Accepted Paper:

Toku Fenua - My Island  


Martin Zinggl

Paper short abstract:

TOKU FENUA takes us on a journey into the South Pacific and offers a glimpse of life on the remote island of Niulakita (Tuvalu). It lets us participate in the daily routines of three islanders; their dreams and concerns and shows the problems that people in such a harsh environment are exposed to.

Paper long abstract:

TOKU FENUA is a documentary that takes the viewer on an extraordinary journey into the heart of the South Pacific. The film offers a glimpse of how life looks like on the remote island of Niulakita (Tuvalu).

Tuvalu is comprised of nine low lying coral atoll islands. With its 11.000 inhabitants and a total land mass of 26 square kilometers, the Polynesian nation is the fourth smallest country in the world. In 1978 Tuvalu, formerly known as Ellice Islands, gained independence from the British Empire.

Socio-economic problems including overpopulation, high unemployment and lack of educational opportunities have already led to the outward migration of a quarter of Tuvalu's popluation, primarily to New Zealand. Because no Tuvaluan island rises more than five metres above sea level, the tiny nation also faces serious threats due to climate change and rising sea levels.

Niulakita, the southernmost of the Tuvalu group, is often described as the smallest, most isolated inhabited island in the world with only 47 Tuvaluans living on 0,4 square kilometers. The director spent several months on Niulakita undertaking an anthropological fieldwork for his master's thesis.

TOKU FENUA lets us closely participate in the daily routines of three islanders; their dreams and concerns. It also shows the problems that people on the other side of the world, in such a harsh environment, are exposed to.

(Director: Martin Zinggl, Austria 2011, 29 minutes, Tuvaluan/English with English subtitles)

Panel P53
Film Programme