Indigenous (im)mobilities in the Anthropocene

Samid Suliman, Carol Farbotko, Hedda Ransan-Cooper, Karen Elizabeth McNamara, Fanny THORNTON, Celia McMichael, Taukiei Kitara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores Indigenous (im)mobilities in the Anthropocene, and their relationship to Pacific Islands climate activism. In a context where Indigenous peoples and perspectives are poorly represented in global climate politics, it is important to understand how Pacific people represent their own interests and imagine their own futures as pressures to move due to climate change take hold. We examine political action outside of formal governance spaces and processes, in order to understand how Indigenous people are challenging state-centric approaches to climate change adaptation. We do so by studying the works of Pacific activists and artists who engage with climate change. We find that *banua–an expansive concept, inclusive of people and their place, attentive to both mobility and immobility, and distributed across the Pacific Islands region–is essential for the existential security of Pacific people and central to contemporary climate activism. We find that Pacific activists/artists are challenging the status quo by invoking *banua. In doing so, they are politicising (im)mobility. These mobilisations are coalescing into an Oceanic cosmopolitanism that confronts two mutually reinforcing features of contemporary global climate politics: the subordination of Indigenous peoples, perspectives and worldviews; and the marginalisation of (im)mobility concerns within the global climate agenda.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-318
Number of pages21
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2019


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