Indigenous Pasts, Sustainable Futures

Nepal’s ancient culture was largely shielded from the outside world until the 1950s. Today, the country’s economy relies heavily on aid and tourism. As a result of increasing openness to the world, the country’s environment has suffered the effects of agricultural encroachment, deforestation, soil erosion, contamination of the water supply and significant air pollution.

This project brings the documentation, archiving, and exhibition of Nepalese indigenous histories to bear on contemporary concerns of climate change and sustainability. Through on-site residencies, artists and researchers have connected with marginalised communities, learning about their production techniques, practices, material culture, environment and identities.

This is a collaborative project that defers to the experiences of Nepal’s indigenous people. It prioritises knowledge that is drawn from an intimate harmony with forests, flora and fauna, and recognises the insight of indigenous people into ecological and political exploitation. Recovering their perspective and relationship to the environment is an act of redress, which seeks a collaborative, alternative way to dwell on and with the Earth.