/19 Australia

Kate Golding


‘Aloha’ is the Hawaiian word used for hello and goodbye, the translation into English is ‘love’. The islands of Hawai‘i conjure visions of a tropical utopia. It is a place synonymous with paradise, palm trees, surfing, hula girls and luxury resorts. While the Hawai‘i seen in tourist brochures certainly exists, behind the brash commercialisation and American imperialism a native culture thrives, actively celebrated through traditions of dance, song and storytelling. At times, the loss of sovereignty is stiflingly inescapable and it becomes apparent that the everyday reality of the suburbs can exist even in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Yet somehow the famed ‘Aloha Spirit’ emanates from not only the people but also the diverse and everchanging landscape. For many, the connection to the islands is felt at the soul level.