Flourishing flowers and everyday ecologies: feminist political ecology from the Pacific (16877)
Flowers are ubiquitous in diverse material and iconic forms throughout the Pacific. This paper focuses on the embodied and affective engagement of people with flowers in the Pacific as a way to articulate the workings of gendered power relations in every-day ecologies. I draw on long-standing research in the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Hawaii, Fiji and French Polynesia, to argue that rather than being merely embellishments to cultural practice, the everyday use of flowers signals longstanding embodied relationships that variously connect people to the environment in the Pacific. This study of flowers contributes to refining feminist political ecology by beginning with the body and its senses and moving up through various spatial scales examining uneven power relations as it goes. This paper contributes to Asia Pacific Political Ecologies in three key ways: it works across several Pacific countries while also deepening analysis of a particular human/non-human relationship; it enhances understandings of gendered political ecologies; and it refashions mainstream understandings of political action.