Miki‘ala Catalfano is a Native Hawaiian artist and traditional hula dancer from O’ahu, Hawai’i now living in Redding, California. She is a founder of the Native Arts Cultural Collective, a member of the Advocates for the Protection of Sacred Sites, and a staunch supporter and protector of places, creatures, and lifeways that support all life.
ABOUT THE WORK: (Coral series)
“In the Kumulipo, the Creation Story of Native Hawaiians, coral is the first life that emerged from the moist darkness. Long treasured by our people, studies are now linking our DNA to coral.
Coral is also one of many bioindicators of the health – or sickness – of our planet. In one of a dizzying number of examples, over 60% of the coral “cities” of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have been bleached white, as a result of climate change and the rising temperatures of water. These temperatures are inhospitable to the algae that live in symbiosis with the coral, and so they leave the coral, taking with them the food, color and balance upon which the rest of the ecosystem depends, including unique cancer treatments humans have come to depend on. All this is happening in a very short period of time.
We are at a juncture where we as humans need to heed what corals, our na’au (our gut), modern science and so many bioindicators are telling us. Act. Act for the survival of our species, because the world will go on – with or without us.
When the incoming administration takes office, what will happen to our environmental policies – as well as other issues important to all people: the rights and safety of women, the LGBT community, and Peoples of Color, not to mention national security?
If you think you can do nothing, you are wrong. Look at David and Goliath, look at Frodo and Sauron, look at your mother or your aunt or sister who survived breast cancer… They succeeded with impossible odds. Every story has a grain of truth in it. What is your story?”