Recognising creative talent in the Pacific Island diaspora

Youth voices of the Pacific in Copenhagen December 19, 2009

Filed under: climate change in the Pacific,Film and Video — pacificdocs @ 7:10 am

What an inglorious day for Australia – thanks to our shameful bullying of our Pacific Island neighbours, Australia has been awarded the (un)prestigious ‘Fossil of the Day’ Award at the Copenhagen conference.

At a time when Australia should be leading, we’ve been recognised as the worst country in the world for actively seeking a bad outcome. What’s more, we’ve been singled out for trying to bully vulnerable nations into agreeing to targets that would see them literally wiped off the map.

It’s time we stood up to bullies like this. Kevin Rudd has been phoning Pacific leaders to get them to sign away their very survival. Let’s stand up for our friends and call Kevin Rudd with a message that we support the Pacific nations’ call for a treaty that keeps them on the map:

It’s pretty simple: Pacific nations are calling for a treaty that limits global warming to 1.5 degrees, the maximum they can survive. It’s what all the scientists are calling for too. Australia is outrageously trying to strong-arm them into a treaty for a 2 degree rise – which would see them sunk out of existence.

Is this the Australia we want to be? The bad guy? Place a phonecall to Kevin Rudd, like he’s been doing to our Pacific friends, and tell him it’s not just our island neighbours who stand behind the science – we all want a treaty that delivers a safe climate:

If you’d listened to Kevin Rudd’s speech this morning, you’d have thought he actually cares about climate change. He’s saying one thing in public, and then working furiously to undermine efforts for a good treaty behind the scenes. Phone him today before his negotiations wipe Pacific nations off the map.


The Anuta Tribe December 18, 2009

Filed under: Film and Video — pacificdocs @ 9:21 am
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Watching this film made me think about the similiarities the Anutan’s had to other Pacific Islands.  It made me think of my own ancestory from Tonga, and how I remember kissing my grandmother in that traditional Polynesian way, with a long breath of air inhaled as our faces touched.  This kiss seems to have been replaced with a more western style of cheek kissing or simply cheek to cheek touching. What also touched me was the emotional farwell.  In my own experience of visiting Tonga and my relatives there, farewells are an extremely emotional affair. The farewell ceremony in this film by Zachary Stowasser really instilled a sense of understanding as to where that emotion comes from.  It comes from tradition. It’s a cultural practice instilled deep within us as Pacific Islander’s – and although not practiced in the same manner today as the Anutan’s, I believe that we once did the same thing too.  I feel a deep sadness every time I think about how these small traditional practices, and the knowledge of those practices, are lost with the influence of western society on Pacific nations.

Click on the Anuta Tribe link below to watch film.

The Anuta Tribe from Zachary Stowasser on Vimeo.

Anuta Island Facts

Anuta is a small high island in the southeastern part of the Solomon Islands province of Temotu, “the smallest permanently inhabited isolated Polynesian island.

The island lies about 311 miles (501 km) to the east-southeast of Nendo, at 11°36′39″S 169°51′1″ECoordinates: 11°36′39″S 169°51′1″E. It is a small volcanic island with a fringing coral reef. The highest point on the island is 213 feet (65 m) above sea level. The island is quite small; it has a diameter of only about 820 yards (750 m).

The island’s population is about 300.

It lies 450 km east of Santa Cruz Island. The nearest island is Tikopia, 130 km away.

The island is only 400 m wide, and a has a summit elevation of 65m at Te Maunga Hill in the noth of the island. Anuta is roughly circular in shape with a fringing reef. The beaches are composed of white sand. In the south of the island there is a flat coastal plain

Anuta is the remains of an ancient volcano. One km to the SE lies Fatu’omango Rock and 500 m to the NE is Te Fatu’oveu Rock. Northwest of the island is a reef rising to within 23 m of the surface. This area provides good fishing for the Anutans. About 3 km from the island, the shallow reef plunges into deep water.

Lapita people settled on Anuta about 3000 years ago. The current population descended from Tongans who arrived in 1580. The island is ruled by two chiefs. The chief’s status is marked by tatoos.

Anuta Island is periodically hit by cyclones. In the north of the island are breadfruit storage pits which enable food supply to survive cyclones. The population of Anuta has remained constant at about 200 for one hundred years. There are three villages on the island – Pare Ariki, Rotoapi, and Vatiana.


Truth Talking: Voices from the waves December 16, 2009

Global warming will raise sea levels, wreaking havoc on small Pacific island nations. Some low-lying islands will be submerged completely while others will suffer massive damage. These impacts will change forever the Pacific islanders’ natural environment, culture, livelihoods and lifestyles — all of which are intricately linked. This film views these survival issues through the eyes of two teenagers — Dilagi, a Fijian girl, and Bernard, a boy from Kiribati. They say: relocation is not a viable option, and our way of life is not negotiable.


Rising Waters in Kiribati December 10, 2009

Filed under: climate change in the Pacific,Film and Video,News — pacificdocs @ 6:09 pm

100,000 people still live on the 32 atolls that make up the south Pacific island nation of Kiribati,but global warming is causing sea levels to rise. The archipelago,which lies halfway between Australia and Hawaii,lies just two meters above sea level and is considered especially endangered.The first two atolls have already been submerged. Kiribati’s president is faced with a dilemma: does he have to evacuate all the country’s residents?


Chief Sielu – A short film by Brett Wagner

Filed under: Film and Video — pacificdocs @ 10:12 am

Filmed in the jungles, waters, and urban nightscapes of Oahu, Hawaii, CHIEF is a short film that defies categorization — though if you had to try, you might call it a Polynesian tragicomic film-noir. CHIEF was written and directed by Brett Wagner, whose previous feature film, FIVE YEARS, played 30 festivals around the world and is currently in distribution. Producer Dana Hankins has a long list of Hollywood and independent film credits, including PICTURE BRIDE (Sundance ’95). The cinematographer is Paul Atkins, who has spent twenty years shooting films in the natural world for National Geographic, and whose second-unit cinematography on MASTER AND COMMANDER helped earn that film an Academy Award. The editor, Jay K. Evans, has been the top commercial editor in Hawaii for twenty years. CHIEF features the performances of two first-time actors: Chief Sielu Avea, a genuine high-ranking Samoan Chief, and Ka’alaka’i Faurot, a startlingly talented eight-year-old actress.


The Pacific’s oldest cemetary

Filed under: News — pacificdocs @ 9:34 am

Check out the story and video on Pacific Pulse about an archaeological dig near the capital of Vanuatu which reveals clues about the nation’s first settlers.

Australian archaeologists are working with Vanuatu's National Museum to reveal new insights into the lives of the first people to make Vanuatu their home


Cannibal Tours – Preview December 3, 2009

Filed under: Film and Video — pacificdocs @ 9:28 am

Cannibal Tours by Dennis O’Rourke (1988)

Watch Cannibal tours (Dennis O’rourke, 1988).avi in Drama  |  View More Free Videos Online at