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IN TONGUES borrows its name from the term “speaking in tongues” (originally “Glossolalia”) as a phenomenon in which people appear to speak in languages unknown to them. While this word normally has a religious connotation, this project seeks to bring into question the religious dedication that the colonizer’s world view has made to normalize the idea that non-western indigenous peoples are required to submit and package themselves, their names, their language, their culture... to appease the colonizer’s tongue.
IN TONGUES explores just a few of the effects that colonization has had on the cultural health & well-being of people in Hawaiʻi. Oʻahu is motherland to a resilient people who once lived a completely sustainable lifestyle in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, with the nearest land mass being 2259 miles away. The few indigenous Hawaiian people who have survived colonization now live to see the day where the agricultural land of their ancestors has been turned to fruit a different kind of wealth: real estate. With more and more land being turned into real estate to support the main remaining economy (tourism), Hawaiʻi is now almost completely and utterly dependent, relying on outside shipments to provide 90% of our food from off-island.
Kaleipumehana & yours truly are building an interactive art installation for Reimagining Waikīkī: An Interactive Penthouse Art Experience at the Surfjack in Waikīkī for #CONTACTZONE. You are all invited to sit and interact with each of the three environments. Each of them served as separate but related vignettes focusing on things that sit on the tongue: Language, Food Systems in a Militarized State, and the role of Marketing Slogans & Legislation in creating a false sense of “Paradise”.

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