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Grand Festival Award ~ Berkeley Video and Film Festival, 2011
Special Jury Prize ~ Tahiti’s Festival International du Film Documentaire de Oceanien, 2010
Best Documentary Award ~ Hawaii International Film Festival, 2008
August 1, 2014, Resistance Radio
Interview with Derrick Jensen
May 18, 2014, Radio New Zealand
Te Ahi Kaa interview
May 7, 2014, ABC Radio Australia
Pacific Beat interview
April 26, 2014
Pacific Media Watch – Auckland – Q&A with Maori and Pasifika Women
“Noho Hewa” is a brilliant, incisive, and complex expose of colonialism (American and other) and its devastating effects on Kanaka Maoli, the indigenous people of Hawaii, and their land.
- Albert Wendt, author, poet, scholar and painter
“Noho Hewa” hits viewers with the emotional weight of what it is like for Hawaiians living under US occupation of our homeland. The film explores the diverse impacts of this occupation: desecrated burials, contamination by agribusiness, commodification of culture, militarization and over-development. “Noho Hewa” should be essential viewing for anyone interested in Hawaiʻi, and especially for tourists, investors, military service people, and educators. It will make you ask yourself, “what responsibilities do I have, now that I have heard this story?”
- Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻōpua, author, co-founder of Halau Ku Mana, associate professor at the University of Hawai‘i-Manoa
(“The Seeds We Planted,” University of Minnesota Press)
Through “Noho Hewa,” Kelly has carefully illustrated how the militarisation of Hawai‘i both produces and is enabled by broader processes of land alienation, indigenous social dislocation, and late capitalism. (Read full review in the Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology)
- Teresia Teaiwa, author, poet, professor at Victoria University of Wellington
“Noho Hewa” is seemingly not reality to those who aren’t in touch with it. It is not just a recent time event in history but one of a long truth being ignored regarding the destruction of a people at peace with Mother Earth. I have no doubts that the revealing of an antiquated way to treat Life will be obsolete when more are informed with “Noho Hewa.” Decisions have been made from a far off place with no experiences as the Hawaiian Nation have had, but now one is given the choice of how to proceed after seeing “Noho Hewa.”
- Tiokasin Ghosthorse – Host of First Voices Indigenous Radio~ WBAI in NYC
As in the best activist film-making, the alternative analysis and testimony provided in “Noho Hewa” recruits the viewer, in part by suggesting that complacency in the face of desecration is itself a wrongful occupation.
- Paul Lyons, author, professor at the University of Hawai‘i-Manoa
… As ethnic studies scholars now call for a new, critical ethnic studies that considers the roles of ethnic minorities in the context of U.S. settler colonialism, “Noho Hewa” is a necessary primer that helps us understand settler colonialism and the radically different stakes for indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities. “Noho Hewa” is one of the most important films ever made.
- Candace Fujikane, author, editor, professor at the University of Hawai‘i- Manoa
“Noho Hewa: The Wrongful Occupation of Hawai’i” is an intense, exceptional, and important film that shows settler colonialism and the destructive effects on the Kanaka Maoli people, their land, and their way of life. This film is critical for all to see!
- Lloyd L. Lee (Navajo), author, editor, assistant professor at University of New Mexico
(“Dine Perspectives: Reclaiming Navajo Thought,” University of Arizona Press)
Deftly combining a powerful critique of militarism, environmental degradation, tourism and cultural annihilation, “Noho Hewa” should be required viewing at every school, university, and military academy.
- Gayatri Gopinath, professor at New York University
Through its inclusion of a range of political actors—academics, community organizers and educators, lawyers, farmers, environmentalists, people struggling to maintain their homes on public beaches, members of organizations ranging from the Revolutionary Communist Party to Nuclear Free/Independent Hawai‘i to Kūlana Huli Honua—who eloquently address settler colonialism and occupation from different disciplinary angles and perspectives, the film also debunks the “there are two sides to every issue” approach to politics that stymies thought and limits action. (Read the full review in The Contemporary Pacific)
- Cynthia Franklin, author, editor, professor at the University of Hawai‘i- Manoa
“…Kelly has created something akin to a contemporary multimedia kanikau (mourning chant). My analysis of “Noho Hewa” examines the ways in which mourning acts as a central cohesive element that relates many of the issues portrayed in the film. The theme of mourning speaks to intergenerational trauma from which many Native Hawaiians suffer in the aftermath of the US-backed overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.” (Read the full American Indian Quarterly review/essay)
- Marie Alohalani Brown, assistant professor at the University of Hawai‘i- Manoa
The Hawai’i that exists in our imagination is not the real Hawai’i. The real Hawai’i is a land that is under cultural, psychological, economic, ecological, and military siege… It has the highest concentration of GMOs anywhere in the world. It has more endangered species per square mile than anywhere else in the world. (Read full review at Deep Green Resistance News Service)
- Owen Lloyd, Deep Green Resistance News Service
PERSONAL HOME-USE DVD $50
Includes S&H in Hawaii and U.S; add $10 for S&H to all other countries.
(Licensed for non-public, home viewing only)
INSTITUTIONAL DVD $259
(Licensed for educational, in-house use in classrooms, non-profit organizations, and through library circulation only. Contact filmmaker for any other use, including on-campus public performance use, gallery and museum screenings, “community” screenings and fundraisers)
Limited licensing for institutional/classroom streaming is available.
Any questions about screenings or requests for streaming go to: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Here is a link (Maui Screening talk-story) to part of the talk-story that took place after the screening event mentioned below. Over 100 people attended. Mahalo nui to John Kaia for taping and uploading this. Keanu and Kaleikoa are discussing the differences between “decolonization” and “de-occupation.” It’s really important to clarify this right now because there appears to be a lot of confusion about what our options are.
CONTINUING THE CONVERSATION…
6:15 pm Friday, Aug 1, 2014 Kaunoa Center
Please join us for a screening of
“Noho Hewa: The Wrongful Occupation of Hawai‘i”
Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center
Saturday, August 2nd at 10AM with Keala. We will be discussing Hawaiian representation in media and how to use it to create powerful, political messages. During the workshop we will view recently produced pro-de-occupation PSAs and write and edit workshop participants’ PSAs. Time and equipment permitting, we will also produce a PSA. Call Clare at 214-4411 to register. This event is free. Bring lunch and drinks.
“Annexation” Scene from Noho Hewa
This is a link to a scene from “Noho Hewa.” It speaks to the confusion over annexation and makes the case for Hawaii as an independent, occupied nation state on par with all other nation states, despite 120 years of the uninvited presence of Americans who have settled on top of us.
I’ve also attached PDFs of a 5-part series I wrote A DECADE AGO. Like “Noho Hewa,” the article is fresh– it reads like it was written recently. The relevance of these things is due to the fact that nothing has changed in a good way for Hawaiians. In countless ways, things have only become worse. Hawaii is being swallowed up, and in some very important, visible and trackable ways, Hawaiian resistance has diminished. And that’s in the wake of 40 years of education and over a decade of a very public discourse about our rights to independence.
If the DOI, the formal representative of President Obama, is able to have its dog and pony show, able to get away with making Hawaiians believe they are being heard, when really they are being herded, then the selling off of our Crown and Government lands, aka the ceded lands, is not far off.
Indian Country Today-The Alaska-Hawaii connection (Part One)
The Alaska-Hawaii Connection Pt 2
The Alaska – Hawaii connection- Pt.3 |
The Alaska – Hawaii connection -Pt. 4
The Alaska – Hawaii connection-pt 5
MAHALO NUI to Seeti and Guy for the catch and release kokua!!!
This link is now showing up on FB pages and blogs (ku’e petition).
I include it here, along with one of the pages that has signatures from my ohana– my grandfather and my grandmother’s side are on this page.
The Ku’e petition is Hawaiian political genealogy. It’s linked here in case people coming to this site are interested in the ORIGINAL unified protest/activism of Kanaka Oiwi.
Find the mana’o of your kupuna.
The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom held it’s Pacific regional meeting in Auckland, and along with Peace Movement Aotearoa they sponsored a screening on Friday, April 25th at Auckland University Tech in downtown Auckland.
This is a 100- year old organization that was established during WW1, and their interest in Noho Hewa is something to take notice of because they are serious activists with an international reach.
Roti Make, Sina Brown-Davis, Rose Greaves, mois, and Marama Davidson.
It was an honor to be a part of the 3-day long gathering, and being there with the film was an opportunity to highlight the occupation of Hawaii; I was surprised to find that most of the attendees were unaware of the illegal occupation of Hawaii and grateful that they embraced the message of the film.
Closing remarks by the organizers included the following:
“Militarisation in the past has caused the colonisation of countries which are still under domination,” said Roti Make from WILPF Polynesia section. She specified Hawai’i under the USA, Rapanui under Chile, French Polynesia/Te Ao Maohi, Kanaky (New Caledonia), Wallis and Futuna annexed under France, and West Papua under Indonesia.”
It’s great that this international gathering of activists and scholars now have Hawaii on their list of countries under occupation. They also took an interest in RIMPAC for the first time, which is another issue they can discuss throughout their network.
PEACE MOVEMENT AOTEAROA is a national network for peace, social justice and human rights. Edwina Hughes, featured in the center of this photo, is largely responsible for the goings-on at PMA, and she organized my tour. Together ,with Teresia Teaiwa, professor of Pacific Studies at Victoria University, they planned for screenings of Noho Hewa and my participation at this conference on the “Military Occupation and Military Bases” panel with the other 3 wahine featured in this photo.
Asenaca Uluiviti, myself, Edwina Hughes, Kozue Akibayashi (WILPF Japan) Cherry Padilla (WILPF Philippines).
The trip to Wellington was truly inspiring. Mahalo nui to Maria Bargh, professor in Maori Studies at Victoria University, for hosting my stay there. Maria is an accomplished scholar (Editor of Maori and Parliament: Diverse Strategies and Compromises; Resistance: An Indigenous Response to Neoliberalism), and she’s a commentator on TVNZ. She’s also a mother of two beautiful, brilliant little boys.
Maria Bargh and Emalani Case at a Castro Street eatery in Wellington
Emalani Case is a PhD student at Victoria University in Pacific Studies. Her dissertation is about Hawaiki, and from what she shared with me it sounds like it will be a moving, powerful depiction of Hawaiian thought and cultural/psychological landscape of our sense of origin and expression.
Emalani and I had also had a couple of really good talk-stories about what’s happening here in Hawaii, politically and culturally. She’s an inspiration and I suspect she will be an influence in our community for a long time to come. She also spoke eloquently at the end of the q&a at the screening. So mahalo nui to her for the kind words of kokua in olelo Hawaii and in english– truly appreciated.
It was great to have another oiwi in the house at the screening, which took place at the National Film Archive; mahalo nui to Oscar Halberg, the projectionist who made my film look beautiful, and to manager, Mark Sweeney.
Tracey Whare, rapporteur and secretariat for the indigenous global coordinating group, and Edwina at one of the great restaurants on Castro Street
The 21st Annual Women’s Studies Conference at Southern Connecticut State University was a beautiful, intellectually and spiritually uplifting experience. It was small enough to be intimate and large enough to be very diverse, and the panels I was able to attend and speakers I heard inspired me and reminded me that there are women all over the world with ku’e and fearless minds and spirits.
Mahalo nui loa to las professoras Virgina Metaxas, who instigated my participation and made sure to secure the funding for me to attend and hosted me at her home. I rode all over Connecticut with Ginny and it was kind and stimulating and yes, inspiring. I also want to mahalo Tricia Lin and Rosalyn Amenta, the co-chairs of the conference and two unbelievably inspiring women– their personal AND political stories are why they are such leaders in the women’s studies community of scholars and activists.
I am honored to have been able to screen “Noho Hewa” at this conference, and to have been on the opening plenary with an amazing Puerto Rican artists and scholar, Imna Arroyo.
Spoken Word artist, MindEvolution, is an incredibly gifted and fierce poet and artist, and it was a pleasure to see her perform.
Majora Carter was the opening keynote, and her work in the South Bronx makes me wanna visit the South Bronx the next time I’m in NYC… can’t say I’ve ever had that urge!
And last, but fabulous was the closing keynote, Dr. Chung Hyung Kyung. Some of you may recognize her from “The Tribunal.” She was a part of the people’s tribunal in 1992 here in Hawaii. What an incredibly gifted, brilliant and inspired soul and mind this woman is. Truly an honor to meet her.
Aoloani and Keanu were on a panel about Connecticut missionaries in Hawaii during the 19th century. It was taped by the Hartford Seminary Library and will be uploaded to YouTube. It was the kind of conversation that is interesting and frustrating at the same time– always hard to hear about Hawaiians converting (!) and haole missionaries judging!
Aolani talks, which she said was not what she had prepared, was mainly about Hawaiian world view, and it was beautiful. She spoke to how Hawaiians saw (and still see) their world in layers of space that begin from different points of view. For instance, she spoke to the way Hawaiians envision the horizon, and the difference between something from here (Hawaii) and something or someone from the outside. In that context, whatever missionaries or anyone else brought can be understood in a completely different way if the concept of Hawaiian cosmology and is understood, even if only on the most subtle level.
Another interesting part of the conversation was when she and Keanu spoke about Captain Cook, and how when he died it wasn’t a big celebration for Hawaiians… nor was it a big deal. As Aolani said, it was just one day. He was not a huge deal for Hawaiians, although all of the haole written history books make Cook in Hawaii a big deal.
Hosted by Professor Katherine Hermes, the screening was sponsored by the Departments of History, Psychology, and the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity .
There were a few other Hawaiians present for the screening and a really good talk-story afterwards. from left they are: Jeremy (whose last name I can’t recall, but he’s in graduate school at Central), Aolani Kilihou, who teaches at Nawahi School in Hilo and is a graduate student at UH Hilo, and Keanu Sai, who was on the east coast giving talks at NYU and UMass Boston.
Professor Carol Austad and her husband, Bob, hosted a party for all of us at their lovely home.
The screening at Connecticut College was hosted by Charles Cocores at the Department of Education in the Blaustein Humanities Building. About 65 students were in attendance and the discussion was very intense. It’s differs from campus to campus, depending on the students and faculty who are present. At CC it was almost entirely an audience of students. Whereas the screening at Central was about 20% faculty, most of whom stayed for the conversation that followed.
NOHO HEWA screening in Connecticut
On April 8th, Noho Hewa will screen at Connecticut College in Bausten Humanities Center at 7PM
April 9th, screening at Central Connecticut State University in Vance Hall, 7PM.
At the Southern Connecticut State University’s 21st Annual Women’s Studies Conference, I will be a speaker on the Plenary, Friday, April 11th, 2PM. The conference title is “Ecology, Spirituality and Sustainability: Feminist and Indigenous Interventions.”
The film will screen the following day on Saturday, April 12th, 3:15PM at the Adanti Student Center Theatre.
I saw the news. Lou Reed died yesterday. It’s 8am Hawaii time, and way too early for that kinda knowledge.
There’s much that has, is and always will be said about his influence on music and art. He was an extraordinary poet, musician and composer. Very much a New Yorker, very much an American man, but from the edges of whatever it means to be in the love-hate relationship conscious Americans have with that identity.
I never met him, but I saw him perform once at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. He came out on stage and said something like, “I’m very sad for your city tonight,” then proceeded to perform a show that was more like a wake than a concert. My friend and I assumed he was talking about the verdict in what became known as the Rodney King trial, wherein LAPD officers were acquitted for the brutal beating of King. Unbeknown to us, at that moment, riots raged and parts of the city were burning.
Personally, his work inspired me with a sense of the incalculable value of being honest through one’s art, keeping things real, raw, and stripped down, being fiercely open and available to the most basic process of bearing life and bearing witness to life, however beautiful or ugly or in between these two destinies, which is where most of us live.
I pasted in the lyrics below from one of his many songs that once heard, left a mark on my spirit.
To me, Lou Reed was the last great American whale.
Last Great American Whale (from New York)
They say he didn’t have an enemy
his was a greatness to behold
He was the last surviving progeny
the last one on this side of the world
He measured a half mile from tip to tail
silver and black with powerful fins
They say he could split a mountain in two
that’s how we got the Grand Canyon
Last great American whale
last great American whale
Last great American whale
last great American whale
Some say they saw him at the Great Lakes
some say they saw him off of Florida
My mother said she saw him in Chinatown
but you can’t always trust your mother
Off the Carolinas the sun shines brightly in the day
the lighthouse glows ghostly there at night
The chief of a local tribe had killed a racist mayor’s son
and he’d been on death row since 1958
The mayor’s kid was a rowdy pig
spit on Indians and lots worse
The old chief buried a hatchet in his head
life compared to death for him seemed worse
The tribal brothers gathered in the lighthouse to sing
and tried to conjure up a storm or rain
The harbor parted, the great whale sprang full up
and caused a huge tidal wave
The wave crushed the jail and freed the chief
the tribe let out a roar
The whites were drowned, the browns and reds set free
but sadly one thing more
Some local yokel member of the NRA
kept a bazooka in his living room
And thinking he had the chief in his sight
blew the whale’s brains out with a lead harpoon
Last great American whale
last great American whale
Last great American whale
last great American whale
Well Americans don’t care for much of anything
land and water the least
And animal life is low on the totem pole
with human life not worth more than infected yeast
Americans don’t care too much for beauty
they’ll shit in a river, dump battery acid in a stream
They’ll watch dead rats wash up on the beach
and complain if they can’t swim
They say things are done for the majority
don’t believe half of what you see and none of what you hear
It’s like what my painter friend Donald said to me
“Stick a fork in their ass and turn them over, they’re done”
YouTube link: LastGreatAmericanWhale
Loving Jamaica – An Evening of Poetry, Prose and Film with Esther Figueroa
Date: November 7, 2013
Time: Refreshments 6:00pm; Presentation 6:30-8:00
Where: Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, HaLau ‘O Haumea, 2645 Dole Street
Sponsors: English Department, Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies
Here’s a link to a brilliant and informative interview Figgy did on KTUH’s “Iturnally Dread Meets Rudie’s Hi-Fi” show with DJs Tommy Fox and Irie-Sistable: soundcloud-file-esther-figueroa-interview
On November 7, Esther Figueroa, Ph.D., the Distinguished Visiting Writer in the English Department University of Hawai’i at Manoa will be giving the first ever reading from her forthcoming environmental novel Limbo (March, 2014, Arcade Publishing) and the first screening outside of Jamaica of her film “Cockpit Country is Our Home”. She will also be reading her poetry and that of others. The event is free and open to the Public.
A Jamaican independent filmmaker, writer, linguist, educator and curator/producer of art, literature and film events, Figueroa began her media-making career in Hawai’i. In 1985 she and Heather Haunani Giugni founded Juniroa Productions and produced numerous television series and specials, documentaries, educational videos, dvds, multimedia, and web content mainly focused on perpetuating indigenous knowledges, strengthening Native Hawaiian language, culture and sovereignty struggles, empowering communities, producing local content and countering the silences of mass media.
Since returning to Jamaica in 2006, Figueroa has dedicated herself to the natural environment, and has produced many films on environmental issues including fresh water and rivers, sea birds and wildlife, shoreline and marine conservation. Her award winning feature length documentary “Jamaica for Sale” about tourism and unsustainable development (www.jamaicaforsale.net) has been screened internationally. Her environmental shorts can be viewed on her you-tube channel.
Her publications include the canonical treatise Sociolinguistic Metatheory (Pergammon, 1994) and the literary anthology ” At Home the Green Remains – Caribbean Writing in Honor of John Figueroa (Caribbean Quarterly, 2003). Limbo (2014), an environmental novel about Jamaica, is her first novel to be published. She has an earlier (2001) unpublished novel about Hawai’i called Holes in the Heart.