Ainu Hunter, Mon-chan, 2020, Video 25:50 minutes.

Ainu Hunter, Mon-chan explores an idea of ecology of empathy between human and non-human worlds. This work is an ethnographic video essay which includes an oral history from a member of the Ainu community, Mon-chan (Atsushi). Using visual and audio recordings that I collected in 2019, I questioned how we can imagine a future that is more ecological and inclusive, with a sense of reciprocity?

The protagonist Mon-chan, maintains positivity, honesty and a sense of resistance to the changing nature of Japan and its impact on his way of life as am Ainu hunter. Mon-chan raised a concern that environmental issues are only discussed through the lens of city centric views, disregarding the generations of experience of indigenous cultures. In this work, I wanted to share the Ainu values that Mon-chan learnt from his grandmother. I also wanted to share how the impact that his words had on me as I made my way back to everyday life in the city.

This work is available to watch on the Bagri Foundation’s website between 12th October - 12th November 2020.

https://bagrifoundation.org/at-home-in-the-world-ainu-hunter-mon-chan-by-eiko-soga