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6.30pm for 7pm - 8.30pm


Crichton Central


Co-hosted by Border Crossings, The Open University in Scotland and The Crichton Trust

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Experience an Indigenous Mexican response to Climate Change

The Crichton is to be part of a 9,000km journey which brings TOTEM LATAMAT from Mexico to the UK where it will be hosted by iconic locations across the country. The totem will arrive in Glasgow for the COP26 Climate Summit in November before being ceremonially returned to earth here at The Crichton on the 20th November.
  • 15 November: Totem Latamat to arrive at The Crichton following COP26
  • 16 – 19 November: Open access to visit and see Totem Latamat on the grounds of The Crichton
  • 19 November, 6.30pm-8.30pm, Crichton Central: A reflection on the journey and COP26 – Panel Discussion – free and all welcome, but booking required (More info on What’s On listing for 19 November) 
  • 20 November, 11am-12noon, Crichton Memorial Church and Grounds: Totem Latamat ‘Return to Earth’ ceremony – free and all welcome. Please meet in The Crichton Memorial Church.


Join us to reflect on TOTEM LATAMAT’S journey to COP26 at a unique event at Crichton Central, The Crichton, Dumfries. Also available online via live-stream.

About this event

Please note: This is a a free IN-PERSON discussion at The Crichton in Dumfries, Scotland. This event will also be live-streamed for online audiences via Facebook. Click here to follow ORIGINS Festival and be notified of the live-stream on 19 November.

A panel from Indigenous and non-Indigenous backgrounds, who have different but complementary perspectives on Climate Change, will explore the meaning of the totem’s journey to COP26, and its presence there at the Indigenous hub in The Hidden Gardens in Glasgow. Whether the climate summit has been “successful” or not, the discussion will take the story forward, and look at what needs to happen both in terms of science and culture in the aftermath of 2021.

Tea and Coffee will be available from 6.30pm.

Speakers on the panel include :

  • Alexandra P. Alberda, Curator of Indigenous Perspectives, Manchester Museum
  • Anna Perdibon, Independent researcher
  • Freida J. Jacques, Onondaga clan mother
  • Graham Harvey, Professor of Religious Studies at The Open University
  • Stephen Peake, Professor of Climate Change and Energy at The Open University

The discussion will be chaired by Border Crossings’ Artistic Director Michael Walling.

TOTEM LATAMAT by Totonac artist Jun Tibercio has travelled over 9000km from Mexico to the UK to reach COP 26 in Glasgow. Following the conference, the 4.5m Indigenous artwork will be brought to The Crichton where it will be ceremonially returned to the Earth, emphasising the cyclical and transient nature of life and art.

The totem, will be on the Crichton Estate from the 15 November. The short ceremony to commit the totem to the grounds of the Crichton will take place on Saturday 20th November from 11 – 12 noon.

About the panel:

Michael Walling (event chair) is Artistic Director of Border Crossings and the ORIGINS Festival. He has directed numerous theatre and opera productions across four continents, and is Visiting Professor of Intercultural and Multicultural Performance at Rose Bruford College

Alexandra P. Alberda was born in Bozeman, Montana, USA, and spent the majority of her youth growing up in Bismarck, North Dakota, USA. She is mixed race and Jemez Pueblo, which has meant that she has grown up at the thresholds of cultures. She believes that her ethnicity and personal experience has informed her professional practice as she personally navigates conflicting and complimenting cultures and has been fortunate to have family members who continue to help her learn and grow both spiritually and professionally.

Anna Perdibon is an independent researcher in the fields of religion and anthropology, and a writer. Since the completion of her doctoral research, Anna has fully immersed into New Animism, ethnography of plant-human relations and the Vegetal Turn. She has a particular interest in Indigenous North American and non-hegemonic European worldviews and botanical knowledges (TEK and LEK), plant stories, myths and ceremonies, and their interrelation with gender, philosophies, and art.

Freida J. Jacques, whose Native name is Whatwehni:neh, is the Clanmother of the Onondaga Turtle Clan and has been a leader in her Nation for over 40 years. She is passionate about sharing messages of peace and healing and has served as a bridge between her culture and many educational institutions in Central New York. For over 20 years, Frieda worked as the Home-School Liaison at the Onondaga Nation School. During that time, as a New York Humanities Scholar, she offered traditional life lessons to organisations, libraries, and historical centres throughout New York State.

Graham Harvey is Professor of Religious Studies at The Open University, UK. His research largely concerns “the new animism,” especially in the rituals and protocols through which Indigenous and other communities engage with the larger-than-human world. He is editor of the Routledge series “Vitality of Indigenous Religions” and the Equinox series “Religion and the Senses”.

Stephen Peake is Professor of Climate Change and Energy at The Open University. Additionally he is a Fellow of the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge and Senior Associate of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Previously he has served as a civil servant at the International Energy Agency at the OECD in Paris and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), based in Bonn, Germany. From 1993-1995 he was Research Fellow in the Energy and Environmental Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London.

Find out more about TOTEM LATAMAT.

Tweet your reflections on the totem: @BorderCrossings #ORIGINSTOTEM

TOTEM LATAMAT is commissioned by Border Crossings’ ORIGINS Festival, co-presented by Centro de las Artes Indígenas with the support of The Open University and the Embassy of Mexico.

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