Who are we?
Wolf & Woman Collective is a visual storytelling company based on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi. The collective was founded by Marie Eriel Hobro (a documentary photographer and filmmaker raised between Maryland, Mililani, and Wahiawā) and Caesar Caberto Jr. (an illustrator raised between Molokaʻi and Wahiawā) in 2018.
Our main goal with Wolf & Woman is to dismantle the stereotypes associated with Hawaiʻi. For decades, national media and entertainment have portrayed the islands as a one-dimensional, picture-perfect paradise. In Hollywood, films and TV shows appropriate deeply sacred Native Hawaiian traditions, such as the hula, for sheer entertainment. For national media outlets, stories about Hawaiʻi are limited to travel guides and listicles. This harmful fixation has left little room for accurate coverage, leaving those overseas without real knowledge of local and Hawaiian culture.
As locals who were raised on this land, we feel a deep responsibility towards changing these narratives. We want to educate the national public about the realities of our home, showing that we are more than Waikīkī, surfing, pineapples, and Aloha shirts. Our team consists of creatives in Hawaiʻi who firmly believe in this mission. Together, we strive to produce thought-provoking, visually-captivating work about our home that challenge the stereotypical norms.
Note: Our non-profit work with our youth programs will now be done under Creatives of Hawaiʻi, an initiative set to launch by 2020. This initiative will feature an online database of Hawaiʻi-based creatives, host community events, and offer free youth art programs. Please check our News page for updates about the organization leading up to our launch.
Logo by Caesar Caberto Jr.
Our Visual Storytelling Work
Our visual storytelling team specializes in a variety of mediums, ranging from photography and filmmaking to illustration and graphic design. We are available for hire throughout the Hawaiian islands
Our community organizing work
Our prior work with youth, which will now be done under Creatives of Hawaiʻi, can also be seen below.
the realities of hawaiʻi
For Hawaiʻi locals, there is no time for paradise. Despite being indigenous to Hawaiʻi, the Native Hawaiian people have suffered through centuries of abuse, enduring through the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom, the banishment of speaking ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, the ongoing desecration of Mauna a Wākea (the most sacred mountain to Native Hawaiians), the bombing of Kahoʻolawe, and the ongoing appropriation of their culture in media and entertainment. Prior to the arrival of Captain James Cook in 1778, there were 683,000 Native Hawaiians in Hawaiʻi. There are now only 21% of Native Hawaiians left in Hawaiʻi and 33% of full-blooded Native Hawaiians total in the country.
Many believe that all people in Hawaiʻi are Hawaiian, but this is incorrect. In addition to Native Hawaiians and mixed Hawaiian locals living here, Hawaiʻi is primarily made up of local residents of Filipino, Japanese, Samoan, Chinese, Micronesian, and various other Asian and Pacific Islander backgrounds. When referring to a non-Hawaiian person living in Hawaiʻi, the proper term is local, kamaʻaina, or resident. The term Hawaiian is reserved for people with Native Hawaiian or Kānaka ʻŌiwi blood.
Regardless of cultural background, almost everyone in Hawaiʻi is living in a time of financial hardship, which has resulted in the mass displacement of Native Hawaiian locals and non-Hawaiian locals. Many locals have moved to Las Vegas in search of cheaper living and better jobs, earning the city its nickname, “The Ninth Island”. Those who choose to stay have no other choice but to pack multiple generations into a tiny apartment or house, live with their parents until late adulthood, and/or work multiple jobs in order to make ends meet. Tourists now outnumber local residents by 6 to 1 and Native Hawaiians by 30 to 1.
hawai’i’s economic crisis
Hawaiʻi workers earn less than the national average, with minimum wage only being $10.10 per hour. When you factor in the cost of living, residents in Honolulu make the lowest salaries in the nation.
For basic living costs, single adults need to make a minimum of $15.39 per hour, single adults with one child need to make $27.18 per hour, and two adults with two children need to make $16.42 per hour each.
While the national median income in the U.S. is $61,372, a family of four in Hawaiʻi qualifies as low-income if they receive a yearly salary of $96,000 or less. Single individuals qualify as low-income if they make a yearly salary of $67,500 or less.
Hawai’i’s housing crisis
Hawaiʻi currently has the overall highest homeless rate per capita in the nation. Despite being indigenous, Native Hawaiians make up around 42% of this population.
In order to afford a one-bedroom unit at $1,458 a month, a Hawaiʻi renter needs to make at least $28.04 per hour, work 111 hours per week, and have 2.8 jobs. Yet the average renter only makes $16.68 an hour, which is just barely enough to cover living costs.
There are more than 23,000 vacation rentals in Hawaiʻi, with 10% of them sitting vacant throughout most of the year. Meanwhile, middle-class and low-income residents are stuck in an affordable housing crisis.