Natasha Erika Fijn

Grant Type

Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship

Institutional Affiliation

Independent Scholar

Grant number

Gr. 9387

Approve Date

October 18, 2016

Project Title

Fijn, Dr. Natasha Erika, Independent Scholar, Braidwood, Australia - To aid filmmaking on 'Multispecies Medicine in Mongolia' - Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship

NATASH FIJN, then an independent scholar, Braidwood, Australia, received a Fejos Ethnographic Film Fellowship in October 2016 to aid filmmaking on ‘Multispecies Medicine in Mongolia.’ Herding families in the Khangai Mountains of Mongolia live in extreme climatic conditions and are crucially reliant on their herd animals for survival. This fellowship entailed an observational film-based research inquiry into the medicinal practices used by Mongolian herders to treat their families and their herd animals. This multispecies-based analysis engages with more-than-human sociality and perceptions towards other beings. The concept of one’s homeland (nutag) and a strong sense of place are crucially important to herders. The documentary focuses on three different locations, or homelands in Mongolia, filmed in spring and then again in autumn (hence the title ‘Two Seasons’). In spring the focus is on the birth of newborn animals and increasing immunity, sometimes through bloodletting to prevent illness, while in autumn the focus is on preparing hay for winter and collecting medicinal herbs. Layering the two seasons with the three locations means the 90-minute film is structurally divided into six separate parts: Ganbaa visiting his homeland in spring; Nara’s homeland in spring; Bor and B’mb’g’s homeland in spring, then returning again to all three communities in autumn. The film conveys how medicinal knowledge is passed on through practical forms of mentorship within these extended families. Two Seasons: Multispecies Medicine in Mongolia