Protests about the building of huge astronomical telescopes at the summit Mauna Kea have been going on for decades. They’ve only recently been brought into focus because of the planned Thirty Meter Telescope. As descendants of the earliest Polynesian voyagers, the kanaka ʻoiwi have always understood the importance of astronomy. But for a people who have long suffered the loss of their country and autonomy, desecration of their sacred mountain and the natural environment must end.
As seen through the lens of Kai Markell, Native Hawaiian activist, photographer, and attorney at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, this collection of photographs, Ka Poʻe Kiaʻi (the guardians and protectors of Mauna Kea), documents one of the largest protests held at various locations in Honolulu. Whether attending a rally at ʻIolani Palace with their families, meeting with officials from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, or holding a sign all alone at a street corner, these poʻe kiaʻi feel deeply that their message must be heard.
Itʻs 2022 — seven years after this collection was first published a Pūpū A ʻO Ewa — we are still fighting.