Researching Indigenous Peoples

Keen to get back on track as soon as possible, I began to review my research again. In hindsight, I can see that my project aims were too vague and were probably too generally linked to nature. Inspired by the wide reading carried out for my dissertation, I too quickly settled upon the topic ‘reconnecting with nature’,  which without specifying further , was just too broad. This resulted in a piece which lacked clear direction and depth, which was only ever likely to elicit a shallow response from the viewer. For a contemporary piece to be effective, it must ask specific questions, in order to fully challenge the viewer. 

I picked up Jay Griffiths ‘Wild’ book again which had had such a huge impact on me in the Autumn. In it he describes the lives of various indigenous peoples and how they live their lives so much more in harmony with nature. They stand as a symbol of a relationship lost to us. Yet we have even put this in jeopardy  through relentless deforestation, the building of dams and the destruction of their natural habitats. When making contact with these cultures over the last few centuries, we have saught to civilise tribes, arrogantly assuming that our western beliefs and culture are superior. Completely disregarding and overlooking their traditions and beliefs that have been handed down generation after generation, which have taught them how to live respectfully with nature. For me these people clearly represent an alternative way.


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