Terminal Island

TERMINAL ISLAND IS AN ARTIFICIAL landmass in the heart of the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, and was the subject of an exhibit at the CLUI Los Angeles from March 31 to May 30th, 2005. The exhibit looked at Terminal Island as a sort of organismic, flowing, landscape machine, composed of five separate terminal activities that occur on the island: importation, exportation, excretion, deportation and expulsion. Each one of these activities was described in text, and depicted through video captured by CLUI personnel over the months prior to the exhibit. This landscape machine churns and disgorges wastes in its treatment plant, and grinds up metals in its scrap yards. Fluids course through pipelines under its skin, while ships of crude pump in to it, and suck out of it. Its extremities are a bouquet of dead ends, of society pushed to the limits, with prisons, coast guards, piers and ground up riprap. As the center of the largest port in the Americas, the nation’s economy flows across its thousands of acres of asphalt, in the form of digitized cubes of material trade, in twenty and forty foot equivalences. It was for this, more than anything, that the island grew out of the ocean, an extension of the continental reach towards the orient. Its scale is beyond sensation by the senses, and its functions exceed the imaginations of our daily lives. Terminal Island is like a fictional place, made real by the collective will of America. The exhibit was made possible by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and the CLUI Fund for the Study of Islands and Distant American Landmasses. A bus and boat tour were also conducted as part of this exhibit. READ ABOUT THE TERMINAL ISLAND TOUR Source: Centre for Land Use Interpretation

The Inujima Rehabilitation Art Project on the island of Inujima, Japan

Inujima ("Dog Island") is a Japanese island in the Seto Inland Sea, located near the coast of Okayama Prefecture. As of 2005, Inujima has a population of 72. A ferry service operates between Hōden and Inujima. A copper refinery was opened on the island in 1909, but this closed in 1919.[2] The brick-built refinery remained largely undemolished, and from 2008, it formed the centrepiece of a large-scale art project designed to stimulate tourism to the island. The Inujima Art Project is a rehabilitation project covering the entire island by the Naoshima Fukutake Art Museum Foundation, a project of Benesse Corporation. It opened to the public in April 2008. The first phase of the project was to turn the old seirensho refinery into a model of contemporary architecture and art to recycle the Japanese industrial heritage. It was the coordinated efforts of the architect Hiroshi Sambuichi and Yukinori Yanagi who collaborated with the architect in his artwork, and the Faculty of Environmental Science and Technology at Okayama University.

Nauru government runs out of money and may shut services (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

By finance reporter Elysse Morgan and staff Updated 26 Sep 2014, 10:28pm Nauru's finance minister says the country is out of money and services will soon start shutting down, including those for refugees. Two years ago a court ruled that Nauru owed $16 million to a US-based fund manager, Firebird. It refused to pay and that debt has grown to $30 million. The government's bank accounts with Westpac have now been frozen, leaving it with only the cash it had on the island. Nauru is seeking to overturn the decision and urgently free up the funds. Nauru's government says it has had to fly its employees offshore with cash to pay overseas suppliers. In an affidavit, the country's finance minister David Adeang told the NSW Supreme Court that the island would shortly run out of cash, after making its latest round of government salary payments this week. The minister says Nauru will not be able to make any further salary payments, which will affect almost half of Nauru's population who are employed by the government, and have a large flow on impact to the island's tiny economy. Nauru would also have no money to buy fuel for generators, affecting the hospital and desalination plant. The minister says planes would be grounded, meaning Nauru will not be able to transport health, legal and other contractors to the detention centre, which he says will have a severe impact on the physical and mental health of the approximately 1,200 refugees living there, plus 200 more living in the community. However, a Nauru government spokesperson says no services have yet been affected. The court case starts on Monday.

'The Obesity Epidemic in the Pacific Islands' an article by Michael Curtis, Journal of Development and Social Transformation

The diseases associated with obesity have especially affected the inhabitants of the Pacific Islands, with some of the highest levels of obesity in the world found in the region. For example, the rates of overweight and obese persons have been reported to be as high as 75% in the populations of Nauru, Samoa, American Samoa, the Cook Islands, Tonga, and French Polynesia (Hughes, 2003). More prevalent in urban areas, the health problems are less common in areas that have had little contact with Western civilization (Prior in Ringrose & Zimmet, 1979). In fact, Polynesians and Micronesians that have maintained a traditional diet have diabetes rates lower than those of Western populations. For thousands of years, the inhabitants of the Pacific Islands were isolated from the rest of the world, allowing their social, cultural and economic patterns to develop untouched (Zimmet, 1979). When the Europeans began arriving in the 17th and 18th centuries, the people of the Pacific were described as “strong, muscular and mostly in good health” (Hughes, 2003). The health of these islanders was community-based and “a shared sense of well-being” permeated the collective. Food had “symbolic and economic importance” as opposed to a physiological or biological imperative. This concept was epitomized in the aristocracy of these island populations and, as a result, they were usually the largest people in the community (Hughes, 2003). Diamond offers a different slant on the history of obesity in the Pacific. He notes that ancient Pacific Islanders were highly skilled in ocean travel and “often undertook inter-island canoe voyages lasting several weeks” (2003, p. 601). Many died en route, but the most obese survived. He surmises this is why Pacific Islanders are so large today. Zimmet (1979, p.145) identifies two “disastrous waves” of diseases previously unknown to the people of the Pacific. First, there were the communicable diseases, which came as early as 1521, coinciding with Magellan’s voyage around the world. The second wave is that of the chronic non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension that accompanied the introduction of Western habits in the culture. Everything changed after World War Two. The military, with bases in and around the Pacific Islands, “parachuted” the region into the 20th century in the span of a few years. For Western peoples, there was a gradual acclimation to the technology and scientific accomplishments of the 20th century. For Pacific Island populations, on the other hand, the process was “telescoped into a period of less than 30 years” (Zimmet, 1979, p.145). As the indigenous island populations have replaced their traditional subsistence style of living with a more modern way of life, dramatic changes have occurred. Specifically, traditional foods of past generations have been supplanted with food purchased from Western nations, such as the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan (Ringrose and Zimmet, 1979). The traditional foods of the islands such as fresh fish, meat, and local fruits and vegetables have been replaced by rice, sugar, flour, canned meats, canned fruits and vegetables, soft drinks and beer. The diet is high in calories and with little nutritional value (Zimmet, 1979). Many Pacific Islanders have come to depend on food imported from abroad. Consequently, commercial ventures on the islands tend to stock these high-fat, energy-dense foods. Over time, purchasing these imported goods has become a sign of social status in the community and traditional foods have decreased in importance. Even before World War Two, missionary wives and other women from the West were strongly advising the women of the Pacific on the “proper way” to feed their families. The island women were taught to “bake tarts and serve a roast beef dinner in order to keep their families healthy” (Pollock, 1992, p.182). The ingredients for these meals could only be obtained from sources outside the islands, and so a situation of “dietary colonialism” resulted (Pollock, 1992, p.182). Consequently, food imports, as a proportion of total imports, has risen to around 25% for many island nations (Pollock, 1992). Further, the increasing use of modern technology and the shift from agriculture-based occupations to civil servant office work has resulted in a sharp decrease in the day-to-day physical activity of many Pacific Islanders (WHO, 2002). The significant changes connected with the transition to a cash economy have also brought great stress to the people. The desk jobs the majority of the populations occupy contrast greatly with their traditional way of life. Further, these new nations must now compete with and adapt to the new global economy and participate in the complicated politics of the world (Zimmet, 1979, p. 148). With the institution of a modern way of life, they have traded in their canoes for motorized boats and have become accustomed to using cars instead of walking (Zimmet, Seluka, et. al, 1977)... Big is beautiful Culturally, large physical size is considered a mark of beauty and social status in many Pacific Island countries. At the community and policy making level, there is resistance to the view that obesity is a health problem. Generally, Pacific Islanders have larger frames and more muscle than Asians and Europeans, so the challenge for the Pacific Islanders becomes understanding the difference between being big as a result of hereditary factors versus as a result of overeating. Complicating the task for health officials and policy proponents is the common attitude among Pacific Islanders that obesity traditionally has been a sign of high social position and wealth (Ringrose and Zimmet, 1979, p. 1340). Since a high value was placed on a well- fed person, a commitment was made to prepare large quantities of foods for the traditional leaders and great effort was required to feed them (Pollock, 1992)... Read full article here:http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/uploadedFiles/moynihan/dst/curtis5.pdf Journal of Development and Social Transformation 41

41 Artists withdraw from 19th Biennale of Sydney due to expanding management of Manus Island and Nauru immigration detention centres

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 Statement of Withdrawal from 19th Biennale of Sydney STATEMENT OF WITHDRAWAL 26 February 2014 We are five of the 41 artists - Libia Castro, Ólafur Ólafsson, Charlie Sofo, Gabrielle de Vietri and Ahmet Öğüt - who signed a letter to the Board of the Biennale of Sydney in relation to their founding sponsor, Transfield. We make this statement in light of Transfield’s expanding management of Manus Island and Nauru immigration detention centres. We act in the wake of the death of Reza Berati from inside Manus Island detention centre on February 17. We are in urgent political circumstances with a government that is stepping up their warfare on the world’s most vulnerable people daily. We have received indications from the Board of the Biennale and Transfield that there will be no movement on their involvement in this issue. In our letter to the Board we asked for action and engagement, but we are told that the issue is too complex, and that the financial agreements are too important to re-negotiate. And so we make this statement from a critical juncture of political urgency and artistic autonomy. This is a statement of our withdrawal from the 19th Biennale of Sydney. We have revoked our works, cancelled our public events and relinquished our artists’ fees. While we have sought ways to address our strong opposition to Australia’s mandatory detention policy as participants of the Biennale, we have decided that withdrawal is our most constructive choice. We do not accept the platform that Transfield provides via the Biennale for critique. We see our participation in the Biennale as an active link in a chain of associations that leads to the abuse of human rights. For us, this is undeniable and indefensible. Our withdrawal is one action in a multiplicity of others, already enacted and soon to be carried out in and around the Biennale. We do not propose to know the exact ethical, strategic or effective action to end mandatory detention, but we act on conscience and we act with hope. We have chosen to redirect our energies into multiple forms of action: discussions, workshops, publications, exhibitions and works that will continue to fuel this debate in the public sphere. In this, we stand with our local and international communities that are calling for the closure of Australia’s offshore detention facilities. We ask for their active support in keeping this issue at the forefront of our minds, in the warmest part of our hearts, in the most urgent of discussions and in the most bold of actions, until the detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru close. We withdraw to send a message to the Biennale urging them, again, to act ethically and transparently. To send a message to Transfield that we will not add value to their brand and its inhumane enterprise. Finally, and most importantly, we withdraw to send a message to the Australian Government that we do not accept their unethical policy against asylum seekers. We ask that the Biennale of Sydney acknowledge the absence of our work from the exhibition. As the Biennale has offered to provide a platform and support for our dissent, we request that our withdrawal be registered on the Biennale website and signposted at the physical site of our projects. In the pervasive silence that the Government enforces around this issue, we will not let this action be unnoticed. We act in solidarity with all those who are working towards a better future for asylum seekers. We hope that others will join us. Libia Castro Ólafur Ólafsson Charlie Sofo Gabrielle de Vietri Ahmet Öğüt Contact: 2014workinggroup@gmail.com

Mingingo Island, Lake Victoria

Migingo is a tiny 2,000-square-metre island, about half the size of a football pitch, in Lake Victoria. Two Kenyan fishermen, Dalmas Tembo and George Kibebe, claim to have been the first inhabitants on the island. When they settled there in 1991, it was covered with weeds and infested with birds and snakes. Joseph Nsubuga, a Ugandan fisherman, says he settled on Migingo in 2004, when all he found on the island was an abandoned house. Subsequently, other fishermen — from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania — came to the island because of its proximity to fishing grounds rich with Nile perch. An unusual claim in 2009 by some Kenyan fishermen was that since none of the Nile perch breed in Uganda (the nearest Ugandan land and nearest Ugandan freshwater is 85 kilometres away), then the fish somehow "belonged to Kenyans". The island has a population of about 131 (according to 2009 census), mostly fishermen and fish traders, who are served by four pubs, a number of brothels, and a pharmacy on the island. A rocky and rugged piece of land with little vegetation, Migingo is one of three small islands in close proximity. The much larger Usingo Island is 200 metres to the east of the small white rectangle that is Migingo, and Pyramid Island, the largest of the three, is 2 kilometres due south of Migingo and 11 kilometres north of the Tanzanian border in Lake Victoria.