Rarangaa taai aika ana roko – weave the days to come
Many Pacific islands face losing everything to sea-level rise and this is not a future we want for our homes and our people.
We are Pacific Climate Warriors, Kulin Nation based out in Melbourne, Australia, and we work closely with 350.org Pacific to fight for climate justice for our people and our homes. We work with many Pacific islanders across the region and the globe with the vision that our future is protected from those that threaten our very existence, the fossil fuel industry.
A few months ago we were asked to collaborate with artist Tal Fitzpatrick as part of the Next Wave Festival – Signs of our Times project. We know Tal has a background in artivism, and just like our team of Pacific Climate Warriors, believe that art can be a form of pushing political action for making change. In this collaboration, the #JustRecovery Banner was developed to form a statement that reflects the stories of people in the Pacific community. A statement that speaks of a narrative that we are woven together by our shared experiences, our culture, our shared fight for justice, and the need for healing.
rarangaa taai aika ana roko – weave the days to come.
We were given an opportunity to articulate our culture and traditions in a creative way that spoke truths of what #JustRecovery looks like for the Pacific.
The tatau (double lines circling the center) comes from the traditional tattoo designs of the people of Mungiki and Mungaba (Solomon Islands) and was originally inspired by the shell of a beetle which symbolizes a protective shield. The shield holds the stories of our ancestors forming the foundation of our work and protecting us as we fight for a #JustRecovery.
The fish scales represent our connection to the ocean and each other in the Pacific. To fight for a #JustRecovery requires the power of our people standing in solidarity calling on global leaders to ensure a just recovery and transition to a better future for those most in need in the wake of a crisis. In this instance COVID-19.
The figures in the center represent us, the weavers of today who weave the days to come together; to fight together; to build a just future together: rarangaa taai aika ana took.
We face many challenges as people living at the frontlines of the climate crisis and now COVID-19 poses more risks to our lives, livelihoods, and economies. We are constantly forced to adapt to a world that’s changing and can ultimately find ourselves in a position where we could lose everything we’ve been fighting to protect.
This is a time to be decisive in saving lives, cultures, and livelihoods. All of this rests on our ability to protect our land, our water, and our peoples. It is a time to be bold in charting a path to a genuinely healthier and more equitable future through a #JustRecovery and the end to disaster capitalism. Join us to create a just future together with your stories woven with ours – rarangaa taai aika ana roko.
Sign the open letter petition for a #JustRecovery here
If you want to know more or get involved locally in Melbourne, get in contact with Pacific Climate Warriors Melbourne: [email protected]