In 2011, international artists, activists, academics and practitioners convened to rise against the APEC meeting in Honolulu. We met again in Berkeley in 2013.
The International Forum on Globalization and Pua Mohala I Ka Po organized two international gatherings that discussed trade, militarization, resources, indigeneity, and globalization in the Pacific.
“As battleships and globalization pivot across the Pacific, it is no longer sufficient to speak about working to “protect local cultures” and “traditional economic practices.” We need to engage in deeper dialogue with Pacific peoples who are confronted by the larger hegemonic battles of the United States vs. China.” — Jerry Mander (IFG)
The International Forum on Globalization (IFG) and Pua Mohala I Ka Po, in collaboration with a broad range of indigenous and small island peoples of the Pacific, sponsored and produced a series of public events from countries throughout the Pacific. These events, called Moana Nui and Moana Nui II, were organized in Honolulu in 2011 and Berkeley in 2013, respectively.
Moana Nui #1 gathered 500 Pacific activists from 17 countries for three days of spirited public meetings, collaborative organizing, protest marches, and long term campaign planning. The events received enormous attention and praise in the Pacific region, and formed a unique bond among trans-Pacific peoples.
The direct purpose of Moana Nui was to respond to growing threats impacting Oceania and Pacific peoples. Recent shifts in United States economic and military strategies have had broad negative effects on the peoples, bio-diversity, resources, economies and geo-politics of the Asia-Pacific region. These policy shifts, like Obama’s Asia-Pacific Rebalance, and more recently Trump’s Indo-Pacific Quadrilateral Discourse affects the future viability and sovereignty of indigenous peoples and small nations of the Pacific, and accelerates dangerous power struggles underway between the United States and China over trade, access, ocean and island resources, and the economic and military hegemony of an area one-third the total surface of the earth .
Moana Nui was created as a direct response to this Pacific Pivot. Its primary goals were to 1) to stimulate new collaborations among Pacific Island peoples and nations toward common purposes in regard to their resources, culture and sovereignty; and 2) to wake-up U.S. mainland policy-makers, activists and media —mostly still oblivious to the details– about what is underway in the Pacific, and to initiate contacts and support for indigenous or customary peoples struggle..
As the great Tongan-Fijian Epeli Hauʻofa writes: “human reality is human creation, if we fail to create our own reality someone else will do it for us”.