Keller Easterling

The troubled archipelagoes of the sea, which have historically been associated with escape, have become bellwethers of the world’s troubles. Islands are the world’s fabled storage places for cultural exceptions and secrets, the place of doppelgangers, other wives, confidence men, and pirates. Harboring alternative or multiple realities or the ingredients of culture that fall outside permissible boundaries, they are exempt from the laws that govern behavior on the continent. Consequently, they are often used as penal colonies or, during war, as stationary battleships or bomb-testing sites. Not only refugees and criminals, but also hidden business practices, tax exemption, streamlined paperwork, and cheap labor are exiled to or stored on islands. And as most of the world’s islands and atolls are sinking due to global warming, they also provide accelerated, amplified measure of the world’s environmental indiscretions and socio-economic fictions.