Opening with the soundtrack of a 1980s Australian cooking television show “Come and Get It,” this three-screen video by Katerina Teaiwa is a montage of ethnographic materials and archival and contemporary footage, as well as personal memories of Banaba island, the artist’s ancestral land in the Republic of Kiribati in the Paci fc Ocean.
From 1900 to 1980, Banaba island was heavily mined for phosphate, which was used as fertiliser on colonial farmlands in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Mining not only polluted the Banaba environmentally to the extent that the land became uninhabitable but also devastated the spirit of the island’s community. Indigenous Banabans were forced to relocate to Fiji and other Paci fc islands.
Banaba island is one of the most extreme examples of colonial exploitation whereby the landscape itself becomes obliterated and dispersed by colonial powers for the enrichment of their own soil and economy.
Commissioned by Carriageworks, Sydney. The artist's participation is made possible with support from the Australia Council for the Arts.