April 30, 2021

‘Can Exploring Mythological Understandings Of The Body Help Us Come Together To Save Indigenous Ways Of Thinking And The Planet?’

Felicity White | Ryan Bain, 32 | Theo Le Derf, 25 | Evelyn Quesada-Cabrera, 23

FilmMorro, 2020

In indigenous Central America, the belief that the body is a miniature version of the universe is a foundational idea that dates back to the ancient Olmec civilisation. Across cultures, rituals such as meditating, dancing, body-painting and role-play are used to enact mythologies that create deep experiential links to ancestors and place.

Morro results from an exploration into my own body’s sense of place and history. Firstly into the mythology of mesoamerica, my El Salvadorian mother’s heritage. Secondly into that of the ancient Picts in my adopted homeland of Scotland. Within these folklores I discovered astonishing similarities; worlds of snake-like beasts, circular symbols and transformative indigo body paint. However I also learned how the trade of this indigo paint latterly became linked to the total subjugation of indigenous El Salvadorians.

The resulting film alludes to the darkness of this history, and also to the personal abyss that I and many of us experienced in this long lockdown winter. However, just as the being in the film finds connection and is reborn, I hope that our current darkness helps humanity to recognise our shared body and integrate indigenous ways of thinking into the way we live and care for our world.