He Au Hou is a series of workshops on creative writing and art for this new au, this new era, we live in, but also to push the au, the current, in new directions. Hawaiians have long assimilated new technologies into our cultural practice and used them in ways that served Hawaiian purposes. He Au Hou continues these traditions of innovation and excellence fostered in us by our kūpuna, giving voice to the younger generations to tell our mo‘olelo in new ways.

Sign Up for the Comic Workshop


Though still often dismissed as a “kids” genre, comics and other graphic narratives have long been a sophisticated and impactful medium for telling powerful stories. The potent combination of image and written word give authors and artists great flexibility to build immersive multi-sensory worlds in which to showcase their stories. Hawaiian mo‘olelo, both traditional and newly conceived, are especially fit for the graphic narrative format, allowing the author and the audience to imagine worlds founded on Hawaiian values and beliefs and seen through the lens of our cultural worldview.

With this in mind, Kealaiwikuamo‘o on behalf of Kanaeokana: The Kula Hawai‘i Network is putting on a workshop for Hawaiian students in the UH system with the renowned comic book author Marjorie Liu. Liu is a New York Times bestselling author, author/creator of the critically acclaimed series Monstress, and author of several issues of Han Solo, Astonishing X-Men, X-23, Dark Wolverine, Daken, Nyx, and Black Widow. In this 90 minute workshop, Liu will give an overview of the power of the comics medium, cover the basics of scriptwriting, take the students through a writing exercise, and then hold a q&a session to talk about her experiences in the comics industry.

No artistic talent or experience writing comics is necessary. You just have to be interested and ready to learn. This workshop is for anyone who is interested in:

  • telling stories from a Hawaiian point of view
  • learning about the power of graphic narrative
  • using art to serve the lāhui
  • carving out Hawaiian spaces in new media

When: March 10, 2017 11am-12:30pm
Where: Kuykendall Hall 409, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Registration Link: https://tinyurl.com/heauhou-comics
Questions: Kamaoli Kuwada, brkuwada@ksbe.edu


Hawaiians have long embraced new technologies to tell our mo‘olelo. When we began our move towards widespread alphabetic literacy in the 1820s, the wooden Ramage press that had come over with the missionaries was cutting edge technology. Today the digital realm is an ‘āina many of us inhabit, and we have to ensure that our mo‘olelo and worldview shape this virtual landscape. With the proliferation of easily accessible digital and social media, it is more important than ever that we are the ones telling our own stories. We want to empower our youth to be more than just consumers of these new technologies, but creators and builders as well.

Kealaiwikuamo‘o, on behalf of Kanaeokana: The Kula Hawai‘i Network, is partnering with AbTeC: Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace & Initiative to Indigenous Futures (IIF) to put on He Au Hou: Telling Mo‘olelo Through Video Games. This inaugural workshop brings together scholars, artists, technologists, and practitioners to plant seeds for the future, carving out space for Kānaka Maoli in the cyber world, and giving new mana to our mo‘olelo.

Through He Au Hou, AbTeC+IIF  will present a unique curriculum that begins with traditional storytelling and proceeds to teach participants how to tell a story in a very new way—through virtual environments and video games. With that foundation in place, the students then learn important skills for the production of video games and virtual environments, such as game design, art direction, 3D modeling and animation, sound, and computer programming. The workshops are taught by a mix of game-industry professionals, indigenous artists, and a core team of senior students from Concordia University in Montreal.

By the end of the workshops, the students will have created a playable video game based on a Hawaiian mo‘olelo, which can be further developed and polished after the workshop. Besides the important training mentioned above, some participants will be invited to facilitate future workshops and projects, ensuring that we create generational abundance in this virtual ‘āina the same way we do on our real-world ‘āina, with kaikua‘ana nurturing kaikaina, all for the benefit of the lāhui.

Aloha ‘āina and the drive to perpetuate our mo‘olelo are the main criteria for workshop participants, so no technical experience is necessary. But students (must be 18-years old and over by July 17) who have backgrounds in the areas below, are especially encouraged to apply for the limited spaces:

  • culturally grounded storytelling/writing/filmmaking
  • graphic design/concept art
  • 3d modeling/animation
  • game/level design
  • programming
  • sound/music

When: July 17-Aug 4
Where: Hālau ‘I-nana (2482 S Beretania St)
Application Link: https://tinyurl.com/heauhou-videogames
Questions: Kamaoli Kuwada, brkuwada@ksbe.edu
Video: AbTec _IIF/Skins, https://vimeo.com/47593267

Sign Up for the Video Game Workshop