‘Ulu‘ulu is a Hawaiian word for “gathering or collection,” a fitting name for Hawai‘i’s film and video archive where our collective moving image memories are preserved for future generations.
Entering our 9th year, we now boast a collection of nearly 45,000 media items that have come to us from across the State and even parts of the Continent. This year we have been fortunate to welcome 10 new collection donors whose works will enhance our media literacy efforts. But what does that mean? How can these films and videos become part of media literacy? How will they provide a learning experience?
Moving images are a valuable visual documentation of community – of places, people, events – and ‘Ulu‘ulu strives everyday to preserve, catalogue, protect and share our rich film and video heritage of Hawai‘i while making it accessible to the public. Thanks to a recent partnership with the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation (HLF), we anticipate teachers diving into ‘Ulu‘ulu and using these resources as part of media literacy integration across all subject areas. This is exciting as our 20th century history resides on the shelves at Hawai‘i’s official moving image archive. We cannot thank our donors enough for their moving images which have become important examples of our historiography.
We’d like to take a moment to share some of our accomplishments from 2017 with you. Click here to view the ʻUluʻulu 2017 Highlights report on our new collections, digital preservation projects, television and film premieres and more!
Mahalo nui loa for your support!
Following the showing of the film, the audience was treated to a panel discussion with filmmakers and the head archivist at ‘Ulu’ulu. They reminded the audience of a time before smartphones allowed anyone to record to their heart’s content, a time when video equipment was so expensive that only broadcasting channels could purchase it. That all changed when the first portable video recording technology was made available at affordable costs. This new technology called out and resonated with the visionaries of artists and activists. As artists and activists, it was incredible for the filmmakers to be able to go out and film that first landing on Kaho`olawe, record George Helm singing in a backroom, or witness the passionate and feisty speeches at rallies.
The panelists who shared their mana`o on the production include:
He has called Waimanalo his home for the past thirty years, and has remained active in the community by serving on many of the local boards. Morse is also the current Executive Director of Blueprint for Change, which is a non-profit that works to prevent child abuse and neglect.
In 1976, Coates met with George Helm, where he was asked to help document the efforts of Hawaiian activists in stopping the bombing of Kaho`olawe. His persona account conveys it best:
I replied, “Stop the bombing… I’m in.” George said, “We don’t have any money to pay you.” I told him and the ‘Ohana, “I don’t care about the money but I need to keep the camera and gear dry, and I’ll need to eat once in awhile- to which George laughed and said, “Braddah, we Hawaiian, you know you’re gonna eat!”
An independent filmmaker, has been part of the documentary team Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina, which has produced more than 90 programs focusing on the land and people of Hawai‘i and the Pacific. The documentaries examine traditional Hawaiian culture, history, language, art, music, environment, independence and sovereignty, and have been seen on PBS, Hawai‘i public and commercial television stations, and cable networks in Canada, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Japan, Mexico and Europe. Currently, Lander is working to preserve, digitize and make accessible thousands of hours of footage in the Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina library.
Although some of the footage may be in black and white, with pictures blurred by time and sound crackling with age, the issues presented in Documenting Activism are still sharp, still cut deep, and still resonate with current audiences. The efforts of the featured activists and filmmakers inspire the younger generation to follow in their footsteps and continue to create content and stories that give a Native Hawaiian perspective.
Blog by Hoku Kaahaaina
October is Filipino American History Month. In honor of the event, we compiled footage from various collections in the ‘Ulu’ulu Moving Image Archive to illustrate the Filipino experience in the Hawai’i islands.
Description: A look at Filipino immigrant women and their problems with finding suitable employment in Hawaiʻi.
Description: Interview with Marie C. Blanco, Senator Inouye’s former chief of staff. This interview was recorded in Falls Church, Virginia on July 7, 2015 for the Daniel K. Inouye Oral History Project. Topics include how Blanco’s desire to work on the continental United States led to becoming a staff member, state issues and communication between Hawaiʻi and D.C. offices, becoming more familiar with Senator Inouye’s different sides over the years, aid for the Philippines and naturalization for Filipino veterans, and being on the commission for the FDR Memorial. Includes photos of Senator Inouye’s trips to the Philippines in 2006 and 2011.
Description: Retired mill operator talks about emigrating to Hawaiʻi and his thoughts on the future of Kāʻū now that the plantation is closing.
Description: Kahului Filipino Community Association INC. Fifth Annual Miss Sampaguita Contest. Includes dancing from the Kahului Maui Junior Catholic Club dance, speeches, and swearing in of new members.
Description: Episode of DIALOG featuring a roundtable discussion with the 1986 candidates for Lieutenant Governor. Candidates are Democrat Ben Cayetano and Republican John Henry Felix.
Description: Interview with Norman Asuncion conducted by Chris Conybeare on May 6th, 1998 about the 1949 Dock Strike. Topics include his parents immigrating to Kauaʻi to work on a plantation, being stranded on Oʻahu after the war and becoming a stevedore, the ethnic makeup of workers on the dock, benefits of the union, working and living conditions, strike assignment, the Broom Brigade, and what became of the Filipino stevedores.
Please view the Filipino American History Theme here.
Be sure to contact us to view the full footage!
This year’s theme for Hawai’i History Day is “Conflict and Compromise”. The resources selected from the ‘Ulu’ulu Archive show how community development leads to many issues that must be resolved and compromise has to be instituted to allow for a wide range of voices to be heard. Showcased are debates, news footage, rallies, and documentaries that explore how conflict arises and the avenues that allow for compromise.
Description: Thomas Square. City planning. Oʻahu County. Development. Government decision making without public input. Interviews with people at a protest. Interviews with developers. City Councilmembers. Board of Water Supply. Waiʻanae. Kalihi.
Description: Program starts with people from Hawaiʻi living in the San Francisco Bay Area discussing Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART). Continues with highlights from three roundtable discussions with comments by Governor John Waiheʻe, Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi, Mililani State Rep. Samuel Lee, Councilmember Gary Gill Downtown/Nuʻuanu, Bob Fishman Honolulu Taxpayers for Transit Solutions, Vicki Von Stroheim-Seay V.P. Snelling-Temps, Dr. James Mak Economics Chair UH-Mānoa, Gary Rodrigues State Federation of Labor, Craig Kawahara Pearl City High School Junior, Paul Brewbaker Economist Bank of Hawaii, Darrlyn T. Bunda Leeward Oʻahu Transportation Mgt. Assn., Guy Nakamoto Stop H3, and James E. Cowen President Oʻahu Transit Services Inc.
Description: Roundtable discussion about the controversy over Sandy Beach and Kaiser Development Company’s plan to build a housing subdivision. Voters in the upcoming election will be asked to vote on a plan to rezone land across from the beach from residential to preservation. Guests include two members from People Who Vote Know on Sandy Beach and two members from the Save Sandy Beach Coalition. Includes a short background video by reporter Penny Nakamura.
Description: This ENG File contains 42 clips of news footage on a variety of topics from July 10, 1978 through September 19, 1978.
Description: Protect Kahoʻolawe visits office of Lieutenant Governor Doi’s office with Lt. Gov. Doi circa 1977. The group also talks to daughter of MacPhee Kahoʻolawe leasee. Crowd includes Aunty Clara Ku, Uncle Harry Mitchell, Aunty Lani Lopez Kapuni, Walter Ritte, and Loretta Ritte.
From August 7th to September 8th, we were very lucky to have Kathryn Antonelli as our 2017 Roselani Summer Intern! She is originally from Rhode Island and has since been adopted by Philadelphia. Kat earned a BA in Media Studies and Production from Temple University, and she is currently completing an MLIS (Masterʻs in Library and Information Science) from the University of South Carolina.
What brought you here to ‘Ulu‘ulu? What are some of the things you were hoping to learn during your internship with us?
Two main things brought me to ʻUluʻulu: its specialization in moving images, and its mission to preserve Native Hawaiian cultural history. Before I discovered my interest in the LIS field, my undergraduate program and my jobs during and after college all involved working with audiovisual materials, so I knew I wanted to continue using those skills as I “migrated” to a new field. It’s very unique to find an archive that focuses on these materials. Also, I love learning about other languages and cultures, so when I saw the post advertising the internship I had to see what ‘Ulu’ulu was all about. As I’ve gotten more experience working in archives, I’ve become aware of their potential to help marginalized groups tell their stories, and I was really drawn to the way ‘Ulu’ulu attempts to do that as inclusively and respectfully as possible.
Could you please share a little about the work you did at Princeton?
This summer has been interesting for me because I took a trip back in time as I worked. Before I came to Hawaiʻi, I was interning with Princeton Universityʻs Manuscripts Division team. There, my focus was on post-1980 born digital audiovisual materials like optical media and files on computer hard drives. That was a great experience and I unlocked some inner computer geekiness I never knew I had–believe it or not, using the command line can be pretty fascinating. Now that Iʻm here, though, Iʻm working with formats like videotape and film that mostly date between the 1950s and 1980s (although ʻUluʻulu does have film thatʻs even older, and plenty of digitized files you can check out on the website).
What projects are you working on at ‘Ulu‘ulu ?
Iʻve gotten the opportunity to do a few different things here! I finished accessioning all of the Pau Hana Years programs in our PBS Hawai’i collection, and am now working to clean up the metadata for our Juniroa collection. Iʻve also helped organize the Don Ho collection and get it on the shelves, inspected film from an incoming home movie collection, done transcoding and quality control for the KGMB collection, and worked at outreach events to let the universityʻs students know about ʻUluʻulu. Itʻs been a lot of fun getting to try my hand at different responsibilities, and learning the ins and outs of how the archive operates.
Was there anything about the videos you worked with that was surprising or unexpected?
Having taken classes in audiovisual materials, I was aware that an incredible number of formats have been produced over the years. However, getting to actually handle them and discover the differences has been entertaining and enlightening.
So you’ve been here for about a month now, what are you enjoying most about Hawai‘i?
Aside from the beauty of the land and sea, which absolutely cannot be overstated, I love how ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi is integrated into local signage and phrases. From the bus announcement requesting riders move to the rear with “please kōkua” to the signs on the beach asking visitors to “mālama ‘āina”, itʻs a constant reminder of the rich culture of this area. Although there is still progress to be made, it makes me happy to see Hawaiian ways of knowing being promoted. In fact, I created a theme for the ‘Ulu’ulu website that brings together some of our resources on the language.
Now that you have worked as a Moving Image Archivist and with Hawaiian cultural materials, what is your favorite aspect of the job and why?
I think my favorite part is the storytelling ability of the materials themselves, and knowing that my work helps to keep them available. I’ve always believed in the power of a good book, but reading about an event is completely different than seeing it happen. I find moving images and sound recordings to be incredibly powerful ways of reliving and understanding our history, and equally interesting is how they can be edited to tell the same story in different ways. I’m excited to keep working in this field and grateful that I had my first real taste of it with the staff at ‘Ulu’ulu.
‘Ulu’ulu Archive was very happy to hear that on Kamehameha Day Abraham “Puhipau” Ahmad was recognized as a Na Mamo Makamae o ka Po’e Hawai’i – Living Treasures of the Hawaiian People by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for his pioneering work as a filmmaker. The documentaries produced by Na Maka o ka ‘Aina illustrate the strength and struggles of the Hawaiian people. Puhipau was dedicated to enlightening the world about Hawaiian history, sovereignty and aloha ‘aina.
“These kūpuna are not just keepers of the flame, they are the connection and bridge to our past,” said OHA Ka Pouhana (Chief Executive Officer) Kamana’opono Crabbe. “The more we learn from our kūpuna and apply what we learn from them, the more we maintain that bond with our ancestors, our homeland, and our identity as Kanaka ‘Ōiwi.”
Puhipau was part of the events that transpired at Sand Island from September 1979 to January 1980 in which a predominantly Native Hawaiian fishing community who had moved onto the public land, creating homes, resisted eviction from the Honolulu shoreline by the State of Hawai’i. He sought to give the community a voice in hopes they would be heard and able to remain on the land. In the end, the families and structures were removed. But the struggle is remembered. The documentary “The Sand Island Story”, produced by filmmaker Victoria Keith and her partner Jerry Rochford, captured the moments that unfolded during the difficult months.
After his experience at Sand Island he decided to become a storyteller through film as well, joining forces with video producer Joan Lander, whom he met during the editing of The Sand Island Story, to form Nā Maka o ka ‘Aina.
He made significant contributions to film by allowing issues that remain part of the Hawaiian experience to be explored from their perspective and give a greater understanding of what it means to be part of the Hawai’i islands.
On behalf of Puhipau and his ‘ohana, we mahalo all of the honorees today. As Puhipau used to say, we the filmmakers are not the stars: the stars are the people like you and many others in our programs who keep alive the culture and history, who string together lei of flowers and lei of islands and continents, who strive to protect sacred ancestral places, and who struggle against the powers that be to bring about aloha ‘aina.
~Joan Lander, acceptance speech at Na Mamo Makamae o ka Po’e Hawai’i – Living Treasures of the Hawaiian People
Read full acceptance speech here.