Since Sinchi opened up the small grants fund for indigenous storytellers in early 2018, we have received many fantastic and valuable applications from indigenous initiatives all over the world using media and storytelling as a means to document and/or spread their native cultures. Our funding to grant these initiatives are thus far limited, so we are forced to make a selection of those that seem most influential, unique and urgent. We put special emphasis on supporting indigenous people with a passion to create a contemporary indigenous culture that is both resilient towards the influences of modern society yet is willing to embraces technical and innovative advancements to its advantage and its own special way. We believe, and so do many indigenous storytellers with us, that collaboration and building bridges is an important vehicle to get those native voices heard.
Some of those young and passionate storytellers within our Sinchi Fund are Edgar, an indigenous photographer from the Xakriaba tribe in Brazil, Adams Nomi, indigenous photographer from Papua New Guinea, and recent addition Asmita Shrish, female indigenous film maker from Nepal. Asmita kicked off in july with a workshop series for indigenous people who aspire to document their native culture in Nepal through films and documentaries. Those times when indigenous people were closed off from modern developments are largely behind us, many of them live in the big cities, looking for ways to keep their ancient identities alive.
Indigenous media isn’t only important for indigenous people to preserve their cultural expression, it can also be used to reflect indigenous values and to prevent the development of myths and misconceptions. By being visible through media, indigenous peoples have the possibility to build bridges between cultures and contribute to a multi cultural global society that acknowledges indigenous peoples as equal.
The workshops conducted by Asmita Shrish are a part of the Federation of Indigenous Nationalities Film (FINFI) Festival, a festival of films made by Indigenous Filmmakers of Nepal, based in and outside of the country. The aim of this workshop is to engage young indigenous filmmakers into telling their own stories. It consists of two parts; the Practical Art of Filmmaking and ‘Discourse on Storytelling as a tool for empowerment’.
Being an Indigenous Filmmaker herself, Asmita’s main mission is to increase the awareness of indigenous voices therefore contributions to the film, television and interactive industries, and to provide integral services to the local and global industries. This workshop includes training young and emerging talented indigenous filmmakers from Nepal, as well as providing professional development opportunities to more senior filmmakers, producers and creators.