'An ecological discourse' is envisioned to be a trilogy of short films based on three seasons (grazing, non-grazing and monsoon), which emerges from the perspective of grazing and human-nonhuman entanglements in the landscape in times of climate crisis. So far I have completed one video chapter (titled Scream) out of two chapters. Scream emerges from that season in the year when grazing of goats ceases as grazing commons transform to mono crop farmland and foraging for domesticated non humans takes complex forms, considering many more herders of cows and goats in my village gets constricted with lesser access to grass/plants for their animals. The remaining two video chapters will be in collaboration with my goat/cow grazing colleagues, traditional sculptors in the village who makes animal figurines during the harvest festival (elements of which will be incorporated into the making of the videos) and ritual based musical performers (elements of which will be incorporated into the making of the videos).
I envision these three video chapters to evoke a rethinking of anthropocentric narratives on landscape with the hope that this stimulates and radicalizes new ways of actions in the near future in times of climate emergency. While the project forays into the contested ecosphere, it will also delve into the nuances of the socio political and gender realities within human societies with specific focus on my wider village, which forms as micro lens. The landscape here is the reference to understand enmeshed human hegemonies and its implications in the ecosphere.
After the completion of the short films, I intend to show them in local schools and colleges in my village and other institutes for a wider engagement, whereby a discourse can kickstart to rethink grazing and its entrapped gender and class biases within my village and in wider India. The intent is to open a dialogue around landscape and our complex relationship with it and why such a discourse is crucial today.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (June 2023)