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The Ocean on Fire: Pacific Stories from Nuclear Survivors and Climate Activists

Bombarded with the equivalent of one Hiroshima bomb a day for half a century, Pacific people have long been subjected to man-made cataclysm. Well before climate change became a global concern, nuclear testing brought about untimely death, widespread diseases, forced migration, and irreparable destruction to the shores of Oceania. In The Ocean on Fire, Anaïs Maurer analyzes the Pacific literature that incriminates the environmental racism behind radioactive skies and rising seas. Maurer identifies strategies of resistance uniting the region by analyzing an extensive multilingual archive of decolonial Pacific art in French, Spanish, English, Tahitian, and Uvean, ranging from literature to songs and paintings. She shows how Pacific nuclear survivors’ stories reveal an alternative vision of the apocalypse: instead of promoting individualism and survivalism, they advocate mutual assistance, cultural resilience, South-South transnational solidarities, and Indigenous women’s leadership. Drawing upon their experience resisting both nuclear colonialism and carbon imperialism, Pacific storytellers offer compelling narratives to nurture the land and each other in times of global environmental collapse.

Anais Maurer

Softcover, 256 pp.

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