Vol. 4:1 (2022) ► pp.47–67
Persuasion and self in Rapa Nui poetry
Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile) poetry allows us to understand how lived beliefs can be central to the realization of the individual self in community. In this paper, we focus on the poetry of Mata-U’iroa Atan, a Rapa Nui poet who characterizes his political project as walking to fly like a bird. His poem Ki Te Reva (‘To the Flag’) exemplifies a particular form of corporeal consciousness leading to a project of political persuasion. His poems are written in Rapa Nui, an indigenous Polynesian language and draw attention to sociolinguistic and historical “disjunctures” (Meek, 2010) in contemporary Rapa Nui community life. We argue that lived beliefs are produced by corporeal consciousness, and verbal art can be central to the mobilization of lived beliefs in the process of persuasion for emancipatory praxis. Poetry can give people an imagination, and this imagination is constitutive of a kind of truth underlying political projects.
- 2.Normative and lived beliefs and their work of persuasion
- 3.“Walking to fly in freedom”: Emancipatory praxis and lived beliefs
- 4.Conclusion: Lived beliefs, disjunctures, and emancipatory praxis