Between Marginality and Marketability: Contesting Representations of Diasporic Pacific Identities

Paloma Fresno-Calleja


This article offers an analysis of recent works by New Zealand-born writers and artists of various Pacific descents. It focuses on their revision of popular and institutional representations of the diasporic Pacific community addressing the ambivalent tensions between the marginal and the marketable, which have dominated these representations in the last decades. On the one hand, these works condemn stereotypes of Pacific peoples as a burden to the New Zealand economy and a marginalised minority of inefficient, lazy or dependent people. On the other, they address more recent and complex representations of their culture as a marketable commodity and an exotic addition to New Zealand culture.


Pacific literature; Pacific diaspora; New Zealand’s ethnic minorities; representation; ethnic stereotypes

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