Indigenous Art and Sovereignty Inspiring Change against Environmental Degradation

Estelle Castro-Koshy, Géraldine Le Roux


This special issue on “Environmental Artistic Practices and Indigeneity: In(ter)ventions, Recycling, Sovereignty" constitutes a body of creative contributions and academic articles addressing numerous forms of artistic practices of the Pacific Islands, Australia, French Guiana, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia. Inspired by Indigenous artists and writers whose practices and creativity help reimagine sustainable ways to inhabit the world, this introduction and our special issue interrogate contemporary environmental issues and the legacy of colonisation. They examine how Indigenous artists and writers, and artists working with Indigenous artists and communities, have for decades raised awareness about environmental issues, and encouraged people to regain their agency to struggle against environmental degradation and further destruction of Indigenous people’s societies and health. This introduction contextualises the concepts and Indigenous terms used by artists to express their vision of what a respectful relationship with the environment would be. It also offers readings of the beautiful literary and artistic creative contributions included in this issue. Environmental themes such as waste recycling, health issues, pollutants (mercury, POPs), and agricultural technics are discussed here in light of human and non-human life and agency. This issue also features a significant range of calls for action to better protect and restore ecosystems.


Sovereignty; art; Indigenous; pollution; oceans; rivers; Asia-Pacific; French Guiana; Caribbean

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