Lake Baikal: Re-Animating Animism

The artistic research project by Alisi Telengut puts indigenous epistemologies and experience at the forefront in order to challenge the anthropocentric and dualistic perspectives of modernity. It focuses on the animistic beliefs and explores the sympoietic human-animal-nature relationship of the Buryat Mongols around Lake Baikal in Siberia.

Project start:
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The notion of animism was emerged from the Western anthropology in the 19th century as a problematic term with colonialist ascriptions. After the term was long shunned within ethnology in the 20th century, it has taken on a new life in the past two decades with the movements of worldwide indigenous communities for environmental ethics and the rights of non-human materialities. The animistic idea is the world view that the world is full of persons, only some of whom are human, that life is always lived in relationship with others, and that objects, nature, or the entire cosmos, are perceived of as being alive, are treated as a "thou" rather than as an “it”.

By learning the redefined identity of the indigenous Buryat people, the project explores the complex, dynamic, situated and responsive “new animism” through theoretical investigations as well as creative art practice with a decolonial approach.

Project lead: Alisi Telengut

Contact: alisi.telengut(at)