Activist Archives and Feminist Fragments: Claiming Space in the Archive for the Voices of Pacific Women and Girls

Tui Nicola Clery, Robin Metcalfe

Abstract


The voices of Pacific women and girls have too often been excluded from Fiji’s archival history. However, alternative understandings of history, stories that defy and blur accepted polarities and reflect the knowledge and experiences of women and girls, have always co-existed. This article attempts to address the lacuna of Pacific women in the archive by claiming space for women’s voices, and contributing herstories which record and are inspired by Fiji women’s feminist activism. We offer three stories from women whose activism seeks to reveal and challenge dominant historical narratives in Fiji. Their stories celebrate Fiji’s communities as historically and inextricably interwoven, and encourage a renewed sense of belonging to one another. These examples of feminist storytelling as activism emerge from women’s complex and intersecting identities, and from an understanding that oppressions overlap and interconnect. Activist work therefore needs to occur in a variety of spaces and forms, working relationally across marginalised communities and stories, in order to challenge exclusionary understandings, and to build peace. The contribution of alternative stories of practice is a call for the inclusion of diverse voices: we seek to offer feminist, community-centred, and practice-based knowledge from Fiji to the archives. 


Keywords


activist; archive; Fiji; women; intersectionality; peace; Pacific; hope; resilience; feminist; storytelling

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.25159/1947-9417/3594

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