#50 Revitalising connections to community and Earth with Sanjana Sekhar

Part of the healing process, and part of the process of decolonising the lens, is to acknowledge  the [colonial] history of the camera, and then to say, now that we’ve named that wound, how can we work with the people in front of us to create a different way of storytelling that might be rooted back in the way we we used to do it, prior to this sort of extraction mindset that has grown in the last several centuries.

What role does storytelling play in revolutionising our work to heal our current selves and natural world, as well as our collective future? How can we re-establish a culture of relatedness and reciprocity through reclaiming our wisdom and positions as storytellers and communicators?

We are joined today by Sanjana Sekhar, a filmmaker, climate activist, & Ayurvedic wellness communicator who uses her work in ethical filmmaking to amplify character-driven stories that heal our human relationships to ourselves, each other, and our planet, with a specific interest in socioecological justice, ancestral knowledge, and systems of re-nourishment. In this heart-warming and insightful conversation, Agrita and Sanjana explore the medicine of storytelling, in relation to the ancient practice catalysing our healing work within community and Earth, to revive lost and damaged connections to who we really are in this interconnected world.

What to look out for:

  • Sanjana’s journey into professional storytelling and Ayurvedic wellness
  • Concept of “increasing your footprint”, particularly as BIPOC people – revived by Farmer Rishi
  • Urgency in contextualising the concept of regeneration as an age-old concept, rather than a Western/modern one
  • Sanjana’s work in decolonising the lens to co-create with the communities/individuals being documented, as opposed to the extractive nature of colonial documentary
  • Challenges Sanjana faced in allowing herself space and time to heal within the broken mainstream model of filmmaking
  • Importance of practicing gratitude and respect to land and Indigenous communities as a settler, in an attempt to re-indigenise ancestral lands
  • Emphasis on reclaiming being and indigenous sovereignty, with exploration of Sanjana’s productions Expedition Reclamation and a documentary on small-scale Indian farmers’ retaliation to Big Agriculture
  • Need for us to reclaim our positions as stewards and storytellers, not necessarily on a professional level but on a personal/daily level
  • Learning to get your ears first in order to find your voice and bring it to conversation

Resources

  • Check out Sanjana’s work here.
  • Connect with Sanjana on Instagram.

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