Kalaupapa examines the history of misunderstanding and ostracism surrounding those afflicted with Hansen’s disease (leprosy) who were banished to the Kalaupapa peninsula on the north shore of Molokai, Hawaii from 1866-1969 (decades after treatment was available). Comprised of still, moving and archival images, and created during the final years of the last remaining patients, this project investigates the transition of the settlement from prison to hospital to National Historic Park and Museum. In the collision of the lush tropical landscapes—at once spectacular and mundane—with its problematic history, viewers encounter a neglected part of the American story.
Shannon Benine is an internationally exhibited, interdisciplinary artist working within photography, video and installation art. She received her MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her BFA in Photography and BA in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts from the University of Washington in Seattle. Benine's work has been widely exhibited and included in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and the National Centre of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. She has received grant support from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, Columbus College of Art & Design, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Midwest Society for Photographic Education and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Upcoming exhibitions in 2014 include the Columbus Museum of Art and the Urban Art Space Gallery at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Benine works as an Associate Professor of Photography & Multi Media at Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, Ohio