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Consuming Ocean Island tells the story of the land and people of Banaba, a small Pacific island, which, from 1900 to 1980, was heavily mined for phosphate, an essential ingredient in fertilizer. As mining stripped away the island's surface, the land was rendered uninhabitable, and the indigenous Banabans were relocated to Rabi Island in Fiji. Katerina Martina Teaiwa tells the story of this human and ecological calamity by weaving together memories, records, and images from displaced islanders, colonial administrators, and employees of the mining company. Her compelling narrative reminds us of what is at stake whenever the interests of industrial agriculture and indigenous minorities come into conflict. The Banaban experience offers insight into the plight of other island peoples facing forced migration as a result of human impact on the environment.
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Table of Contents

Prelude: Three Global StoriesAcknowledgmentsNotes on Orthography and GeographyPart I. Phosphate Pasts1. The Little Rock That Feeds2. Stories of P 3. Land from the Sea Part II. Mine/lands4. Remembering Ocean Island5. Land from the Sky6. Interlude: Another Visit to Ocean Island7. E Kawa te aba: The Trials of the Ocean Islanders8. Remix: Our Sea of Phosphate (photo essay)Part III. Between Our Islands9. Interlude: Coming Home to Fiji10. Between Rabi and Banaba Coda Ocean Island/Banaba TimelineNotesBibliography

About the Author

Katerina Martina Teaiwa is Head of the Department of Gender, Media and Cultural Studies and Pacific Studies Convener in the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University. Born and raised in the Fiji Islands, she is of Banaban, I-Kiribati, and African American heritage.

Reviews

Teaiwa deals with the great sense of betrayal, loss, and displacement indigenous Banabans suffered through as well as the harsh physical toll decades of excessive mining has taken on the land. With a justified sense of outrage, Teaiwa educates her audience without alienating it, laying bare the consequences of reaping such a natural bounty at the expense of others. * Publishers Weekly * A detailed ethnography of Banaba undertaken by a researcher who hails from this 'very, very small island' . . . is an example of reflectivity and insightful scholarship. This is not a book to be taken lightly, but rather should be suggested to anyone with an interest in material culture, globalization, and post-colonial and ecological studies. * Antipode * Teaiwa displays artfully the powerful potential of interdisciplinarity as an approach toward gaining a richer and deeper understanding of Pacific pasts and peoples. * The Contemporary Pacific * Recommended. * Choice * By bringing gritty ethnographic detail, an omnivorous approach to sources, and surprising narrative innovations to bear on such topics, Teaiwa's book moves the social history of Earth's biogeochemical cycles into fertile new terrain. * The Journal of Pacific History *

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