Re-crossing a different water: Colonialism and Third Worldism in Fiji

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Journal Article
Third World Quarterly, 2004, 25 (1), pp. 111 - 130
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This article will discuss the idea of the Third World in Fiji by analysing the internal tensions of the term and the plurality of trajectories emerging from the transnational spaces in which Fijian society must reconstitute itself after decolonisation and the coups of 1987 and 2000. The ethnic issues in Fiji have led to the employment of a number of strategies by both the indigenous and the Indian communities. Some consist of networking within transnational spaces and negotiation with external political and cultural flows, while others are more inward in their everyday strategies. This situation offers a non-reductive way to think about decolonisation, cultural transformation and notions of autonomy and Third World solidarity. The article assumes that cultural forms will always be made, unmade and remade. Communities can and must reconfigure themselves, drawing selectively on remembered pasts. The relevant question is whether, and how, they convince and coerce insiders and outsiders, often in power-charged, unequal situations; for example, the issues of indigenous versus migrant rights to land and franchise in Fiji. Thus, what is lost and rediscovered in new situations becomes part of the realm of normal political or cultural activity.
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