This has had positive benefits regarding the attitude of the state agencies and also for tourism, which is an important factor in many contemporary island economies. In fact, some of the resurgence as measured by population totals can be put down to people having holiday cottages on the islands rather than an increase in the size of traditional communities.
  6. Nothing But A Shepherd And His Dog: The Social and Economic Effects of Depopulation in Fetlar, Shetland
    Adam Grydehøj
    Fetlar, Shetland, Depopulation, Economic Development
    Fetlar, one of the peripheral islands in the Shetland archipelago, is blessed with rich soil, a local shop, frequent ferry connections and a strong sense of community. Nevertheless, it is an island at risk, its population having dropped to just 48 individuals. This article compares the situation in Fetlar with those of Shetland’s other peripheral islands, some of which are now home to stable, economically successful communities and others of which are social disaster zones, with dwindling populations riven by feuding. Taking into account social, political, and economic factors, the article analyses why Fetlar has proven particularly vulnerable to depopulation. With the help of ethnological fieldwork, the article looks at how Fetlar’s problems have affected the local community, how members of this community are coping with their island’s decline, and what they are doing in an attempt to reverse it. Finally, the article argues for more focused and sensitive investment into the community by the municipal authorities.
  7. Localising Jersey Through Song: Jèrriais, Heritage and Island Identity in a Festival Context
    Henry Johnson
    Jersey, Jèrriais, language, song, La Fête Nouormande, identity
    This study is about the use of a local language in music. It shows how music is used in Jersey as a tool to propagate the local language, Jèrriais, to maintain heritage and to create culture and community. In this context, some island activists, and especially local institutions within the heritage industry, are campaigning for the survival of Jèrriais through social, cultural and political means. As a study that is grounded in the field of ethnomusicology, this research looks at the sources, methods and findings of studies of songs using Jèrriais. Within this framework, the sources of tradition are investigated, giving particular attention to a recently instigated (invented) tradition of a Norman fête held annually at a Norman location. The paper shows the use of a minority yet highly significant language in the realm of music making that has the aim of helping sustain cultural heritage in the contemporary age. Music is engaged with the language of the locale, and in contexts that are enmeshed with meanings relating to local heritage, Jèrriais is foregrounded through song as a way of maintaining and developing identity.
  8. We Are Fiji: Rugby, Music and the Representation of the Fijian Nation
    Jennifer Cattermole
    Fiji, sport, music, nation-making, representation, national identity
    This article uses the DVD version of Daniel Rae Costello’s song We Are Fiji as a case study in which to explore the sonic and visual construction of Fijian nationhood. It addresses how Fijian national symbols (for example, the national flag and national anthem) as well as a national sport (rugby sevens in this example) are used to forge a sense of national identity between members of its geographically dispersed and multicultural population. This article also examines who is being included/excluded in this representation of the Fijian nation, and how particular sounds (for example, the use of particular languages and musical instruments) and images (those of the physical environment and its inhabitants) are used selectively to reify existing power relationships between Fiji’s cultural groups. We Are Fiji thus provides an insight into Fijian nation-making processes – a topic that is particularly salient given the political tensions that currently exist between (and within) Fiji’s cultural groups.
  9. Through A Glass Darkly: A Video Essay on Artscape Nordland and the cultural milieu of the Lofoten Islands
    Jeremy Welsh
    a. Introduction
    b. Video Essay
    Lofoten, Public Art, Landscape
    The Lofoten and adjacent Vesterålen islands are located off the north western coast of Norway inside the Arctic Circle. Despite the islands possessing marine hazards such as the notorious maelstrom caused by the Moskenes tidal stream in the outer islands, Lofoten has been the centre of the Norwegian cod fisheries since the Middle Ages and, in particular, the centre for production of stockfish (dried, salted cod) which has been Norway's most important export product for centuries The islands are also a place of outstanding and unique natural beauty and were nominated for UNESCO world heritage listing in 2002 by the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment on the strength of the “unique qualities associated with its marine resources, geology, plant and animal life, cultural monuments and exciting scenery”. The video essay addresses the latter aspects, looking at a series of public artworks in the landscape and featuring interviews with key figures within the thriving cultural milieu of the Lofoten islands.
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  3. When Islands Lose Dialects: The case of the Ocracoke Brogue
    Walt Wolfram
    Sociolinguistics, dialect, language endangerment, language change, Ocracoke
    The transformation of many small islands from isolated, subsistence-based economies into well-known and desired tourist sites is often accompanied by significant language change and recession in ancestral island communities, a growing topic of concern in the field of sociolinguistics. This discussion considers language change and recession on the island of Ocracoke, a small barrier island located off the coast of North Carolina in the US. It demonstrates how language change is related to shifting social and economic factors and intra- and inter-community relationships on the island. In the process, it also challenges the accepted definition of language endangerment in mainstream linguistics and argues on theoretical, historical, and cultural grounds for the inclusion of minority dialects threatened by dominant, mainstream varieties of English in the endangerment canon.
  4. Pacific Festivals as Dynamic Contact Zones: The case of Tapati Rapa Nui
    Dan Bendrups
    Pacific festivals, Tapati Rapa Nui, dynamic contact zones
    In the contemporary Pacific, cultural festivals provide important points of contact between people at local, national, colonial and global levels, contributing to the complex processes by which issues of identity and indigeneity are explored and mediated. This article presents new ethnographic research concerning the annual Tapati Rapa Nui festival of Easter Island (Rapanui). Now into its fourth decade, Tapati Rapa Nui is one of very few public contexts in which ancient Rapanui traditions are re-enacted for a contemporary audience. This article employs historian Mary Pratt’s conceptualisation of “contact zones” (1992) to describe the specific characteristics of Tapati Rapa Nui as a nexus between indigenous, colonial and international cultures. It examines the relationship between cultural performance and international tourism in the contemporary Pacific, arguing that festivals like Tapati Rapa Nui are able to cater to the cultural heritage needs of islander communities as well as satisfying the curiosity of outsider audiences.
  5. Trains of Thought: Railways as Island Antitheses
    Godfrey Baldacchino
    Railways, islands, dysfunctionality, transport infrastructure, scale economies
    This article discusses the impacts of railways on islands, and of islands on railways. It argues that railways constitute a development logic that may work well on sprawling mainlands with industrialised economies and large enough populations residing in high-density clusters but they are hard pressed to achieve viability in service-driven island jurisdictions where there are critical mass constrains in terms of both potential passengers and freight, at times even in spite of relative affluence or high population densities. Thus, the mere existence, or even the improvement, of transport infrastructure does not guarantee economic and social progress. Many railways and their histories have now been somewhat accommodated within the service industry of various islands. However, the ‘fatal attraction’ they have provided to investors, elites and politicians in the past may recur in relation to other, mesmerising technologies, with their promise of serving as development panaceas.
  6. Economic Development Options for Island States: The case of Whale-Watching
    Brendan J Moyle and Mike Evans
    Development, ecotourism, noncommunicable disease, Tonga, whale-watching, whaling
    This paper explores the consequences of whale-watching tourism with reference to the Kingdom of Tonga. Whale-watching tourism has been proposed as a viable development option for small island states. This proposal is frequently linked to permanent cessation of what is, in many cases, traditional whale hunting. This article critiques some earlier work on the economic impact of whale-watching and explores the consequences of whale-watching using biometric models in an attempt to inform policy and debate concerning the economic benefits of switching from whale hunting to watching. Ecotourism generally, and whale-watching specifically, have some development risks and these risks are elaborated.

    For small island states on the periphery of the whale-watching industry, the profitability of an exclusive whale-watching strategy is threatened by increased competition elsewhere. We contend that economic returns from whale resources can be maximised by retaining a whale hunting option for cases where resource populations rise above that necessary for ecological sustainability and tourism activities. By eliminating the prospects of a diversified use of whale stocks for the somewhat more uncertain gains from whale-watching, small island states expose themselves to potential shocks. Such states have a lesser ability to absorb such shocks; hence the elimination of hunting options is an ill-advised development route for humans.
  7. Filmmaking and the Politics of Remoteness: The Genesis of the Fogo Process on Fogo Island, Newfoundland
    Stephen Crocker
    Fogo Process, subject generated media, media and remote populations, National Film Board of Canada, Newfoundland
    The Fogo Process was an early project in participatory media first developed on Fogo Island, Newfoundland in the late 1960s. Through a series of experiments in the political uses of interactive film and video Fogo islanders resisted resettlement of their island community and an imposed, top-down ‘modernisation’ of its way of life. Today, these early experiments with remote island populations raise interesting questions about the politics of media. In an age of subject generated media, when anyone anywhere can produce and distribute video, what is the relation between political collectivity and our ability to ‘cognitively map’ our place in the larger geo-political system?
  8. Murder and Cultural Construction in 19th Century Prince Edward Island
    Douglas Malcolm
    Prince Edward Island, murder, culture, folklore, Isle of Skye
    The transformational possibilities of an island’s culture are both shaped and constrained by its totalised physical boundary, helping to create a culture composed paradoxically of both intimacy and separation. Cultural construction occurs through a dialectic between symbolic systems that are put at risk through practice and thus subject to change. Island inhabitants preserve the social and physical boundaries imposed by geography because boundaries make it tolerable to live at close quarters in a community over many years. The policing of borders thus engenders a culture that promotes collectivity and elides whatever contests it. The unsolved rape and murder of Ann Beaton in May of 1859 in Rear Settlement, Prince Edward Island significantly problematised the isolated Scots culture of which she was a part and prompted its followers to construct new narratives that were one step in their integration into the larger Island society. Responses to the murder were, and have continued to be, apparently designed to circumvent evidence and to develop explanatory narratives that did not endanger the community.
  9. Feature Review – Subantarctica: the Auckland Islands and Joan Druett’s Island of the lost
    Bernadette Hince
    Shipwrecks, subantarctic islands, Auckland Island, Robinsonade
    The subantarctic is a little-known region with fluid boundaries. Its islands, once obscure and undesirable places, have conservation protection today for their distinctive plants and animals, spectacular landscapes and scientific value. In reviewing Island of the lost (2007), Joan Druett’s popular account of two 1864 shipwrecks on Auckland Island, this article explores the notion of a continuing culture of the subantarctic in the absence of permanent settlement.
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  3. Transperipheral Networks: Bullfighting and Cattle Culture in Japan’s Outer Islands
    Sueo Kuwahara, Takahiro Ozaki and Akira Nishimura
    Amami, bullfighting, transperipheral networks
    Organised fights between trained bulls have been staged in several locations in Japan, Korea, and China for several hundred years (Ishii, 1990a). This article analyses the manner in which a group of Japanese islands have played a prominent part in this activity and now form part of inter-regional networks linking disparate, non-metropolitan communities across the region. These linkages are characterised and discussed as constituting a transperipheral network.
  4. Gourmet and Green: The Branding of King Island
    Susie Khamis
    King Island, food, branding, tourism
    In less than thirty years, King Island - in Australia’s Bass Strait - has become popularly synonymous with quality foods and unspoilt beauty. The marketing success of King Island Dairy, in particular, has helped orient much of the island’s activities towards particular services and goods. They benefit from a general perception that, for reasons both coincidental and contrived, King Island is singularly blessed for premium produce. This article traces the rise this image, and considers its irony in light of the various vulnerabilities that have otherwise hindered King Island’s development. From the hazardous winds of the ‘Roaring 40s’, to the sporadic investment in its infrastructure, King Island’s history is dotted with obstacles and setbacks. In turn, it is argued that, insofar as the King Island brand now relies on certain associations for effectively marketing both its export commodities and its tourist attractions, islanders must address if not resolve a range of issues and/or inadequacies that undermine the brand’s integrity.
  5. Norfolk Island: Thanatourism, History and Visitor Emotions
    Megan Best
    Norfolk Island, thanatourism, emotions, convict settlement, history, heritage, tourism
    An increasingly popular tourism niche involves visits to sites of death and human suffering. This form of travel has become known as ‘thanatourism’ and its study is a research field that has emerged from studies of war and battlefield tourism (Seaton, 1996, 1999). Although considered to be a highly emotional experience for visitors, little remains known about thanatourists’ emotions during visits (Austin, 2002). To begin to fill this research gap, the current study explored tourists’ emotions whilst visiting Norfolk Island’s convict sites and attractions. Norfolk Island is a self-governing external territory of Australia, located in the South-West Pacific. It is rich in history and culture; a heritage that remains the nucleus of the islands primary industry - tourism. Study findings are drawn from arrival and departure visitor questionnaires and follow-up, in-depth, post-travel interviews. The findings indicate that viewing convict sites produces a multitude of emotions, all of which impact on visitor experiences in some way. The study utilises Fredrickson’s (1998) Broaden and Built Theory of Positive Emotions to explore how visitors’ thought-action repertoires are broadened throughout their emotional encounters. Findings build upon current knowledge of thanatourism and Norfolk Island’s history and heritage. In doing so, the study has developed a greater understanding of the role of emotions in visitor experiences.
  6. Reinventing ‘Springs’: Constructing Identity in the Fiddle Tradition of the Shetland Isles
    Meghan Forsyth
    Shetland Isles, fiddle, contemporary tradition, identity construction, representation
    The relative isolation of the Shetland archipelago until the beginning of the 20th Century promoted the development of a fiddle tradition distinct from either that of neighbouring Scandinavia or mainland Scotland. Contemporary Shetland fiddling reveals changing perceptions of space, in relation to generational differences and the dichotomy of traditional/contemporary, and constructions of place, in terms of individual interpretations of islandness and individuals’ ties to their environment. This paper focuses on recent and current fiddling in the Shetland Isles in the context of identity construction and representation. I consider changes to Shetland fiddling since the development of the contemporary tradition in the 1970s, and explore how Shetland fiddlers construct their identities as Shetlanders through their individual interpretations of the tradition. Moreover, I examine how they choose to represent Shetland fiddling in the contemporary global market.
  7. “The Spell of Sarnia”: Fictional Representations of the Island of Guernsey
    Peter Goodall
    Guernsey, Channel Islands, Hugo, Edwards, Peake, religion
    Although there is nothing that resembles a comprehensive literary history of Guernsey, or of any of the islands of the English Channel, Guernsey has been the subject of many interesting representations in fiction. Two great novels dominate this tradition: Victor Hugo’s Les Travailleurs de la mer (Toilers of the Sea) (1866) and G. B. Edwards’s The Book of Ebenezer Le Page (1981), and these novels have a powerful intertextual relationship. One or two novels written in between are major works of literary art, for example Mervyn Peake’s Mr. Pye (1953), but most of the other eighty or so novels are works of popular fiction in a variety of genres and modes, especially the historical romance and the adventure story. On the whole, these novels rehearse a limited number of common themes: a romantic conception of Guernsey’s history, the physical beauty of the island coupled with a sense of the dangers of its dramatic coastline and the sea that surrounds it, and the prominence of religion in island society, in terms of both Christian sectarianism and the underground presence into modern times of paganism and witchcraft.
  8. On the Margins: Torres Strait Islander Women Performing Contemporary Music
    Katelyn Barney
    Torres Strait Islanders, women, contemporary music, marginalisation
    Despite the increasing number of Torres Strait Islander musicians who are now recording their contemporary music, and aside from the work of a few notable exceptions (eg Beckett 1981; Neuenfeldt, 2002; Magowan and Neuenfeldt, 2005), Torres Strait Islander performers continue to remain marginalised in academic discourse. Further, what has been written about contemporary Indigenous Australian performance is largely about male performers—the voices of Torres Strait Islander women are noticeably absent. With reference to feminist theories of marginalisation and difference and drawing on first-hand interviews, this paper examines how Torres Strait Islander women negotiate issues of marginalisation, differentiation and identity through their music. It also considers what it means to Torres Strait Islander women to perform on the margins and the ways that contemporary music performance functions in this context as a site for resistance and affirmation of their Torres Strait Islander identities.
  9. Feature Review – Western Edges: Evil Aliens and Island Otherness in British Cinema
    Philip Hayward
    British islands, cinema, Horror, Wales
    The British film Evil Aliens (2005), directed by Jake West, offers a vivid representation of a western British island as a place of liminal otherness. It builds on a British cinematic tradition of representing such locations as places of difference and transition and provides a new inflection through a mix of current film genres that allows full reign to humour and thematic invention. The following analysis identifies the significance of the island location to Evil Aliens’ narrative and reflects on the continuing sense of western liminality present in a 21st Century imagination of Great Britain’s island fringe.
  10. About The Authors


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  2. Contents
  3. An Introduction To Island Culture Studies
    The Shima Editorial Board
  4. The Space of Shima
    Jun'ichiro Suwa
    Amami (Japan), landscape, imagination, performance, human security
    Drawing on a discussion of the Japanese/Ryukyuan concept of shima, this paper attempts to reconsider a fundamental aspect of Island Studies: the cultural dimensions of islands. The term shima, denoting ‘island’, is interesting in that it embodies a dual meaning - islands as geographical features and islands as small-scale social groups where cultural interactions are densely intermeshed. The Amami Islands of southwestern Japan are marked by their population’s deep attachment to their own shima, as enacted through various practices and performances of demarcation. Each shima is a work of territorial imagination, an extension of personhood and a ‘cultural landscape’. In this sense, a shima is a sanctuary, in that the natural environment and social space are articulated by the performative in such a way that one imagines them as a totality. Islands are both the ground and product of cultural practices and threats to their viability can thereby be construed as threats to human security more generally.
  5. When Islands Create Languages - or - Why Do Language Research with Bonin [Ogasawara] Islanders?
    Daniel Long
    Japan, Ogasawara, Bonin, Chichijima, language contact, Mixed Language, creoloid
    This paper examines the role that the geographical and social factors of isolation (from the outside world) and intense contact (within the community) commonly associated with small island communities can play in the development of new language systems. I focus on fieldwork studies of the creoloid and Mixed Language of the Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands.
  6. One Foot on Either Side of the Chasm: Cape Breton Singer Mary Jane Lamond’s Gaelic choice
    Heather Sparling
    Gaelic, Cape Breton, popular music, language, reception
    Mary Jane Lamond has recorded five albums of Scottish Gaelic songs known and sung in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. Yet fewer than 500 native Gaelic speakers are estimated to remain in Cape Breton. Song lyrics are central to traditional Gaelic performance and aesthetics and yet the majority of Lamond’s audience is a mainstream, non-Gaelic speaking one. Reviewers of Lamond’s albums mention her powerful vocals but can only draw meaning from the sound of her voice, rather than from the words themselves. Lamond’s language choice identifies her as a Cape Breton Gael to both local and inter/national audiences, but the ways in which her lyrics are considered meaningful vary. Lamond is a cultural activist who has deep respect for the Cape Breton Gaelic tradition. But is it possible to bridge the chasm between traditional and popular Gaelic music audiences when language is central to the former, but incomprehensible to the latter?
  7. Te Wa: The Social Significance of the Traditional Canoes of Kiribati
    Tony Whincup

    a. Introduction
    b. Photo Essay
    Micronesia, canoe, Kiribati, cultural artefact, self-definition
    Through the vehicle of the photographic essay, a “thick description” (Geertz, 1973: 3-30) incorporating participant quotations, reflexive writing and photographic images, this article examines the roles of magic, gender, sport, skill, ownership and the pragmatics of survival in relation to te wa, the traditional canoe of Kiribati. It is stressed that something that is made reaches deeply into cultural beliefs and strategies for self-recognition and self-definition. In Kiribati, knowledge is closely guarded. Skills associated with the canoe, such as construction, navigation, magic and sailing, will be passed on only to close and trusted family members. A sense of self is recognised not from material possessions but rather as the guardian of unique cultural practice. The canoe is an expression of these complex and fundamental human social concerns. This visual work explores the deeply rooted traditional values and practices which mirror those enduring qualities that remain at the heart of what it is to be I-Kiribati.
  8. Mangyan Internal Refugees from Mindoro Island and the Spaces of Low-Intensity Conflict in The Philippines
    Jonas Baes
    Mangyan, Mindoro Island, Internal refugees, conflict, Iraya-Mangyan CD
    In 2002 and 2003, groups of disparate Mangyan [upland indigenous] peoples from Mindoro island sought refuge in nearby provinces to escape escalating military operations in the island. The Armed Forces of the Philippines stepped-up their operations as part of a ‘clean-up’ drive on insurgency, following the US-led ‘Global War on Terrorism’. The low-intensity nature of the operations has had cataclysmic effects on those residing in the island, most especially the indigenous peoples living in the central highlands. This has entailed absorption into a national body politic and a global world order. It also raises the possibility of exploring avenues for the regeneration of culture among peoples like the Mangyan, caught in the mainstream of change and marginal conditions in the country.
  9. Jersey: The Development of an Island Cultural Strategy
    Adam Riddell
    Jersey, Cultural Strategy, Channel Islands
    In 2005 Jersey’s government approved a ‘Cultural Strategy’ document. This paper traces how the Cultural Strategy document was developed and offers an analysis of what its contents mean for Jersey’s cultural identity and cultural organisations. The author looks at the problems that were encountered in the development of the Cultural Strategy and offers his views on where these problems originated, suggesting that some of the difficulties arose from Jersey’s island status. An acute awareness of the Island’s own traditions, heritage and cultural values together with its often complex relationships with what lies beyond its shores, (ie ‘the external’), are some of the concepts discussed. By referring specifically to the various cultural organisations, the paper also offers an overview of Jersey’s cultural sector. The practical manifestations of the Cultural Strategy document are analysed in terms of what they might indicate for the future development of Jersey’s cultural sector.
  10. Romance, Insularity and Representation: Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love and Hong Kong Cinema
    Giorgio Biancorosso
    Hong Kong, Hong Kong cinema, Wong kar-wai, Self-Representation
    Wong Kar-wai’s film In the Mood for Love (2000) is set in Hong Kong in the early 1960s and explores the predicament and reactions of a female character (So Lai-chen) who experiences a personal crisis at a time of political turmoil. Like that other great film about passion and solipsism, Nagisa Oshima’s Ai no corrida (1976), In the Mood for Love poses as a mere love story only to open up, in a brilliantly off-handed fashion, a scenario of political devastation against which romance becomes all but impossible. For all its casual tone, the backdrop of the 1966 riots is a shivering revelation of the social and political conditions that have made possible the protagonists’ solipsistic absorption in their feelings as well as the fragility of Hong Kong’s status as a geographical and political island. This article discusses these elements of the film in the context of contemporary Hong Kong society and cinema.
  11. About The Authors