Articulations of vulnerability, of the will to address the challenges posed by climate change, and of criticism of the international community’s inadequate efforts to limit global warming have taken many forms. In the Central Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati, songs associated with emotions are one of the artistic forms used to convey these articulations. In this paper, we turn our attention to a song about climate change that was written in English to reach the global community. We argue that this song, with its highly articulated and evoked emotions, represents a political practice in which the agency of atoll inhabitants is expressed. This song allows the protest against international climate policies to be heard and felt on the global stage. Although Kiribati is considered particularly vulnerable, the composer resists portraying the nation as a victim of climate change. Instead, he emphasizes the people’s agency and calls on the global community to take appropriate action.
Climate Change, Songs, Composing, Emotions, Agency, Kiribati, Oceania
Elfriede Hermann and Wolfgang Kempf (2021):
Climate Change Songs and Emotions: Articulating Agency in the Central Pacific
GISCA Occasional Paper Series, No. 32. Göttingen: Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology. DOI:10.3249/2363-894X-gisca-32 (External Link).