Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"Tell 'em we don't want to leave, tell em we are nothing without our islands"

The Oceanscape initiative, a side event at the 44th Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in Majuro, took place the night of September 5th at the Pacific Islands Resort where RMI President Christopher Loeak hosted a farewell dinner in honor of his PIF colleagues.

The event was a choreographic dramatization of the history of the Marshallese people, done through singing, dancing, skits and big-screen video clips with a powerful message on both durability and vulnerability of the ocean-dewelling island cultures. The drama also depicted island pride in asserting right to self-determination amid realities of powerful international and military interests in the island spheres in general and in the Marshall Islands in particular. Punctuating the mix of dances and big-screen video clips was a moving monologue by a young Kijiner with her "tell 'em" message that seemed to captivate her high-level audience who were motionless as she stood and delivered. Although she only spoke at a night function on a tiny island that seemed so isolated from the world at the moment, her distinct voice seemed to vibrate out over the expanse of ocean behind her, seeking to strike an unmistakable point for those who might think vulnerable island dwellers can be conveniently "relocated". The video clip above shows part of her message.

1 comment:

  1. Iakwe organizers of this FSM blog! My name is Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, and I thank you for featuring me on your blog. I just wanted to add a quick comment that the organizers of the show who deserve credit was the KIO Club or the Kora in Okrane Club - without them I wouldn't have had the platform to speak. Thanks again for the post! :)