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Environments & Socialities in Oceania

Online Workshop



Practices of Transformation & Cooperation

25 June 2021
9am-1.30pm (CET)

Online Workshop by Arno Pascht and Desirée Hetzel in cooperation with German Anthropological Association’s (GAA) Oceania working group

Keynote by Prof Dr Anne Salmond and Dr Dan Hikuroa on “Let the River Speak: Working across 'Worlds' for Socio-ecological Transformation“.

People across Oceania experience and create transformations linked to processes of globalisation. Indigenous activism regarding climate change, the protectors of Mauna a Wakea in Hawai’i or calls for political self-determination in some Pacific states are prominent examples. Decisions about politi-cal and economic developments as well as questions of tradition/kastom and identity, or migratory movements concern the present as well as the future. An example is the debate around questions of indigeneity and power in Aotearoa New Zealand. It is characterised, according to Anne Salmond (2012), not only by discussions about the past, but also by “ontological quarrels” regarding human and more-than-human actors and life in total, or different assumptions about the guardianship of the environment (Salmond et al. 2019). There are many other examples from Oceania in which frictions mark encounters between members of governments, staff of non-governmental organisations or inter-national aid programmes, indigenous activists and people living in rural and urban areas. To realise and acknowledge these potential frictions opens the way to dialogue; and to communicate about Pacific relational assumptions, for example, could stimulate conceptual shifts that may lead to the creation of new, shared ontological assumptions. This, in turn, may lead to changes in political process and legal principles, which have the potential to meet future global social and environmental challenges.

Download Program (519 KB)

If you would like to attend the workshop please register by emailing Desirée Hetzel at