THIS LAND IS MINE LAND.

Written & Produced by Liz Thompson
Produced for Hindsight. ABC Radio National.

Synopsis

The tiny Pacific island of Banaba (once under the flag of the British Empire, now part of the Republic of Kiribati), began its speedy descent to near oblivion when phosphate was discovered there at the end of the nineteenth century.

From 1900 to 1945, when their ancestral home became officially uninhabitable, the Banabans watched as the land beneath them was dug up and shipped away to fertilise the soils of Australia, New Zealand and other farming nations. At the end of World War II, the great majority left for new lives in Fiji. In 1965, they took the British Government to court and were finally able to buy themselves a new homeland, Rambi Island, where most of the community lives today. Several hundred Banabans have also returned to their original island, where they eke out an existence on its fragile remains.

In this program, which includes many elements of poetry and song, producer Liz Thompson talks to the Teaiwa family (father John, daughters Teresia and Katerina) about their memories of Banaba, their lives in exile and the difficulties of forging identity in new — and not always friendly — places.

THIS LAND IS MINE LAND.

Produced for Hindsight. ABC Radio National.

Synopsis

The tiny Pacific island of Banaba (once under the flag of the British Empire, now part of the Republic of Kiribati), began its speedy descent to near oblivion when phosphate was discovered there at the end of the nineteenth century.

From 1900 to 1945, when their ancestral home became officially uninhabitable, the Banabans watched as the land beneath them was dug up and shipped away to fertilise the soils of Australia, New Zealand and other farming nations. At the end of World War II, the great majority left for new lives in Fiji. In 1965, they took the British Government to court and were finally able to buy themselves a new homeland, Rambi Island, where most of the community lives today. Several hundred Banabans have also returned to their original island, where they eke out an existence on its fragile remains.

In this program, which includes many elements of poetry and song, producer Liz Thompson talks to the Teaiwa family (father John, daughters Teresia and Katerina) about their memories of Banaba, their lives in exile and the difficulties of forging identity in new — and not always friendly — places.