An anti-independence cartoon broadcast in the South Pacific, French territory of New Caledonia, has been accused of “deep racism” and the spread of “ridiculous towards the islanders of the Pacific” in a case filed with the French Council of State .
Legal deposit was initiated by the Kanak independence alliance and the Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS). By presenting it to the highest judicial body in France, the group aims to block the dissemination of anti-independence cartoons animated by Les Voix Du Non, a collective of anti-independence parties in the South Pacific, French territory of New Caledonia. .
The clips were accused of “A deep racism and ridicule towards the Pacific Islanders, especially the [indigenous] Kanak people ”, with the legal complaint alleging that the cartoons depict non-whites in a degrading and humiliating manner.
The cartoons cover the future of issues in a potentially independent New Caledonia, such as passports and health policies. Those who oppose it claim that they present Indigenous residents as having no understanding of the French language with accents that describe them as “primitive” and part of a “Uncultivated state”.
The FLNKS and an individual representative of the Polynesian community, Lueisi Waupanga, are asking the courts to block broadcasts after the refusal of the High Council of Audiovisual (CSA) of the region.
“Is this how you see us after 30 years?” Common yam and cassava growers, unable to think for ourselves, generally unable? Waupanga said in the court file.
Previously, Les Voix Du Non rejected accusations of racism or discrimination, saying that “no particular community has been targeted” and cartoons were designed to “Make complex questions simple by using language familiar to all communities”.
New Caledonians will go to the polls on December 12 for the third and final vote scheduled under the Noumea Accord, which saw France promise to give more power to residents. The 2018 and 2020 polls saw independence rejected by 56.7% and 53.3% respectively.
New Caledonia is located approximately 1,200 km east of Australia. France took possession of it in 1853 and it served as a penal colony, later nickel was mined there. It became an overseas territory in 1946.