Let The Mountain Speak

from Multimedia Library Collection:
Sound & Vision


Hereniko, Vilsoni. Let The Mountain Speak (in English and Hawaiian). Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema (NETPAC), USA, 2017. HD, 5 min. https://player.vimeo.com/video/215603997 and https://player.vimeo.com/video/215597231.

The controversy around Mauna Kea is similar to many other controversies in other parts of Oceania and the rest of the world. Deep sea mining, fisheries exploitation, strip mining, sacred rivers and hydroelectricity, and the rising of the seas over sacred lands – there is a seemingly endless list of comparable situations and places. By putting the clash over Mauna Kea under a microscope, we hope to bring into visibility various elements, influences and different worldviews that are in conflict, not just in this one controversy, but in similar others worldwide.



Did you ask me what I want?
Or are you going to speak for me?
I was here before you arrived
And I’ll be here today and tomorrow.
Some say I have eyes and teeth,
Others say I’m the perfect mountain,
But have you asked me what I want?

Lay down on the ground!
Feel my truth below your belly button
Then crawl on your hands and knees,
Climb to the top of my summit,
Where I wait patiently for your arrival,
To break you open.

Now that you’re broken open,
I will send you down.
Embrace your mothers and your fathers,
Your brothers and your sisters,
Your aunties and your uncles,
Your children,
Even your children’s children.
See enemies with new eyes!
That’s when you’ll hear,
What I want.

— Vilsoni Hereniko and Philipp Schorch

The poem is part of an academic paper titled “The Wind, the Canoe, and the Mountain: Shunting the Rashomon Effect of Maunakea” by Vilsoni Hereniko and Philipp Schorch, published by “Pacific Islands Report.”