Here's a little art piece that I created for the #OurOtherMother campaign that will officially kickstart on the UK's Mother's Day celebration. Mother's Day is celebrated on different dates depending on which country you are based in but it is celebrated every March in Serbia (in May for the Philippines ). #OurOtherMother is a great initiative that invites creative individuals to make art celebrating our planet Earth. The campaign also puts in the forefront climate issues and how we all need to get involved. Anyone can participate and I created mine with my Mindanaoan and rendered the main character of my next book, Coy, in there too.
I specifically ensured that there is a representation of the indigenous community in my art as I truly believe that Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices in climate mitigation have critical roles to play. I wrote a little article about it before but sadly, the material did not gain traction. I will share a bit of it here just to give you an idea of what was being discussed in the article that I was writing.
"Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices or IKSPs are orally transmitted local knowledge, know-how, and representations developed over generations to guide communities in their innumerable interactions with the natural environment (Nakashima and Roué, 2002; Donato-Kinomis, 2016). For centuries, it has played an organic role in the interplay of local communities with their changing environment, making local ways of life that are connected to food production, forestry development, healthcare, land and resource management, both sustainable and practical (Sultana et. al., 2018; Nakashima and Roué, 2002; Conklin, 1954).
In the Philippines, IKSPs of the indigenous peoples (IPs) and the indigenous cultural communities (ICCs) are considered valuable accumulated resources “of age-old traditional cultural methods and beliefs in medicine, genetic resources, ecology, art and language” (Sanchez, 2019). Protective measures, like the Republic Act No. 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), have been legally put in place to prevent misappropriation of cultural heritage as well as to encourage tradition-based creations and innovations. Despite this and IKSPs’ adaptive faculty, it remains fairly unacknowledged in the field of disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM), just as how heritage generally is (Stanton-Geddes and Soz, 2017).
According to the Sendai Framework discussions, while DRRM agenda in many countries has expanded to include different disciplines that collaborate with various stakeholders, local or national strategies have yet to methodically integrate cultural heritage issues and capacity (UN, 2015). DRRM remains fragmented and several stakeholders are still not incorporated into the decision-making process (Abedin and Shaw, 2015), including some representatives from the cultural heritage sector.
Cultural heritage is continuously being rendered vulnerable to disasters (some media-covered examples: Solly, 2018; The Straits Times, 2016; Balkan Insight, 2018; Muños-Alfonso, 2016; Chatelard, 2017, Stanton-Geddes and Soz, 2017). Both man-induced and natural disasters can cause tremendous damage and loss to heritage collections, archives, and historical infrastructures that are of great cultural and socio-economic significance to local and national communities (WHC-UNESCO). Yet, there is still little attention given to the policies and processes recommended for the safeguarding of cultural heritage, especially the IKSPs and its ‘tradition keepers’ from risks associated with disasters. In fact, ‘high risk’ countries have yet to incorporate a more inclusive approach in their DRRM framework.
Although many countries have made headway in DRRM, most frameworks remain passive towards the immediate protection of cultural heritage during the emergency phase, despite gearing towards preparedness, and treating cultural heritage separate from the principal curators who are the indigenous people."