MY CULTURE NOT FOR SALE
art by @cut_lass Kulani Watson.
As a child, Friday night drives on the Waikiki strip were tradition. Street performers, sun sets, the duke statue, tourists, hula girls, the ocean, diamond head. Waikiki was the epitome of “post card perfection”.
Years later I realized, for myself, that the post card represents our culture and that a price tag has been placed on it.
What was once used as the passing down of knowledge and a source of understanding, shared with the closest of friends and family, is now being sold at a hotel as a package deal to “experience Hawaii in its purest form”. (Luaus, hula and fire knife dancers, surf/canoe lessons, dolphin and turtle tours, hula lessons, movie set tours, merchandise of the words aloha and mahalo, etc.)
Our culture has been commercialized for some time and this design was created to make the statement that the well of Aloha has run dry.
King Kamehameha, a great leader amongst the people of Hawaii, stands a top a milk crate like that of the street performers in Waikiki as a statue. It should give you a sense of discomfort and uneasiness. This is the same feeling I encourage you to have when seeing our culture displayed as a “souvenir” of sorts