Swimming Against the Tide

Edited by Natalie King and Francesca Tarocco

The Surrealist Map of the World first appeared in 1929 in a special issue of Varietes, a Belgian periodical dedicated to the movement. Oceania and the Pacifique, rather than the Atlantic Ocean, are depicted at the centre of the drawing. Counter to imperialist and colonialist projections, this expansive mapping provides an alternative vision of the world whereby Oceania is vast and centralised. Perhaps this reorientation foregrounds Epeli Hau‘ofa’s 1994 essay and manifesto “Our Sea of Islands”, reprinted in this special issue of Lagoon-scapes. A Tongan and Fijian writer and anthropologist, his influential essay offers a grassroots view of Oceania, the island states and territories of the Pacific, all of Polynesia and Micronesia, as a place of optimism and largesse.

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