My research is an ethnographic exploration of identity, belonging and nation through Fiji’s so-called ‘coup culture’. Based on fieldwork, including my own immersion in Fiji society as a presumed insider and my informants’ memories of past coups and their anticipation of future ones, I argue that Fiji does not exist as such, but is always in a state of transformation, of becoming. The state is an unfinished product. People and politicians – and the discourses and narratives they create, participate in and resist – constitute themselves and the world around them, and are effected by one another, in ways that involve the shifting layering of time and experience. One cannot speak of “the state of the nation” in Fiji – the past, present and future exist in different ways for different people in different contexts.