False Divides

False Divides

While we may talk back to the empire, we can’t talk to each other.

Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa is the great ocean continent. While it is common to understand the ocean as something that divides land, for those Indigenous to the Pacific or the Moana, it was traditionally a connector and an ancestor.

Imperialism in the Moana, however, created false divides between islands and separated their peoples. In this BWB Text, Lana Lopesi argues that globalising technologies and the adaptability of Moana peoples are now turning the ocean back into the unifying continent that it once was.

What are BWB Texts?

BWB Texts are short books on big subjects by great New Zealand writers. Spanning contemporary issues, history and memoir, new BWB Texts are released regularly, and the series now amounts to well over fifty works.

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Table of contents

1. Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, The Great Continent
2. False Divides: Parting the Moana
3. Becoming Global: Moana Peoples as Commuting Cultures
4. Double-Edged Sword: Moana Peoples Online
5. High-Speed Nets and Webs: A Contemporary Oceania

Print publication:
Ebook publication: Sep 2018
Pages: 120
RRP: $14.99
ISBN: 9781988533858
DOI: 10.7810/9781988533858

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'Bookmarks with Lana Lopesi', Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, RNZ, 20 March 2019.

'The effect of the internet on Pacific life and culture is discussed by Lana Lopesi', RNZ, 25 January 2019.

'Rough Idea: Natasha Matila-Smith in conversation with Lana Lopesi', Agenda, FBi Radio (Australia), 10 November 2018.

'Unity Books best-seller chart for the week ending September 21', The Spinoff, 21 September 2018.

'False Divides – how do we get to know each other again?' [book extract], Lana Lopesi, e-Tangata, 2 September 2018.


'Lopesi’s book offers valuable insights into how we may be able to jump across false divides. At the same time, her work also provides space for meaningful dialogue about some of the places, peoples, or ideas that we may, even if unintentionally, jump over in our pursuit of a greater sense of regionalism... [Her] work opens new spaces where critical conversations about these topics can be had.'
– Reviewed by Emalani Case, Australian Historical Studies (50:1), 11 March 2019.

'Lana Lopesi’s False Divides is a fantastic introduction to readers keen on an introduction to Moana issues and is fully referenced, allowing the reader to follow up on those topics they find interesting. It is a brilliant addition to the BWB Texts range, which, as always, deftly makes space for complex issues to be introduced to New Zealanders.'
– Reviewed by Emma Rutherford, Booksellers New Zealand, 26 November 2018.

'This piece of writing is a significant contribution for indigenous discussions about technology and the internet.'
– Reviewed by Te Rina Warren, Journal of New Zealand Studies, NS28 (2019), 146-147.