• Ngaio Simmons

Keep moving forward into the good life - day#4

We opened the fourth session with more thoughts on self-care before launching straight into continued production and the in-person team getting some of their first shots for their film.

Their film is a documentary and they’re using an interview style. In our closing circle from the third session, they said one of the messages they wanted to get across was that they hope other young people get to learn about reproductive justice and health and the importance of having this knowledge early on in order to live a more informed, healthy life. Much of the day was spent interviewing Tanya and Grace about reproductive and sexual health and justice and dealing with the busy sounds of metropolitan Honolulu that inevitably would make their way into the room from time to time.


As they filmed, the hustle of bodies and cars going to and from work, lunch, coffee, summer vacation, and UH can be heard going steady outside.


It’s a strange sensation to sit inside the calm of Waiwai while the team is creating this piece dedicated to educating young people on the importance of reproductive justice and the necessity of human rights and have it juxtaposed with the capitalist-driven, colonially-maintained machine in what is now known as Honolulu.


How people run themselves ragged to be able to barely survive in one of the most expensive places to live in the so-called U.S. How having several jobs is the norm in Hawaiʻi and most people don’t bat an eye when Kānaka Maoli are forced to leave their homeland because they can’t even afford to live here. To live at home. In the ʻāina that is both blood home and literal ancestor. Because tourists and corporate greed say that high rises and shopping malls are more important. That private beaches, hotels, and forced smiles are the things that matter more than keiki o ka ʻāina.


I think once again about how Grace and Tanya reminded us that reproductive justice is about the ability to give birth and raise a family safely and with agency, but also it is about the ability to just live and live well. That RJ is also about those of us who are already living. That it is about challenging and taking down all of the things that detracted from a good life for our ancestors and that continue to detract from us now, like capitalism, colonization, racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia, Indigenous displacement, anti-Blackness, and everything in between.


These things impede a good life from taking on its fullest form for many of us and we see it running rampant in places like the machine of Honolulu. And places like this and the whole of places like the U.S. continent show us that we have so much work to do in order to create that path to a good life for all of us.


And so I look forward to what these films have to say. Where they ask us to go and what they ask us to do. How they encourage us to keep moving forward into the good life.