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PM Continues Call For Climate Fight At Fiji Exhibition Opening

The Fiji: Art & Life in the Pacific exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is the first substantial project on the art of Fiji to be mounted in the United States of America.
17 Dec 2019 12:35
PM Continues Call For Climate Fight At Fiji Exhibition Opening
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama takes a tour of the Fiji Exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo: Office of the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has again sounded the urgent call to big carbon emitters about the need for climate action during the opening of the Fiji Exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

This comes after what he described as a “frustrating week where large-emitters worked to water down more ambitious climate action.

“I think this exhibit is a fitting place for an expression about the drua: “Tu Na Inima Luvu Na Waqa”. It means, “The boat sinks despite the presence of the bailers.”

Research has shown that Fiji is ranked one of ten countries in the world most impacted by climate change in the past year.

“So much of the history showcased in this exhibition speaks to the ancient and enduring connection that Fijians hold to the sea and the natural world,” Mr Bainimarama said.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama takes a tour of the Fiji Exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo: Office of the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama takes a tour of the Fiji Exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo: Office of the Prime Minister

“That connection quite literally forms a part of who we are. But sadly, the reefs we fish, the land we farm and the plant and animal life that sustains us are all at-risk by a threat of escalating proportion: Climate change.”

Mr Bainimarama said his delegation over the past week have been involved in intense negotiations at COP25, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Spain.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama takes a tour of the Fiji Exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo: Office of the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama takes a tour of the Fiji Exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo: Office of the Prime Minister

“But while our own suffering is great, no country is immune. Historic flooding in Venice, wildfires here in California and Australia, and heat records being broken across the world –– you just need to turn on the news to see the type of devastation that has become all too commonplace.

“That’s why, during our negotiations, I like to stress the point that “we’re all in the same canoe” –– that is, all nations, all people, and all creatures of the Earth and sea, rest our fate in curbing global greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Fiji: Art & Life in the Pacific exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is the first substantial project on the art of Fiji to be mounted in the United States of America.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama takes a tour of the Fiji Exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo: Office of the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama takes a tour of the Fiji Exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo: Office of the Prime Minister

The exhibition features over 280 artworks drawn from major international collections, including Fiji Museum, the British Museum, the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Cambridge), the Smithsonian, and distinguished private collections.

It includes figurative sculpture, ritual kava bowls, breastplates of pearl shell and whale ivory, large-scale barkcloths, small portable temples, weapons, and European watercolours and paintings.

Additionally, Fiji: Art & Life in the Pacific showcases historical photographs from LACMA’s recently acquired Blackburn Collection, as well as a newly commissioned 26-foot double-hulled sailing canoe (drua) constructed in Fiji using traditional materials and techniques.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj


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