Report – By Rukhsana Aslam of the Pacific Media Centre
A leading Pacific sociologist has called for a stronger cross-disciplinary approach to advocating the need for a safe and sustainable global environment.
“There is a need for articulating the significance of a safe and sustainable environment in the world, no matter how scientifically, artistically or spiritually you define it,” said Dr Steven Ratuva, senior lecturer in Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland.
Launching a new book, Dreadlocks – Oceans, Islands and Skies, at AUT University’s Pacific Media Centre, Dr Ratuva said there was a relationship between the environment and people and an interdisciplinary approach was needed to highlight this.
“Be they the writers, academics, artists, performers, poets – each has a way of feeling and expressing their relationship with their environment,” he said.
“And we must also inculcate these ideas through books and stories as through science and technology.
“Environmental damage is not always due to natural causes, it is also partly the result of human process,” he added.
Human developments, global economic growth and increased tourism had all contributed to the environmental degradation.
Professor David Robie, director of the PMC, explained that this book was a special edition of the literary journal Dreadlocks published by the University of the South Pacific’s Pacific Writing Forum, and this was probably the last in its current form.
The journal is expected to be relaunched as a cross-disciplinary publication.
Edited by Dr Mohit Prasad, the book compiles the proceedings of a global conference he convened at USP with the theme “Oceans, Islands and Skies – Oceania Conference on Creativity and Climate Change: The role of writers, artists and the media in environmental challenges in the Pacific”.
Although the conference took place in September 2010 at the Laucala Campus of the University of South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, the book was first published online and only recently published in book form – “thanks to a helping hand grant” of $6000 from AUT University’s School of Communication Studies and Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies.
The book was published by the Pacific Writing Forum in association with the PMC and is being distributed by Little Island Press.
Tony Murrow of Little Island Press spoke of the important communication and cultural role that a small independent publisher and distributor can play while specialising in the Pacific.
He also spoke of the collaboration with PMC publications.
The book can be ordered online at Little Island Press. The launching marked the first event for the PMC after moving into its office in the new 12-storey Sir Paul Reeves communications precinct at AUT University.
Another launch of the book is due in Fiji next week.
The book can be ordered online at Little Island Press.
Source: Pacific Media Centre