The concept of the Anthropocene confounds Eurocentric distinctions of natural and human history, as Dipesh Chakrabarty observes. But who are 'we' in the Anthropocene, how do notions of our shared humanity contend with the cascading global inequalities of place, race, class and gender. Oceania is often said to have contributed the least and suffered the most from climate change. Pacific women, and especially those living on low lying atolls, have been portrayed as the most vulnerable to the disastrous consequences of climate change. This focuses on sea level rise and the toxic mixing, the elemental confusion of salt and fresh water caused by atmospheric changes and global warming. While not negating the gravity of present and future scenarios, how can we move beyond the pervasive fatalism of foreign framings and seemingly opposed clichéd evocations of 'resilience'? The moniker of the Pacific Climate Warriors 350.org ' We are not drowning, we are fighting' evokes a contrary trope of resistance and resonates with Oceanic activism in politics and the creative arts.1 Tracing such a genealogy of resistance might start with a greater respect for Indigenous knowledges and embodied practices in contemporary understandings of 'climate cultures' in Oceania which do not routinely distinguish between natural and human history.
|Journal||Cultural Studies Review|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|