Sun Come Up
Carteret Islanders have no time for debate about climate change. They are too busy counting the days they have left on their beloved islands before they succumb to the South Pacific Ocean. Already the rising waters have saturated their crops, requiring them to seek emergency aid from afar. Now they are forced to make the painful choice of whether to evacuate and resettle on a larger island or cling to their land and unique way of life. Either way, their 1,000-year-old culture—they have no electricity or running water and still trade with seashells, not money—is on the brink of change. The island to which these peaceful people will most likely move, Bougainville, still suffers the aftershocks of a violent civil war; guns, violence, substance abuse, and HIV are all prevalent there. The plight of the Carteret Islanders, so tenderly depicted here, puts them at the intersection of global warming and human rights. They are among the world’s first climate refugees.
Robyn Yigit Smith, 2010 Festival
Jennifer Redfearn, Tim Metzger