Professor Katerina Teaiwa and Itinterunga Rae Banteiti join Priya to discuss the colonial history of phosphate mining on Banaba and the fight by Banabans for reparations and an end to extraction. This conversation, recorded in September 2023, occurs in the context of a recent push by Australian mining company Centrex, which has sought to conduct phosphate prospecting activities on the island under the greenwashing premise of “rehabilitation.” This week, you will hear the first of Priya's two-part conversation with Katerina and Rae - stay tuned next week to catch the rest.
Katerina is an interdisciplinary scholar, artist and award winning teacher of Banaban, I-Kiribati and African American heritage born and raised in Fiji. She is Professor of Pacific Studies in the School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University, and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Rae is of Banaban and Kiribati origins and was raised and educated in Fiji. Rae’s environment and social justice work are linked to Kiribati people’s histories and the extent of environmental degradation caused by extensive mining.
You can find the petition started by the Banaban community on Rabi Island, Fiji, which demands a defence of Banaban rights and the prevention of any further mining of the island, below. There are also links to further information about the impacts of mining on Banaban people and their tireless campaigning to protect and restore Banaba.
Phil Evans, Bec Horridge, Eiddwen Jeffery, Judith Peppard & Jacob Gamble