"To Make Wrong / Right / Now"

Between now and May 5th, a truly special thing is happening on Oahu: the Honolulu Biennial.  Hawai'i is in the middle of the Pacific, making it not only a perfect place to attract swell from any direction but also a perfect locale to bring together artists from the Pacific, Asia and the Americas.  The theme of the event this year is “To Make Wrong / Right / Now,” drawn from the poem Manifesto by participating artist Imaikalani Kalahele.

I was lucky enough to attend the opening of the Biennial a few weeks ago, where I met many of the incredible artists who contributed installations to the event. A few that brought me deeper awareness to issues facing the Pacific were: Habitat (2017), by Taloi Havini, which explores the legacies of mineral extraction in the Pacific. Another was work by Gilubong ang Akon Pusod sa Dagat (2010) by DAKOgamay, an ongoing project that documents the lives of seafarers and fishermen from Bantayan Island as they navigate ongoing issues of environmental dilapidation and climate change.  If you are needing an excuse to head to Hawai’i, this is the best one I can give you. 

The beautiful thing about art is that it can mean different things to different people.  To me, it was a reminder that, as a surfer, I have a responsibility to understand the culture and the history of the areas where I surf.  As we travel throughout the Pacific Islands, we are so lucky to immerse ourselves in not just the surf but in the food, the people and energy of the area.  And, as a person who avails himself of all the ocean has to offer, I must make every effort to protect it.

I can’t guarantee that you’ll get the same thing out of visiting the Biennial that I did, but I can guarantee you will get something.  To learn more about the Honolulu Biennial, to donate, or to buy tickets, click here.  

William Rinehart is the Founder and Director of Blue Uprising, a political action committee that supports climate-conscious Congressional candidates.