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Fiji now – a discussion

Saturday 24 March, 2-3pm
Fiji now – a discussion
Janet Mason, Jon Fraenkel, Stephen Cleland
Adam Art Gallery

Filmed on location in villages near Suva, Lautoka and Nadi in December 2017, Luke Willis Thompson's recent film work How Long? presents a group of individuals who each possess a family connection with Fijian soldiers who have served overseas. Seen collectively, the portraits map the global placement of soldiers over the past four decades: from Lebanon to Iraq to Sinai.

The film How Long? provides an occasion to delve into the recent political history of Fiji. For this conversation, we are pleased to host eminent historian and political specialist Jon Fraenkel and Fijian lawyer Janet Mason, who with Adam Art Gallery Curator Cleland who worked with the artist on location in Fiji, will discuss Fiji's unique position in the Pacific and its complex recent history. The discussion seeks to unpack the consequences of these events for its people and their current entanglement with global politics.

Janet Mason is a Senior Legal Counsel with Phoenix Law, who specialises in public and constitutional law, international law, Treaty of Waitangi issues, environmental law and commercial law. Mason lives and works in Fiji where she was involved in advising the Great Council of Chiefs and continues to advise the confederacy chiefs. Prior to working in the private sector, Janet acted for the Crown, as a solicitor for the Department of Conservation and then as Principal Advisor in the Ministry of Justice Public Law Group.

Jon Fraenkel is a Professor in Comparative Politics in the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington. He formerly worked at the Australian National University (2007-12) and the University of the South Pacific in Fiji (1995-2007). He is author of The Manipulation of Custom; from uprising to intervention in the Solomon Islands and co-editor of The 2006 Military Takeover in Fiji; A coup to end all coups? He is also the Pacific Islands correspondent for The Economist.

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