Roger Palmer’s book, Phosphorescence (Fotohof edition, Salzburg / WAX366, Glasgow, 2014), examines tropical landscapes, vernacular buildings, and industrial zones in the Republic of Nauru. 47 colour photographs document publicly accessible spaces of Nauru under different daylight conditions. Beginning at sunrise and ending shortly before sunset, the sequence presents a chronology of changing light values encountered close to the equator.
Phosphorescence was part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme and supported through the 20 for 14 awards for individual artists to create work inspired by the unique cultural social, political and historical contexts of the Commonwealth and Glasgow’s hosting of the XX Commonwealth Games. The book includes an introductory text by the artist. This is presented below followed by a selection of photographs from the project. The full sequence can be viewed at:
A fluorescence that persists after the bombarding radiation
producing it has stopped. (Collins English Dictionary)
The Republic of Nauru lies 60 km south of the equator in the western Pacific Ocean. Occupying 21 km² and with a population of fewer than 10,000, Nauru is the world’s smallest island nation. In the late 19th century, Nauru was claimed as a colony by Germany. After World War One, it became a League of Nations Mandate with Australia, New Zealand and the UK as trustees. During World War Two the island was occupied by Japanese troops. Nauru became an independent republic in 1968.
Over the past 100 years Nauru’s economy has comprised a period of extraordinary industrial wealth followed by rapid post-industrial decline. In 1910 rich phosphate deposits were discovered on the island. The phosphate may have been formed from seabird guano or other organic matter trapped between the raised limestone coral pinnacles of the island’s interior. Several decades of phosphate mining provided Nauru with a source of considerable wealth. At the time of independence, its standard of living was among the world’s highest, and as a welfare state it provided free healthcare and education. Most of the mining profits were, however, quickly dissipated and Nauru was deprived of its primary income source when phosphate deposits were largely exhausted. Much of the island’s landscape was left stripped and devastated.
In 2002, Nauru’s economy was supplemented by Australian aid in exchange for constructing offshore Refugee Processing Centres (RPCs) on the island. This was part of Australia’s Pacific Solution policy of transporting asylum seekers to detention facilities on island nations in the Pacific Ocean, rather than allowing them to land on Australian soil. After a period of closure in 2008, the Australian Government re-adopted the Pacific Solution and the Nauru refugee camps were re-opened in 2012. As well as providing employment for Nauru citizens, the RPCs are staffed by Australians, many of who pass through the tiny airport on three-weekly rotations from Brisbane. In 2014, small numbers of refugees who have been granted temporary residence after lengthy periods held in the camps now live in portable housing compounds on the island.
With a hot, humid climate and an acute lack of space for cultivation, post-industrial Nauru has fresh produce only when a shipment arrives by sea or air. Pollution from mining has also led to the depletion of fish stocks in surrounding waters. The small supermarkets on the island primarily offer canned, packaged and frozen foods, as do the numerous, mostly Chinese operated, local convenience stores; the many small Chinese restaurants also rely on these products.
Most public facilities are situated close to the 19 km loop road that follows the island’s coastline and to a spur road that encircles a freshwater lagoon. On the ravaged and inhospitable interior plateau known as Topside, some phosphate mining has resumed close to the high security RPC camps. Here, on gravel roads, mini-buses transport employees and detainees between RPC facilities and trucks carry boulders or crushed rock to a phosphate stockpile and a dilapidated processing plant. A conveyor belt system is used to transfer processed phosphate directly into the holds of ships anchored offshore.
I stayed at the Menen Hotel, one of only two on Nauru, for 18 days. Cycling the island’s roads each day in fierce tropical heat, I was warmly received by Nauruans everywhere, with the exception of areas close to the RPC facilities where Australian security staff suspected me of being a visiting photo-journalist (earlier in 2014, increasing media attention on the plight of refugee detainees was followed a 4000% rise in visa application fees for visiting journalists).
My visit to Nauru as a guest artist was timed to coincide with the hosting of the XX Commonwealth Games in my home city of Glasgow, Scotland, and The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, a nationwide cultural celebration accompanying The Games. Sports facilities on Nauru are poor: I saw one severely rutted Australian Rules football field, two tennis courts and two gyms. Nevertheless, as with every other edition of the Games since 1990, an athlete from Nauru, the smallest nation of the Commonwealth, won a medal in Glasgow.
Perhaps the most popular exercise facility is the airport runway. Each day, after the plane has left, it assumes an alternative function as an evening recreation area. On the other side of the island, Nauruans, Australians, and groups of refugees with temporary residence status arrive before dusk to swim in Anibare Bay Community Boat Harbour. Here, in warm and sheltered waters, a possible future for a post-colonial, post-industrial Nauru might be imagined.
Roger Palmer, Glasgow 2014
Roger Palmer, 'Phosphoresence 3', 2014
Roger Palmer. 'Phosphorescence 10', 2014
Roger Palmer, 'Phosphorescence 15', 2014
Roger Palmer, 'Phosphorescence 20', 2014
Roger Palmer, 'Phosphorescence 23', 2014
Roger Palmer, 'Phosphorescence 29', 2014
Roger Palmer, 'Phosphorescence 36', 2014
Roger Palmer, 'Phosphorescence 45', 2014
'The Obesity Epidemic in the Pacific Islands' an article by Michael Curtis, Journal of Development and Social Transformation
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Imagine living your first forty years in the twentyone square kilometers of Nauru only to live the next twenty years travelling through the remaining countries of the world. That is what happens to Kinza Kun,the main character in 'The Nauruan' by Swedish author Peter Hansen. Is the world big enough for this Kinza Kun, Elvis Presley, the Pope, a Nepalese goddess and a mysterious man dressed only in white clothes? What happens if you collide with the Wailing Wall? Why should you not eat croissants in Turkey? And how on earth could Kinza float like a butterfly up from a car in Burundi? The Nauruan, a book still looking for a publisher or a sponsor, naturally includes frequent episodes from Nauru. When exploring the world Kinza recalls his homeland and keeps in contact with a friend back home. One day the friend no longer answers the phone…
"En svart noddy seglade högt över havet. Stillahavsön under dess vingar hade tilldelats sina rikedomar av havet och himlen. Avfall som levererats från fåglar, skurar och vågstänk hade förvandlats till fosfat. Det hade utvunnits, exporterats och använts för att få andra länder att gro. I samma veva underminerade Nauru sig självt och riskerade att sjunka i det stigande havets kaos. Samma kaos som hade skapat ön var på väg att förgöra den. Kokosnötter kunde fortfarande exporteras i viss skala men var blott provisoriska livbojar. Kinza Kun kisade i solen. På marken intill honom stod en vattentät ryggsäck. I den fanns kläder, hygienartiklar, en svart bok och en världsatlas som varit en fyrtioårspresent tre veckor tidigare. Inpackade i atlasen låg hans första pass och ett par visumhandlingar. Fem meter framför honom stod en skylt som varnade för att lösspringande kreatur som befann sig på flygremsan vid fel tidpunkt skulle skjutas. Kinza visste att hans lilla ö inte var hela världen. Tiden var kommen att se sig om. Han såg upp på den himmel mot vilken han snart skulle lyfta."
"A black noddy sailed far above the ocean. The Pacific island under its wings had been awarded its wealth by the ocean and the sky. Litter delivered from birds, showers and waves had transformed itself to phosphate. It had been mined, exported and used to make other countries flourish. Meanwhile Nauru undermined itself and increased the risk of going under in the rising chaos of the ocean. The chaos that once created the island was about to destroy it. Coconuts could still be exported at a certain amount but they were merely temporary lifebuoys. Kinza Kun peered in the sunshine. Next to him was a waterproof rucksack. It contained clothes, a toiletry bag, a black book and an atlas that had been a gift for Kinza´s fortieth birthday three weeks earlier. Inside the atlas was Kinza´s first passport and a couple of visa documents. Five meters ahead of him there was a sign telling loose cattle that they would be shot if running around on the airstrip at a bad time. Kinza knew that his little island was not the whole of the world. The time had come to explore. He looked up at the sky towards which he was about to lift."
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Carrying the nation's hopes: Meet the weightlifter who is the ONLY Olympics athlete from his tiny country
The entire nation of Nauru measures a minuscule 8.1 square miles, the excited 9,000 population is hoping to win the title
Hosted in Athens has invited groups of artists and collectives of different background and nationalities to present their activity in various buildings in the centerof Athens through a series of events and exhibitions. The project intends to articulate and organize its potentials in the area of the historical centerof Athens and to involve public and private venues that can host its program in the means of hospitality. The project seeks to advocate the local art scene and to introduce the work of international artists to the broader Athenian public. To provide the conditions for dialogue and collaboration between groups, communities and individuals and to establish connections between the cities involved emphasizing on the essence of networking and collectivity. The participatory groups will be able to display their joint collaborations, shows and events in the context of a broader perspective that includes artists, curators, institutions and host venues. The aim of the project is to underpin the importance of collaboration, the individual participation and the exchange between different art scenes and to indicate new ways of working that embrace the values of exchange and hospitality. Hosted In Athens is organized by Daily Lazy Projects /////////////////////////////////////////////////// Programme Hosted in Athens - Venues open on Tuesday 22 May 18.00 23 May-29 May from 18.30 to 21.30 Tuesday 22 May (opening) 20.30 at Epaskt, Tholou & Panos 19A performance directed by Claudia C. Linder, performer Nora Jacobs (Expograph Presents: Down to the Core [did the bird tell the white horse to go into the haunted garden?] ) 22.30 party at TEMPORARY SPACE ELAIONAS forthcoming SOUZY TROS, Markoni 8 (Elaionas metro station) Wednesday 23 May 19.00 at Theater Embros, Riga Palamidou 2 Presentation of the group Omada Filopappou 20.00 at 3 137, Mavromihali 137, Neapoli The project space 3 137 presents the show 2+2= 5 by Foteini Chandra & Konstantinos Pettas Thursday 24 May 19.00 at Theater Embros, Riga Palamidou 2 Under Construction presents NLP(Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Friday 25 May 20.00 at 3 137 Mavromihali 137, Neapoli 3 137 presents FIRST COME FIRST SERVED Monday 28 May 20.00 at Theater Embros, Riga Palamidou 2 Presentation of the group Provo Principles //////////////////////////////////////// Host venues OpenShowStudio, Ag. Eleousis 14 & Protogenous Six Dogs, Avramiotou 6-8 Epaskt (The Association of Graduates of Athens School of Fine Art), Tholou & Panos 19A SKOUZE3, Skouze 3 TEMPORARY SPACE ELAIONAS forthcoming SOUZY TROS, Markoni 8, Elaionas metro station The Association of Greek Archaeologists, Ermou 136 Theater Embros, Riga Palamidou 2 3 137 Mavromihali 137, Neapoli //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Participants BEST-OFF/Vlorë, Blightman Bofiliou/Berlin, Daily Lazy Projects, Athens, Expograph/Vienna, Front Views/Berlin, GRUPPE UNO WIEN/Vienna, Les Editions Horror Vacui/Paris, Lykakis Karamanolis/Athens, MUD OFFICE/Paris, Nauru Project/Online, Niemandsland/Vienna, P O S T/Athens, SKOUZE3/Athens, Spazi Docili/Florence, collective,Trace/London, Under Construction/Athens, XYZ/Bratislava, Versaweiss/Athens, 3 137/Athens /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Parallel events The project space 3 137 presents the show 2+2= 5 by Foteini Chandra & Konstantinos Pettas, Mavromihali 137, Neapoli, Athens, opening Wednesday 23 May, 20.00 Presentation of the group Omada Filopappou at Theater Embros, Wednesday 23 May 19.00, Riga Palamidou 2 Presentation of the group Provo Principles at Theater Embros, Monday 28 May 20.00, Riga Palamidou 2 ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Media Partners: FlashArt SK/CZ, Art Act Magazine, elculture, GrandMagazine, ArtAZ, LIFO, Create an Accident, SOUTH, ARTaujourdhui, artplaces, interartive, DailyLazyBlog, Connecting Cultures, artnews, Visual Arts in Greece, radiobubble With the support of: Austrian Embassy of Athens, Athenian Brewery, Dougos Winery, Athens - Attica Hotel Association, bm:uk, Andreas Melas & Helena Papadopoulos, Athens Atrium Hotels, Novotel Hotels, Electra Hotels, Yes! Hotels Group
The low-lying Pacific island nation of Kiribati is considering buying land in Fiji to resettle its population which is threatened by rising sea levels. Kiribati's President Anote Tong says he is involved in talks with the Fijian government to purchase land on Vanua Levu - Fiji's second largest island. Mr Tong says this is the last resort to save more than 100,000 islanders. Some of Kiribati's 32 coral atolls - which straddle the equator - are already disappearing beneath the ocean. None of the atolls rises more than a few metres above the sea level. Mr Tong says that climate change is a daily battle for Kiribati - but admits that it is one that his country would ultimately lose. However, relocating the entire population to Fiji - more than 2,000km (1,300 miles) away - would be a monumental challenge, the BBC's Phil Mercer in Sydney reports. Kiribati's officials hope that many people would also be allowed to settle in other countries in the vast region, including Australia and New Zealand. Previously, Mr Tong suggested constructing man-made islands resembling oil rigs for people to live on.
BBC © 2012
H.G. Wells - Author
Margaret Atwood - Introduction by
Steve Maclean - Notes by
Patrick Parrinder - Editor
Adrift in a dinghy, Edward Prendick, the single survivor from the good ship Lady Vain, is rescued by a vessel carrying a profoundly unusual cargo - a menagerie of savage animals. Tended to recovery by their keeper Montgomery, who gives him dark medicine that tastes of blood, Prendick soon finds himself stranded upon an uncharted island in the Pacific with his rescuer and the beasts. Here, he meets Montgomery's master, the sinister Dr. Moreau - a brilliant scientist whose notorious experiments in vivisection have caused him to abandon the civilised world. It soon becomes clear he has been developing these experiments - with truly horrific results.
© 1995 - 2011 Penguin Books Ltd
Nauru celebrates its national pavilion day at the World Expo in Shanghai 2010.
Manila, Philippines – Nauru celebrates its National Day today. Located in the Western Pacific Ocean, Nauru is an oval-shaped island which is located 42 kilometers south of the equator. The island is the world’s smallest island nation, just 21 square kilometers. The nearest country to Nauru is Kiribati, whose Ocean Island is 350 kilometers to the east. The island was initially named “Pleasant Island” by English visitors in the 18th century. The present inhabitants of Nauru are of mixed Polynesian, Micronesian, and Melanesian races. About four-fifths of the people are Christians. Nauruans and English are the main languages.
During the first half of the 20th century, Nauru was a “rentier state,” a term to describe those states whose national revenues are mostly derived from renting indigenous resources to external clients. These Nauruan resources came from phosphate reserves. As early as 1907, Nauru was a major exporter of phosphate. However, in the 1980s, the phosphate deposits ran out after numerous years of mining.
Nauru is a member of various regional and international organizations. These include the United Nations, Pacific Islands Forum, the South Pacific Regional Environmental Program, Commonwealth of Nations, and the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission.
Commercial and agricultural exchanges have been active between the Philippines and Nauru. The linguistic, religious, and ethnic affinities between our two peoples are responsible for the close bilateral relations.
We greet the people and government of Nauru led by H.E., President Sprent Dabwido, on the occasion of its National Day. We wish them the best and success in all their endeavors. MABUHAY!
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The Nauru Project is an on-going artists' collaboration based on the South Pacific island of Nauru, the world's smallest island nation. The project involves exchanging information on the history of the island and other related subjects as well as the creation of artworks as a result of this pool of findings.
The workshop will focus on examining online findings relating to Nauru and its history in relation to colonialism and the West as well as other links and information relevant to island themes, self-declared micro-nations, experimental states, artists’ residencies and projects on islands as well as fictional islands and non-territorial internet states.
Maria Georgoula will present the project’s collaborators, ongoing research, artistic function and its relationship to the internet while participants of the workshop will then be invited to trace their individual online path around above subjects while using the blog as a basis and while being guided by the artist. The purpose of the project will be exploring the material provided, creating new links and enriching it by contributing their own findings and sharing their own approach to the above themes with the rest of the group in the form of discussion and presentations.
P.O.Box 11087, 3004EB Rotterdam, Netherlands
Recycled island is a proposal to make a new floating island, from the existing plastic waste that is floating in our Oceans.
Recycled island is a research project on the potential of realizing a habitable floating island in the Pacific Ocean made from all the plastic waste that is momentarily floating around in the ocean.
The proposal has three main aims; Cleaning our oceans from a gigantic amount of plastic waste; Creating new land; And constructing a sustainable habitat. Recycled island seeks the possibilities to recycle the plastic waste on the spot and to recycle it into a floating entity. The constructive and marine technical aspects take part in the project of creating a sea worthy island.
The main characteristics of the island are summarized:
1. Realized from the plastic waste in our Oceans. This will clean our Oceans intensely and it will change the character of the plastic waste from garbage to building material. The gathering of the plastic waste will become a lot more attractive.
2. The island is habitable, where it will have its value as land capturing and is a potential habitat for a part of the rising amount of climate refugees.
3. The habitable area is designed as an urban setting. Nowadays already half of the World population lives in urban conditions, which has a huge impact on nature. The realization of mixed-use environments is our hope for the future.
4. The island is constructed as a green living environment, from the point of view of a natural habitat. The use of compost toilets in creating fertile ground is an example in this.
5. It is a self sufficient habitat, which is not (or hardly) depending from other countries and finds its own resources to survive. The settlement has its own energy and food sources.
6. The island is ecologic and not polluting or affecting the world negatively. Natural and non polluting sources are used to let the island exist in harmony with nature.
7. The size of the floating city is considerable in relation to the huge amount of plastic waste in the Ocean. The largest concentration of plastic has a footprint the size of France and Spain together. Starting point is to create an island with the coverage of 10.000Km2. This is about the size of the island Hawaii.
8. The location is the North Pacific Gyre, where at this moment the biggest concentration of plastic waste is discovered. This is geographically a beautiful spot North-East to Hawaii. By recycling and constructing directly on the spot with the biggest concentration of plastic waste, long transports are avoided. Because of the floating character the position could eventually be altered.