‘ĀINAVIS is an artist-driven experimental mapping concept to acknowledge the physical wellbeing of ‘āina (that which feeds / land and people, too) across Pae ‘Āina Hawai‘i (Hawaiian Islands). Our experimental mapping concept is not just about maps, but about utilizing visual and spatial information to curate dialogues around ‘āina and its built environment as key protective factors for the health and well-being of Hawai‘i Nei.
‘Āina Vision Statement
‘ĀINAVIS is short for ‘Āina Vision. Our vision is to foster a deeper understanding of ‘Āina at the center of our physical past, present, and future relationships between the built environment, Native bioculture, health, and wellness. Through creative public research and participatory methods, ‘ĀINAVIS aims to flip current narratives, highlight successful ‘āina recovery efforts, and encourage healing and cultural resilience across our Indigenous communities in Hawai‘i. We aspire to help visualize our relationships with ‘āina as a factor that promotes wellbeing for all of us, and how these relationships manifest environments that promote well-being.
MappingsWe have embarked on an artist-led engagement journey to identify essential metrics that will accurately recognize and interpret the dynamics and trends of what we might consider to be some of the most significant grassroots efforts to reclaim and rejuvenate ‘Āina.
We are aligned by Consuelo Foundations’s theory of change to improve the wellbeing of youth and families through partnerships with community-based non-profits and initiatives that employ culture and ‘āina as main drivers in upstream prevention efforts that increase protective factors that reduce abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Simultaneously, we are aligned with Hawai‘i Nonlinear’s mission to support Native artists, cultural practitioners, and grassroots groups who build and care for the physical wellbeing of Hawai‘i built environments in the protective form of ‘Āina, as the source of sustenance.
The value system for ‘ĀINAVIS is anchored in five central tenets, which highlight responsibilities of caring for ‘Āina, as the most prominent built environment in Hawai‘i, as a place and source of wellbeing. These values—Sharing Stories, Celebrating Reclamation, Living History, Cultivating Resilience, and Mapping Conversations—steer our efforts in nourishing ‘āina, the land, and illuminating its pivotal role in enhancing the wellbeing of our people and our place.
We're shining a light on the lineage and stories of organizations dedicated to caring for 'āina as a vital source of wellbeing in Hawai‘i.
We're championing the uplifting examples of successful reclamation of native built environments in both urban and rural areas of Hawai‘i.
We're embracing participatory methods to weave together a rich, multidimensional tapestry of Hawai‘i's complex past, present, and future, as told through the persevering stories of ‘āina.
We're advancing strategies for cultural resilience and healing through a spatialized approach, promoting wellbeing across every corner of Hawai‘i Nei.
We're crafting an interpretive mapping of the Hawaiian Islands that sparks community conversations about 'āina, highlighting its physical capacities to nourish wellbeing.
The ‘ĀINAVIS Project was funded by Consuelo Foundation, After Oceanic, Inc., and Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests.
Project Formation and Timeline
The ‘ĀINAVIS project was initiated in 2019 as a parainstitutional mapping initiative with the aim to explore and understand the physical environment of wellbeing in Hawai‘i. It was born from a collaborative conversation between Dawn Mahi of the Consuelo Foundation and Sean Connelly of After Oceanic, emphasizing the role of visual mapping and the interpretation of 'Āina as a cartography of wellbeing.
Dawn Mahi (Kānaka Maoil), a published poet, and a Senior Program Officer for the Consuelo Foundation, has been an advocate for ‘Āina for many years. The Consuelo Foundation, a private operating foundation, promotes the wellbeing of at-risk children, women, and families in the Philippines and Hawai‘i, working to prevent and treat their abuse, neglect, and exploitation. In its Hawai‘i strategy, the Foundation collaborates with After Oceanic to offer strategic mapping services, providing outreach and facilitation support to continue and expand the ‘ĀINAVIS project.
Sean Connelly (llocano), is an internationally recognized visual artist, designer, educator, Founder of After Oceanic Inc., and President of Hawai‘i Nonlinear 501c3. Established in Honolulu in 2010, After Oceanic, Inc. was designed as an experimental social practice to advance radical geospatial intelligence and protect Native culture. Hawai‘i Nonlinear, established in 2021, is a nonprofit organization supporting Native artists and grassroots groups who contribute to the physical wellbeing of Hawai‘i's built environments in the protective form of ‘Āina.
The project began as a conversation on system maps for various topics, though the discussion soon felt overly theoretical. The duo desired to see their systems mapping geographically visualized, as relationships between people and places are as much physical and spatial as they are emotional and spiritual. Together, they drafted a proposal for an experimental mapping project that would transform data into dialogue. Their year-long effort resulted in the Consuelo-DHS Dataset: Baseline Mapping Of Child Maltreatment Data in the Hawaiian Islands, 1992 - 2017, a comprehensive GIS atlas-based report presenting a ZIP code-level examination of child maltreatment in Hawai‘i over a 25-year period.
Building from their first study, they began their second with a focus on 'Āina identified as a protective factor of wellbeing in the Consuelo Theory of Change. The project expanded through a partnership with Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife (Heather McMillen via Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests) to create the ‘Āina Organization Index, or the ‘ĀINAVIS Dataset. Advisory partners included Hau'oli Mau Loa Foundation (Brant Chillingworth), Kua'āina Ulu 'Auamo (Miwa Tamanaha, Puanani Connelly), and the Stewardship Mapping Project (STEW-MAP) team (Rachel Dacks, Sanoe Burges).
To elevate the academic rigor and quality of the ‘ĀINAVIS Dataset, Consuelo Foundation and After Oceanic partnered with University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (Mehana Blaich Vaughan). Consuelo Foundation funded a graduate assistantship to support two graduate student researchers (Paul Santiago and Kaiqing “Anabell” Su), and a University of Hawai‘i economics student (Emi Kim) joined the research team. Currently, the team is conducting pre-engagement with stakeholders to present and discuss the dataset's findings.
2023 and Beyond
The team is now preparing for the launch of the 'ĀINAVIS intensive, a continuation and deepening of their mapping project, while gathering input and discussing their dataset's findings with stakeholders. Further details on the development of the 'ĀINAVIS intensive will be announced at a later date.
© 2023 ‘ĀINAVIS