Cross Currents: Journey to Asian Environments

Cross Currents: Journey to Asian Environments

With water as central theme and imagery, the documentary takes its viewers across five Asian ecological sites and shows how local inhabitants, often without scientific help, have developed indigenous ways in taking care of their environments in the face of natural and man-made calamities. Two stand out among the region’s most notable responses: spirituality and community action. Across the region, spirituality has been seen as Asian people’s first line of action toward environmental threat, finding expressions in various ways from the shamanism observed among native Ivatans in a fishing village in Batanes (Philippines) to the ethno-medicine practiced by orang aslis, or “the original people,” in the lakeshore community in Tasik Chini (Malaysia). But while spirituality forms a pervasive practice, local peoples are practical enough to take physical action in order to effect real change in their communities, whether it may be through the observance of merti code (or river cleaning) in Yogyakarta (Indonesia), suan som rom (mixed orchard farming) in the mountain orchards of Khiriwong (Thailand), or the seasonal cleaning of irrigation canals in a farming village in Mukugawa. (Japan). All these practices enjoin participatory community engagement in order for spirituality to become potent and for community actions to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. Heeding local environmental solutions practised by ordinary people living in communities that bear the brunt of nature’s destruction, these bearers of local wisdom may yet provide new perspectives that will give hope for survival in the evolving field of new ecology.

Cross Currents: Journey to Asian Environments

Synopsis

With water as central theme and imagery, the documentary takes its viewers across five Asian ecological sites and shows how local inhabitants, often without scientific help, have developed indigenous ways in taking care of their environments in the face of natural and man-made calamities. Two stand out among the region’s most notable responses: spirituality and community action. Across the region, spirituality has been seen as Asian people’s first line of action toward environmental threat, finding expressions in various ways from the shamanism observed among native Ivatans in a fishing village in Batanes (Philippines) to the ethno-medicine practiced by orang aslis, or “the original people,” in the lakeshore community in Tasik Chini (Malaysia). But while spirituality forms a pervasive practice, local peoples are practical enough to take physical action in order to effect real change in their communities, whether it may be through the observance of merti code (or river cleaning) in Yogyakarta (Indonesia), suan som rom (mixed orchard farming) in the mountain orchards of Khiriwong (Thailand), or the seasonal cleaning of irrigation canals in a farming village in Mukugawa. (Japan). All these practices enjoin participatory community engagement in order for spirituality to become potent and for community actions to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. Heeding local environmental solutions practised by ordinary people living in communities that bear the brunt of nature’s destruction, these bearers of local wisdom may yet provide new perspectives that will give hope for survival in the evolving field of new ecology.

Description

DCIM101GOPRO2012/Digital Documentary /72 mins/English Narration w/subtitles
Sc/D: Nick Deocampo;
EP: The Nippon Foundation, Tatsuya Tanami, API Regional Committee;
AP: Yeoh Seng Guan;
PM: Dicky Sofjan;
C: Nick Deocampo, Nana Buxani, Matt Sudario, Kaori Fushiki, Inoue Hajime, Muhammad Haris Efendi, Phuttiphong Aroonpheng, Yeoh Seng Guan;
E: Phyllis Grande;
SE: Nick Deocampo;
N: Neneng Arceo;
ASc: May Datuin;
M: Jeff Hernandez, Nani Naguit, Matt Sudario;
CGI: Roy Dadivas
Key Subject Areas:
Asia, Batanes, Climate Change, Disaster Management, Environment, Ethno-Medicine, Flood, Forest Management, Indigenous Knowledge, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Marine Resources, Mono-cropping, Nature, Pollution, Shamanism, Spirituality, Thailand, Water Resources