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Independent Curators International supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement.

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Omehen: The Garden as Chronicle and Strategy of Resistance

On Sep 1, 2022

Manila, Philippines

Omehen: The Garden as Chronicle and Strategy of Resistance, 2019-ongoing

A project based in Metro Manila, Philippines including audio testimonies and stories from the garden; original drawings and paintings from the Lumad Bakwit Schools; photos by Alfred Marasigan and Karl Castro Organized in collaboration with the Lumad Bakwit Schools, Alfred Marsigan, Karl Castro, and Ateneo de Manila University


The project Omehen (which means “harvest” in Manobo Talaingod, the Indigenous language of the Mindanao region in the south of the Philippines) was conceived by Alfred Marasigan, Karl Castro, and Guelan Luarca in collaboration with the Lumad Indigenous community in exile in Manila. Following the bombing of Lumad schools during the ongoing armed conflict in Mindanao, the Lumad people found refuge in various academic institutions in Manila, including the Ateneo de Manila University, where the artists teach.

Harvesting is an integral part of the cosmological practice of the Lumad communities, and therefore fundamental to their systems of education and knowledge sharing. Thus, the artists worked together with members of the Lumad community and students of the University to create a space of harvest within the academic institution and to facilitate the continuation of this practice and the mutual sharing of knowledges. Over the course of a year, the artists, students, and Lumad communities engaged in artistic and agricultural practice together. In response to the ideas of Notes for Tomorrow, the project Omehen was invited to present this ongoing work, which operates at the intersection of Indigenous knowledges, food security, forms of precarity and labor, and addresses questions that are central to thinking about the worlds to come.

 – Abhijan Toto (based in Bangkok, Thailand)


PODCAST

The accompanying audio includes testimonies and stories from the gardens as learning sites. For more updates from the Lumad Bakwit Students, follow Save Our Schools Network on Instagram to help, donate, and connect.

English transcripts are available for the following episodes: Sayaw sa Papel/Paper Dance and Omehen 2021 Update.

Continue listening on Spotify or anchor.fm.


Omehen is one of the artistic projects included in Notes for Tomorrow, a traveling exhibition organized and produced by Independent Curators International. The exhibition was made possible with the generous support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, VIA Art Fund, and ICI’s Board of Trustees and International Forum.

 

 

 

Artist
Omehen
Omehen: The Garden as Chronicle and Strategy of Resistance (2019-present) is an ongoing experimental collaboration that focuses on the creation, maintenance, and distribution of a precarious vegetable garden in Ateneo de Manila University.