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On paradise

On November 4th 2018, eligible citizens of New Caledonia cast their vote on whether the nation would remain a part of France or gain independence. The result, 56.4% against and 43.6% in favour of independence, is a reminder of the modern-day experiences of colonisation by First Nations peoples as well as the complexities of colonial spatial identity which often result in changed human-nature relationships.

Referring to the name given to the northeast of the central island by James Cook in the 1770s (apparently Captain Cook considered the land form to be reminiscent of Scotland, or Caledonia in Latin) New Caledonia is a popular tourist destination with a complex history. I recently visited the French territory to see how spatial modernity has influenced human-nature relationships, particularly within the context of sites with a high tourist density. This research has been informed by my recent investigations into the concepts of leisure and luxury. More information to come.

Video still from the ‘Malibu’ film clip by Hole, 1998.

Video still from the ‘Malibu’ film clip by Hole, 1998.