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Film: Mele Murals


Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA

Mele Murals is a documentary about the transformative power of modern graffiti art and ancient Hawaiian culture for a new generation of Native Hawaiians. Two graffiti artists—Estria Miyashiro and John Hina (“Prime”)—tell how their street art has taken them on personal journeys to discover their history, identity, and responsibilities as Hawaiian people. Estria, who left Hawai’i to study art in San Francisco, made a name for himself as an internationally known graffiti artist before returning to reconnect with his Hawaiian roots. Prime, who grew up in the projects and became one of the first kings of the Honolulu graffiti scene, left a life of hustling and drugs after the birth of his first child and returned to the art when he realized it was a way to help youth.

Through the stories of these two graffiti artists and their joint quest to uphold Hawaiian culture through mural making, Mele Murals shows how public art rooted in underground graffiti unexpectedly but powerfully fuses with Native Hawaiian traditions and contemporary life to have a dramatic effect on the students, the town of Waimea, and most of all, the artists.

Cosponsored by the Harvard University Native American Program and the Harvard Art Museums.

The screening will take place in Menschel Hall, Lower Level.

Free with museums admission

Support for this program is provided by the Richard L. Menschel Endowment Fund.