Hello Social History: Photographs by Ed Greevy

Jun 14, 2016

Providing a visual social history: Photographer Ed Greevy has documented pitched community battles, waged with both brutality and aloha since the mid-1960's. His photographs memorialize a kind of activism, capturing iconic moments and people, particularly from the mid-1960's-2000's.
Credit noe tanigawa

 

Waiahole-Waikane residents protest their eviction on the lawn of their landlord in Nu'uanu. April, 1976.
Credit Ed Greevy

  All the construction under way now recalls another period of intense development in Hawai‘i, from 1965-75.  During that go-go decade, tourism was booming, the Vietnam War contributed to military expenditures in Hawai‘i and real estate development went into high gear.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on a photographer who documented the period from a less privileged point of view.

(l-r) Mililani Trask, Puanani Burgess, and Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell, Greevy's early portrait of three activists who continued the struggle. Dr. Blaisdell passed away February 2016 after a long and fruitful life.
Credit Ed Greevy

  Ed Greevy's photo exhibition at KCC’s Lama Library has been extended through June 29, with a free public lecture set for this Friday, June 17, 11am.  

Ed Greevy speaks about his commitment to serving those whose voices are less heard.  Trained as as insurance executive in New York City, Greevy says he had to tone down his approach to get any pictures here-- meaning, he had to learn to listen.  

"My father always told me to fight for the underdog," says Greevy, and in Hawai'i of the mid-60's to mid-70's, that put him squarely in the middle of important social and political exchanges that continue to affect us today.  

For many, Ed Greevy's work documents the beginnings of the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement, which some date to the struggle over land in Kalama Valley in East Oahu.

These photographs must sing out from a host of distracting circumstances, but they do. Maybe that's because it is our shared history, what ever side you were on.  Pressured by a student, Greevy recommended a Sony A series camera as good for starters.   After that, no road maps. 

See more of Ed Greevy's photographs on Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library.

Free and open to the public.
Lama Library Summer Hours
Mon - Thurs: 8:00am - 6:00pm
Fri: 8:00am - 4:00pm
Sat & Sun: Closed

For more information, contact the Lama Library at 808.734.9359, or the Koa Art Gallery at 808.734.9374.

Kippy at Sand Island. December 1979.
Credit Ed Greevy

Greevy has amassed 60 thousand photographs of island life, they’re not the usual, however.

Greevy began by covering surfing related issues for John Kelly and Save our Surf, then moved easily into environmental and land use cases--Kalama Valley, Wai‘ahole and Waikane valleys, Niumalu and Nāwiliwili on Kaua‘i, Honolulu Chinatown evictions, Stop H-3 Freeway, Mākua valley, Mokauea Island, Sand Island, and Kaho‘olawe, among others.  

Greevy's photos have appeared in major local publications, and provide a unique perspective on  key activists and moments in history from the mid-1960's to virtually the present. His photographs are featured in two books, Kū‘ē : Thirty Years of Land Struggles in Hawai'i and A Nation Rising: Hawaiian Movements for Life, Land, and Sovereignty.