A photo exhibit featuring more than 50 historical and contemporary photos of current and recent residents of Kalaupapa and their family members, along with scenes from Kalaupapa, will open at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the former Dole Administration Building on Lanai.
The free exhibit titled "A Reflection of Kalaupapa: Past, Present and Future" is sponsored by the nonprofit Ka 'Ohana O Kalaupapa and will begin with a blessing and guided walkthrough.
Following the blessing, Ka 'Ohana O Kalaupapa coordinator Valerie Monson will give a presentation titled "The Restoration of Family Ties," focusing on the group's work to reconnect families with about 8,000 individuals who were sent to Kalaupapa because of government polices regarding Hansen's disease.
Longtime Kalaupapa resident Kenso Seki (left) cuts the hair of John Cambra with Herbert Hayase looking on in a photo taken in 1986. The photo is among more than 50 historical and contemporary photos of current and recent residents of Kalaupapa and their family members. It’s part of a free exhibit, “A Reflection of Kalaupapa: Past, Present and Future,” opening at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the former Dole Administration Building on Lanai.
WAYNE LEVIN photo
Contemporary photos at the exhibit were taken by Hawaii photographer Wayne Levin, who began shooting at Kalaupapa in 1984. The historical photographs are from various sources.
The exhibit runs through June 11 and will be available for viewing on days to be determined. Anyone who would like to visit the exhibit should ask for assistance at the neighboring Lanai Culture & Heritage Center.
"It's so important for the 'Ohana to reach out to every island as every island had people who were forced to leave their families and be sent to Kalaupapa because they were thought to have had leprosy," Ka 'Ohana O Kalaupapa President Clarence "Boogie" Kahilihiwa said. "We're just so happy to have so many people on Lanai working with us to make this possible."
Produced three years ago, the exhibit has been displayed at art galleries and large public venues on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. The exhibit recently finished showing for a month at Kauai Community College. It will be at Kalaupapa and Kaunakakai later this year.
"Because the smaller islands don't have the large public facilities that they do in urban areas, we had to tailor the exhibit to fit the spaces made available to us," Monson said. "It's been a challenge, but by the end of the year, we hope the exhibit will have been on every island except Niihau and Kahoolawe. We're really proud of that."
The exhibit is funded by grants and donations from the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, The Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Fund and Young Brothers Ltd.