Pacific Reflections from Hawai’i: a selection of images

Maea Lenei Buhre

Society and culture | Pacific

30 March 2015

Images by participants of the 2014 Pacific Islands Field School in Hawai’i (listed below).  Words by Maea Lenei Buhre.

This is a selection of photographs from the exhibition ‘Pacific Reflections: Images from the Hawai’i Field School‘. These images highlight some of the places ANU students on the 2014 Pacific Islands Field School saw, people they met, food they ate, and experiences and interactions they had.

During their time in Hawai’i, students engaged with a side of Oahu island not often advertised in tourism brochures. Some students learned about the endemic issue of homelessness, which convener Dr. Katerina Teaiwa said resulted from “a history of American involvement in the North Pacific” moving “hundreds of people from their home islands to Hawai’i.”

Students also engaged in workshops including “canoe making, wood-carving, building shelters from recycled materials, weaving, visual arts, hula, Micronesian navigation, and chanting.”

The exhibition includes over 80 different images, and was curated by Bonnie Haiblen with support from a curatorial team of field school students and the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.

Like the 2013 Pacific Island field school exhibition, it is on display in the foyer of the H.C Coombs Building, outside the office of the Dean, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific. As Bianca Hennessy wrote, this location is particularly apt as it brings the vibrancy, “colour and energy” of undergraduate in-country experiences to a space otherwise taken up by “portraits of the former Deans of the Colleges: rows of old white men.”

The exhibition will be on display for the next few months, and is a must see for those interested in getting a peek behind stereotypes of Hawai’i and the Pacific. For further insight into their experience, view Jessa Roger’s photo essay here.

Photographers: Alice McCarthy, Alexia Fuller, Bianca Hennessy, Jessa Rogers, Ravana Saifoloi, Louise Mei Wah Quan, Ellen Stokes, Bonnie Haiblen and Katerina Teaiwa.


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