The Day Of Two Suns

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2020022420200301 (R4)For fifty years, nuclear weapons were tested in the Pacific. It started with American tests in 1946, Britain joined in the 50s, and France didn’t finish until 1996. Some of the tests were one thousand times more powerful than the bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

For decades, the details were classified. But for generations, Pacific Islanders have been trying to push this story to global attention.

In this programme, James Nokise, a comedian and stage performer from New Zealand explores the role of Pacific wordsmiths, from song writers to poets, who have used their craft to protest against nuclear testing.

Featuring the poems:

No Ordinary Sun - written by Hone Tuwhare. Archival sound recordings from Tuwhare reading his poem in 1975 and 1986 courtesy of NgĀ? Taonga Sound & Vision, RNZ and Hone Tuwhare Trust.

Wave Song - written by Déwé Gorodé and translated by Raylene Ramsay and Deborah Walker.

Waka 83 - written and read by Robert Sullivan

Bad Coconuts - written and performed by Teresia Teaiwa (featuring H Doug Matsuoka and Richard Hamasaki)

Fishbone Hair, Monster, Anointed - written and performed by Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner

Produced by Claire Crofton
A TBI Media production for BBC Radio 4

James Nokise looks at how Pacific wordsmiths have protested nuclear testing.

No Ordinary Sun - written by Hone Tuwhare. Archival sound recordings from Tuwhare reading his poem in 1975 and 1986 courtesy of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, RNZ and Hone Tuwhare Trust.