I am delighted to be involved in Deep Ecologies, a collaboration between Undead Matter, Strelka Institue, Mimosa House, and local partners across Siberia and researchers in the field such as the Melnikov permafrost institutes, a shaman from Lake Baikal area as well as researchers and anthropologists in the region. The project aims to increase awareness of the urgent reality of the melting permafrost with a focus on Lake Baikal and the ancient history of organisms contained within the frozen soil. It consists of podcasts, written conversations and creative collaborations between artists and those with a specialist – scientific or indigenous – knowledge of the permafrost.
I was one of the British artists involved in the project. Inspired by the knowledge and wisdom from the exchange with Siberian local partners. I wrote a poem and made a video poem which were supposed to be hosted on the Deep Ecologies website. Unfortunately, due to the Ukrainian-Russian war, the project has been suspended by the foreign office. The podcast episode, however, will be released by MACBA Barcelona. Details please see below.
I am very pleased that the podcast episode recorded with researcher Sayana Namsaraeva, initiated and organised by Undead Matter, will be released with MACBA Barcelona. Link will follow below.
Undead Matter, a series by Sophie Williamson, is an unfolding conversation about where life lies in the ever-turning matter of our universe, as it rhythmically resurfaces over millennia.
For the fourth episode, we delve into animated landscapes that surround Lake Baikal, the deepest and oldest freshwater lake on the planet. Artist, Bo Choy speaks with Sayana Namsaraeva, an anthropologist from the Republic of Buryatia, south-east Siberia bordering Mongolia, whose work focuses on the indigenous cosmologies of the people from her region.
Their conversation considers the intimate connection between these largely untouched landscapes and the rich fabric of belief systems, indigenous cosmologies, oral traditions and mythologies that emerge from them. From shared and diverging influences from pre-Buddhism shamanisms, Chinese and Mongolian Buddhisms, Feng Shui and ancient eastern philosophies, Choy and Namsaraeva discuss the spirit-life of these lands as they rub up against planetary climate urgencies and contemplate how ancient wisdoms can have a vital role in the local and global relational ecologies we must form for the future.