ala wai canal 1920 to 1928

Waikiki was the home of thousands of self-sustaining farmers. They cultivated taro and fish in the wetlands fed by three streams that flowed from the valleys of Makiki, Manoa, and Palolo. Some Hawaiian royals also spent time there in their summer homes. Many early colonists built homes near the royals. Many of these same colonists helped to dispossess the Waikiki farmers from their homes - first through instilling a system of private land ownership that the farmers had no understanding of, then by drying up their farms by forcibly severing the streams that fed them.

By the late 1920's, Waikiki was on its way to becoming the home of the tourist industry that we know today. Through advertisements in magazines like the National Geographic and in movies like Blue Hawai'i, an exotic phantasmic Waikiki was made at home in imaginations around the world. In 2002 6.7 million tourists left their homes to come. Waikiki became known as a place solely for leisure and play - erasing the lives of those who once made their homes here, and obscuring the lived realities of those who work and those who live in Waikiki today. Because, or in spite of the tourist industry, thousands of people still make their homes here. Teachers, cashiers, surf instructors, accountants, cooks. military personnel, sex workers, retirees...

Waikiki, as it is actually experienced rather than the one that is sold, is the home base of this project.

start again from the beginning


home n.

1. The place where one lives.

2. The environment offering shelter and safety through connection with family/community and past/future.

3. The place where one is committed to care for.

4. The starting page of a website which one can revisit by hitting the home button.