Omehen: The Garden as Chronicle and Strategy of Resistance, 2019-ongoing Audio testimonies and stories from the garden

Organized in collaboration with the Lumad Bakwit Schools, Alfred Marasigan, Karl Castro, Ateneo de Manila University, and Independent Curators International.

Abhijan Toto
(based in Bangkok, Thailand)

Omehen podcast on Spotify // Download Transcripts

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 (presented here as audio testimonies and archival materials), 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.