A Visual Anthropology Screening
Two Seasons: Multispecies Medicine in Mongolia
(2018, 95 mins) filmed by Dr Natasha Fijn
The Anthropological Society of Western Australia in collaboration with the Mongolian Association of Western Australia, Murdoch University and the Mongolia Institute - Australian National University is pleased to present a Visual Anthropology Screening. This is an experience you won't want to miss.
When: 5:30-8:00pm 24 November 2018
Where: The Loft (Building 425.3.001), Murdoch University, 90 South St Murdoch WA
Herding families in the Khangai Mountains of Mongolia live in extreme climatic conditions and are crucially reliant on their herd animals for survival. This multispecies-based filmic analysis engages with more-than-human sociality and perceptions towards other beings. The concept of one’s homeland (nutag) and a strong sense of place are crucially important to herders. The documentary focuses on three different locations, or homelands, filmed in spring and then again in autumn (hence the title ‘Two Seasons’). In spring the focus is on the birth of newborn animals and increasing immunity, sometimes through bloodletting to prevent illness, while in autumn the focus is on preparing hay for winter and collecting medicinal herbs. Layering the two seasons with the three locations means the 95-minute film is structurally divided into six separate parts: Ganbaa visiting his homeland in spring; Nara’s homeland in spring; Bor and Bömbög’s homeland in spring, then returning again to all three communities in autumn. The film conveys how medicinal knowledge is passed on through practical forms of mentorship within these extended families.
About Dr Natasha Fijn
Natasha Fijn is an ethnographic researcher and observational filmmaker. Her ethnographic fieldwork has been based in the Khangai Mountains of Mongolia and Arnhem Land in northern Australia, involving human-animal connections and concepts of domestication. She was awarded a Fejos Fellowship in Ethnographic Film, funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation to make 'Two Seasons' during 2017. She was a research fellow within an international team ‘Domestication in the Era of the Anthropocene’ at the Centre for Advanced Studies in Oslo in 2016. Earlier, she held a College of the Arts and Social Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the ANU (2011-2014). Part of this project 'Encountering Animals' included the making of a film 'Yolngu Homeland' (2015). She has edited a number of themed issues on visual anthropology and observational filmmaking. A monograph, Living with Herds: human-animal coexistence in Mongolia, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011.