Fijian military bodies have become a valuable commodity in the economy of war. My research is concerned with the ways the Fijian military body has been mythologised and constructed through colonial and neo-colonial representations. I am interested in Fijian agency, and the ways Fijian masculinity is performed in vernacular contexts. ‘Ecology/Economy’ speaks simultaneously to Fijian bodily practices and through indigenous ways of knowing through the body, while linking indigenous embodiment to broader somaesthetic narratives of corporeality and the geographic movement of bodies transnationally - what Joseph Pugliese calls ‘geocorpographies’ and the commodification of Oceanic bodies within the contemporary military complex. In this work we see the cycle of life played out on the Fijian ibe (woven mat) which holds ceremonial importance in Fiji at various stages of the life cycle, from birth to death. In ‘Ecology/Economy’ we see the child’s health and wellbeing being nurtured by a loving father through massage. At the midpoint of the work, the screen splits to address the notion of Fijians dying for foreign armies abroad. The soundtrack is a Fijian lullaby about going fishing, which ties in notions of village sustenance and local economies.
Ecology/Economy (2013) by Torika Bolatagici. Vocals by Joseph Chetty.