Title:Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Remarks:B&W Photographs, Map and Index.
Size:140 x 215 mm
Ancient Futures raises important questions about the whole notion of progress, and explores the root causes of the malaise of industrial society. At the same time, the story of Ladakh serves as a source of Inspiration for our own future.
Ladakh, or 'Little Tibet' is a place of few resources and an extreme climate. Yet, for more than a thousand years, it has been home to a thriving culture. Traditions of frugality and co-operation, coupled with an intimate and location-specific knowledge of the environment, enabled the Ladakhis not only to survive, but to prosper.
Then came 'modernization', ostensibly a means to 'progress' and 'real' prosperity. Now in the modem sector one finds pollution and divisiveness, intolerance and greed. Centuries of ecological balance and social harmony are under threat from the pressures of Western consumerism.
Helena Norberg-Hodge, a linguist by training, was the first Westerner in modern times to master the Ladakhi language. For the last seventeen years, she has spent half of every year in Ladakh, working with the Ladakhi people to protect their culture and Environment from the effects of rapid modernization. For this work, Norberg-Hodge was awarded the 1986 Right to Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize. She is currently Director of the Ladakh Project, which she founded in 1978 and its parent organization, the International Society for Ecology and Culture.