Alisi Telengut: Lake Baikal: Re-animating Animism

By re-animating and re-storying an indigenous perspective on human and other-than-humans, the project reclaims the idea of animism and entails a rejection of the anthropocentric point of view since the time of modernity.

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Through a series of natural phenomena, Lake Baikal in Siberia, as the deepest fresh water lake in the world, was formed about 25 million years ago. According to the cosmology of the indigenous Buryat people, an eagle transformed into the first shaman along the lake shore where humans and other-than-humans are experienced in an inter-dependent and animate community.

With hand-painted imagery and mixed media, the film explores sympoietic and dynamic relationships of human-nature, and human and non-humans. In our contemporary moment of climate change and ecological degradations, it reclaims animism by putting foreground the indigenous and non-anthropocentric ontologies with a decolonial approach.