KERMADECIAN


Kermadecian, aka – ‘Raoulie’ – an ‘inhabitant’ of an uninhabited island, specifically Raoul Island, in the Kermadec group, 1000km north of mainland New Zealand. On account of incessant seismic and volcanic activity, the islands were never settled for any length of time by Polynesian peoples – although a settler family, the Bells, lived on Raoul for some 35 years until they were forcibly removed by the New Zealand government at the outbreak of World War One. Since then, the subtropical islands, with neither airstrips nor harbours, have claimed only a sporadic population of wash-ins or and passers-by – meteorologists, conservation workers, scientists and, in 2011, a group of nine artists.
            Having visited the Kermadecs, no matter how briefly, Kermadecians take the region with them wherever they subsequently travel. Accordingly, the archipelago becomes widely dispersed, and draws other regions within its sphere of influence. The end result of this centrifugal island-movement will be that, some time in the future, all the islands and continents of the world will be considered as part of The Kermadecs.

SEE ALSO: Oceanian, as defined by Epeli Hau’ofa — someone who draws their sense of identity from the Pacific Ocean — “We are the sea, we are the ocean... Oceania is humanity rising from the depths of brine and regions of fire deeper still, Oceania is us.”1

Defined by Gregory O’Brien

Image: What I did and did not have (Neruda). John Pule & Gregory O’Brien, Intaglio etching, 2012.

1. Epeli Hau’ofa, We are the ocean; (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2008), 39.


Mark