no time for paradise

This ongoing photo essay focuses on how gentrification and the cost of living deeply impacts Hawai’i locals. As someone who grew up on O’ahu, telling this story is incredibly important to me. Every day, I see these how these issues affect my family, loved ones, and the land I love — whether itʻs watching my mom work multiple jobs or developers build condominiums for multi-millionaires instead of affordable housing for locals. I donʻt want my home to be a place where only tourists and the rich can afford. Why must we give up everything we know and the land we love just so we can survive? We donʻt want make sacrifices in order for someone to live out their paradisal dream. We want to stay in a place we call home and give our future families the same childhood we had growing up.

While the rich strive, local families are cramming generations of their bloodline into tiny spaces, locals are moving to the mainland for cheaper living, and Native Hawaiians, the rightful owners of this land, make up 33% of Hawai’i’s houseless population. These circumstances often leave me with an inescapable sense of frustration and heartbreak. With this project, I hope to give these issues the national recognition it needs in order to make a positive change.