Ancient Futures is a book by Helena Norberg-Hodge, an author, film maker and pioneer of the new economy movement. It describes a period in the 70’s when Helena spent many years with the people of Ladakh, a remote region of India. on her arrival Ladakh was mostly untouched by western models of economic development, but over that period she watched as the Ladakhi culture was transformed from sustainable, inclusive and healthy to more wasteful, divided and self conscious, due to an influx of globalising forces. Since that time she has devoted her life to promoting Localisation or, as she calls it, ‘The Economics of Happiness’, a form of development that works in harmony with the needs of the people and environment it seeks to improve.
Ancient Futures paints a picture of a culture who, in the name of progress, slowly lose their connection with the land and their identity in relation to it. I tried to communicate that idea through the repeating motif of a Ladakhi flower that slowly loses it’s vibrancy and becomes more faded, symbolising a growing sense of separation.
You can find out more about Helena Norberg-Hodge’s work through her organisation Local Futures.