Climate Change Songs and Emotions: Articulating Agency in the Central Pacific

A publication (working paper) of the University of Göttingen

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​Climate Change Songs and Emotions: ​Articulating Agency in the Central Pacific​ (​​GISCA Occasional Paper Series​, 32​​)
Hermann, E.  & Kempf, W. ​ (2021)
Göttingen​: Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.

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Authors
Hermann, Elfriede 
Kempf, Wolfgang 
Abstract
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.
Issue Date
December-2021
Type
Working Paper
Publisher
Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Organization
Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät 
Institut für Ethnologie 
Series
GISCA Occasional Paper Series 
Extent
25
Language
English
Subject(s)
Climate change; Songs; Composing; Emotions; Agency; Kiribati; Oceania

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