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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Project Banaba: A Dialogue on Exhibition Collaboration and Methods


This is a discussion between artist and scholar Katerina Teaiwa and artist and curator Yuki Kihara about their collaborative exhibition Project Banaba—the origins of the project, the exhibition process, and its various iterations in Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, and beyond between 2017 and 2022. First staged at Carriageworks in Sydney, the multimedia exhibition follows the historical path of colonial-era phosphate mining on Banaba; phosphate fertiliser production, distribution, and consumption; displaced Banaban life; and associated archives, images, stories, and media. Project Banaba engages the communities where it is shown—both in a historic and a contemporary sense—while reflecting on imperialism, the movement of Indigenous lands and peoples through mining, the complicated Indigenous kinships resulting from this history, and the cultural revitalization and resilience of Banabans and other Pacific Islanders.

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