every now and then, i come across a project that goes beyond the usual concerts, ragers, and fashion i’m ankle-deep in. i’ve got some remarkable friends both old and new, and they are all out there doing incredible things. last week thursday, a bunch of my friends got together and helped to organize, host, perform at, and be on a panel for a fundraiser / documentary film screening dedicated to asian american activist, attorney, and singer-songwriter extraordinaire chris iijima. the film was directed by tad nakamura, an extremely talented and all around nice guy. the panel took place at the university of hawai`i at manoa, and film screenings were held at UH as well as nextdoor. also, besides being a panelist at UH, bambu performed a set at UH, along with eyeAsage and nomi. these california-based asian american activists and musicians came all the way down here to perform and help fundraise for the chris iijima endowment fund. also on the panel was the ridiculouslydope (so dope the words ate the space between them, yes) ara laylo, prof. mari matsuda, and malama minn. these panelists have done so much in their respective fields and it was a humbling experience to see and hear them speak about issues that affect us all.
the arts and culture that i normally cover on honozooloo collided head-on with the independent, conscious hip hop that i normally listen to and support, then somehow those two communities managed to railroad their way into academia and political activism. it was an event that made perfect sense while still seeming totally unlikely, if that makes any sense. i was privileged to be included at a pre-event friends and family BBQ, the panel at UH, and the screening and performance at nextdoor. rather than separating these distinct events into different sets i thought i’d present the images from all three in one gallery. this event wasn’t just about remembering a great human being, it was about forming lasting relationships and working together to take one small step towards making the world a better place.
this was the best, most positive, rewarding thing i’ve gotten to cover in a long time, and i met some really, really great people. i could go on and on…but i’ll keep it short.