Copyright Mana Moana Collective
A leading voice on climate change and Pasifika poetry Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner combines these two worlds in her poem ‘Beached’ which takes us on the emotional roller coaster and isolation of international climate negotiations. Her powerful words take us inside the negotiations room and the contrasting worlds of tradition and modernity, and the politics of climate and international diplomacy.
Kathy is a Marshall Islander poet, performance artist, educator. She received international acclaim through her poetry performance at the opening of the United Nations Climate Summit in New York in 2014. Her writing and performances have been featured by CNN, Democracy Now, the Huffington Post, NBC News, National Geographic, and more. In February 2017, the University of Arizona Press published her first collection of poetry, Iep Jāltok: Poems from a Marshallese Daughter.
Kathy also co-founded the youth environmentalist non-profit Jo-Jikum dedicated to empowering Marshallese youth to seek solutions to climate change and other environmental impacts threatening their home island. Kathy has been selected as one of 13 Climate Warriors by Vogue in 2015 and the Impact Hero of the Year by Earth Company in 2016. She received her Master’s in Pacific Island Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
Laughton Kora (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Pūkeko), with his incredible voice and immense talent has been at the forefront of New Zealand music for over the past decade. Laughton has been playing music since the age of 6 appearing on stage as part of his father’s band until 17 years old when he won Smoke Free Rock Quest. His band Aunty Beatrice toured New Zealand and released a single. He moved to Queenstown and formed Soul Charge with members KP (Sunshine Sound System) and P Digsss (Shapeshifter). In 2001 he headed to Wellington and formed KORA (2003-2012) with his brothers.