As an artist living in Hawaii I can’t deny the fact that I have a responsibility to use my platform to inform my audience of things that truly matter to the Native people of these lands. Right now, the state of Hawaii and the corporation TMT (Thirty Meter Telescope) are planning to build a telescope a top of a culturally sacred site of worship for the Native Hawaiians. As someone who actively takes advantage of the island’s beauty to create my art I have always had inner conflict regarding my craft and it’s relationship with the land that is lawfully the Native Hawaiian people’s. The beauty I show of the islands perpetuates tourism and the over-development of these lands, and it weighs on my mind heavily how my craft affects the greater picture of things. I am always trying to think of ways that I can find a healthy balance. At what point does my art compromise the Native people and exploit their ʻĀina which is so essential to their culture? I think as an outsider who actively gains from the island’s beauty the least I can do is support the Native population here in bringing awareness to an issue that is so important to them. History has shown that the Native Hawaiians have dealt with nothing but loss from the start of their colonization, to the destruction and misrepresentation of their culture, to the constant over-development of their homeland, this telescope is just the latest desecration of Hawaiian culture. This is akin to building a telescope on top of Machu Picchu, or Mt. Everest. Both equally sacred places to their rightful cultures. It’s about time we stop this. If you are a visitor of the isles, a transplant, or a local, it’s time we all take a stand for the Native people’s land that we all have come to love. For as long we get to enjoy this paradise we owe the ʻĀina and it’s people the respect they deserve. I’m still struggling to understand just how I can make a difference, but I know awareness is the first step.