Set in an Indigenous Yakthung nation in Nepal, Ningwasum follows two time-travellers, Miksam and Mingsoma, who return to the present from a future where interplanetary civilisations are thriving and living sustainably by adopting Indigenous knowledge and technology. The fragility of our current ecosystem is portrayed in aerial shots and documentary footage of Himalayan glaciers, imbued with an ethereal blue filter. These are woven with digital cosmic landscapes and an immersive soundtrack, which includes electronic sound, spoken word, and folksongs.
Inspired by ancient oral traditions, the film is narrated entirely in the Indigenous Yakthungpan, which the artist imagines as a vital language for the future. Ningwasum – which loosely translates as ‘memory’ in Yakthungpan – explores notions of time, memory and space, and how these shape reality. Limbu has theorised his approach to science fiction as ‘Adivasi Futurism’: a space where Nepalese Indigenous people and artists can imagine themselves in a future of their own making, driven by their culture and traditions.
Mangdem’ma: an invocation for the healing of Adivasi spirits and lands explores the historical fragmentation of the Adivasi Indigenous community in Nepal under postcolonial national identities. The film overlays cartographic and archival material, as well as found and documentary footage, with the voices of Indigenous activists to map the shifting patterns of movement of the Adivasi community, their relationship to ancestral lands and how kinship structures have been altered.
- Introduction by the artist
- Mekh Limbu Subba, Mangdem’ma: an invocation for the healing of Adivasi spirits and lands 2022, video, colour, sound, 10 min, Yakthung and Nepali with English subtitles
- Subash Thebe Limbu, Ningwasum 2021, 4K video, colour, sound, 44 min, Yakthung with English subtitles
- Conversation with Subash Thebe Limbu