The end of the road. Kalapana lies in the heart of the Puna district of Hawaii Island. I’ve heard it described as the last vestige of the Wild West, where there is practically no law. Where people go missing regularly, where hitchhiking is common, and where the road is frequently in danger of being cut off by a river of lava from the volcano.
In 1990 Kalapana was overrun by a major lava flow that originated in the Pu’u ‘O’o Crater. Kilauea razed the historic fishing village and left behind a vast expanse of Pahoehoe. Almost 30 years later, there are still people living in Kalapana. Rugged homes equipped with small catchment tanks and solar panels are spread out along Highway 130, and throughout the Kalapana Gardens subdivision. In this small town in the heart of Puna, a determined community is redefining what it means to live alternatively. These are their homes.
Michael Amato is a fine art photographer, emerging artist, and recent graduate of the University of Connecticut. Much of his work carries a central theme of paranoia; regarding his concern with the advancement of technology and its impact on the human mind and society, issues of privacy loss in an age of virtual transparency, and the impact of fear culture in the western world. Other bodies of work focus on cultures and ways of living that fascinate him.