I am a Farmer

Meet the artist: U`ilani Arasato



You should stop and listen as the `āina is trying to speak.

Screaming for a voice to be heard over planning and development.

Can you hear it?

Building blocks stacked on top of their rich soils that came from the work of our kupuna before us.

Dirt stained hands emended into the creases of our ‘āina.

Can you feel it?

Over turned lifestyles and agreements between Ali’i and Maka’āi’nana as promised to work the land for generations to come.

But where is our land?

Farmers that fight for the right to produce food for you.

I am a farmer.

Holding strength and determination in my left hand, a pick and pencil in my right, while love respect and the willingness to work resides in my heart.

I am a farmer.

Concrete mixes bury my boots as I stand here and fight.

What about us?

100 new jobs that they paint in our minds, even though they know we will never be able to reach them.

Potential drained bodies wait for answers as promises are being broken, from people who don’t even know my first name, from people who don’t even bother to stick around to listen to what I have to say

As money hungry monsters rip their claws of envy into our land, blindly leading us into a deep bucket filled with other a’ama crabs trying to fight its way out.

With no guaranteed of our future or a life line to hep pull us out

What is the point.

You say this is our future then why is it so dark.

Causing chaos upon chaos at intersecting roads that can never be re-routed, causing inconveniences to us as it convenience others

Spending money we don’t have, on things we don’t need… Why?

You say that the youth can’t be farmers even as we picket outside your homes shouting that we are here.

Learning like our kupuna were trying.

Instilling values that we partake in our every day lives.

Handing us educations that we alone could never afford.

See this is my future.

Having opportunities that we can grasp and hold on to, while working our minds and bodies to its fullest extent.

Just trying to make it out on top like every body else.

But still with your signatures and forced handshakes you ignore our hard work as we struggle, striving for a better tomorrow for our children and our children’s children, see I hope that one day my children will be able to see all of this but how when soon the ‘āina will be covered in concrete, and they will never see the opportunities that was given to me.

It will never cease to exist.

See I am a farmer and like my kupuna I now this, when you plan for 1 year you plant kalo, when you plan for 5 you plant koa, and if your planning for 10 years or more you teach the keiki how to Mā’lama ‘āina and in return the ‘āina will take care of them.

So when you ever find time between your busy schedules, stop try to listen to the ‘āina because I promise you will hear it as it is trying to speak to you.

So push aside your signatures and forced handshakes and listen to me.

My name is Uʻilani. I am a farmer, who are you?

Credits: Video performance by Educational Media Center, Leeward Community College; video interview by Kamalani Hurley, Pūpū A ʻO ʻEwa; post feature photo from Maʻo Organic Farms

3 thoughts on “I am a Farmer

  1. Uʻilani, this is SO powerful. Not only the words but your enactment. Mahalo nui for the wake up call. Aloha, Stephanie

    1. Mahalo Stephanie for the encouragement and support. I do really love this piece it is one of my most rotor and In touch of all my pieces.

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