by Ed Greevy
March 2 – April 4, 2019
Opening Reception & Book Signing Saturday, 3/2, 7-9pm
We are excited to be showing Ed Greevy’s bw film photographs from his 2004 KU’E: Thirty Years of Land Struggles in Hawaii book. We will have limited amounts of his KU’E book that he will be signing during the Opening Reception. The bw film photographs will also be available for purchase, along with KU’E posters. Please join us for the Opening Reception on 3/2, 7-9pm.
Photos of the Opening Reception taken by Dru Hara (color) & Phil Racsa (bw).
Ed Greevy returned to Hawai’i in 1967 & became active with Save Our Surf (SOS) in the early 1970s, an organization dedicated to preserving Hawai’i’s beaches, surf sites, & protesting various shoreline developments. During the 1970s, Greevy began to document the burgeoning eviction struggles that were taking place in communities such as Kalama Valley; Waiahole/Waikane, Chinatown & elsewhere. Through the following decades, Greevy had taken over 65,000 photographs
One of the major photographers of post-statehood Hawai’i, Ed Greevy began his stellar career in the early 1970s when the shift from plantation agriculture to mass-based disfigurement of beach areas & rural enclaves throughout the archipelago. As a result, large communities of the poor & the dispossessed, particularly Native Hawaiians, were systematically removed from the land.
But they did not go without resistance.
Anti-eviction struggles were joined in the 1980s by anti-military occupations. Unified opposition to gentrification & resort enclaves because a statewide movement. And then, the Hawaii Sovereignty Movement was born.
Native Political organizations began to argue for a land base as part of reparation from the United States: for its role in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893, for forced annexation in 1898, and for the consequent loss of Hawaiian nationhood & sovereignty. Legal claims were made to nearly two million acres of government lands that had been stolen from Native Hawaiians. And finally, claims for self-government were mad as a right of residence by virtue of indigenous status.
Various arguments for Hawaiian sovereignty were put forward by defendants in eviction arrests, Hawaiian nationalist as the United Nations and other international forums, and by Native rights activists on the ground in Hawai’i. What started as a call for restitution in the 1970s had broadened int he 1980s into a forceful demand of Native sovereignty.
By the centennial of the overthrow in 1993, the demand for self-determination was strong & getting stronger. And Ed Greevy would capture the resistance * the tragedy that unfolded across Hawai’i.
Driven by a deep concern for economic justice & civil rights, he recorded the struggle for human dignity in thousands of black & white photographs. No mere observer from a distance, Ed entered nto our lives as an ally on the ground. As these deeply unsettling photographs reveal, his camera became a voice, speaking not only on behalf of indigenous Hawaiians, but for the wretched of the earth as well.
Like other masters of photography, such as Tina Modotti, Greevy animate his work with a sipirt of freedom & a generous sense of community. For him, there is no conflict between art and life, creativity and politics. Indeed, his artistry engages at the moment of community, of solidarity. More than a comrade, he is a visual revolution.
*excerpts & introduction taken from his KU’E book