The Extractive Industry as a Perpetuation of Colonialism’s Transformational Power


This is a listing of older East-West Center events (newer listed first).  See Events to get the list of current or upcoming events.

When: Feb 19 2020 - 12:00pm until Feb 19 2020 - 1:00pm
Where: John A. Burns Hall, 1601 East-West Road, Room 3121 (3rd Floor)

The extractive industry is one of the most lucrative yet destructive modes of anthropogenic production. Operating in a legislative and political framework, mining companies leverage the need for economic development in countries across continents, leaving behind barren land. Since the 16th century, corporations such as the Dutch East India Company (VOC) have made a fortune trading in natural resources. Mining companies, both international and local, continue this legacy by wielding significant but often invisible economic and political power. Drawing from fieldwork in Brazil, the Kingdom of Tonga and the Philippines (2018 – 2019), this research explores relational narratives and mediates legislative connectivity with these instances of commodification. It engages the tension between different multi party stakeholders (ecology, residents, miners, government etc.) and unpacks colonial and mercantilist business models still used 400 years after the birth of capitalism through speculative mapping and modes of data collection (interviews, archives, videography, and sound recordings). This seminar will present initial findings of this still on-going research that ultimately aims to locate the extractive industry in the broader, contemporary trajectory of colonialism’s transformational power.

Jake Atienza’s work spans research and art, including text, video, sound, and installation as both outcomes and methodologies. His works take cue from his personal history and grapples with issues of power, social marginalization and ecological impact that emerge from the exploitation of natural and social resources. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at the East West Center’s Research Program in Honolulu, Hawai’i and is an affiliated Researcher and Artist at the Royal Oceania Institute in the Kingdom of Tonga.

Free admission

Limited seating

RSVP by February 18 :

944-7111 or

Paid parking is available on the UHM campus

Primary Contact Info:
Phone: 944-7111