For The Wild Podcast is an anthology of the Anthropocene; focused on land-based protection, co-liberation and intersectional storytelling rooted in a paradigm shift away from human supremacy, endless growth and consumerism.
The Edges in the Middle, VI: Báyò Akómoláfé, Madhulika Banerjee, and Minna Salami
Continuing the conversation series, “The Edges in the Middle,” presented in collaboration with UC Berkeley’s Othering and Belonging Institute, For The Wild is delighted to share this conversation between Báyò Akómoláfé, Madhulika Banerjee, and Minna Salami.
Speaking on the theme, “Democracy and Its Exquisite Others,” Báyò, Madhulika, and Minna delve into an exploration of what it means to truly participate in democracy, as an embodied, collective action. In this thoughtful and informed episode, they investigate the idea of “Eurocracy'' and unpack what the eurocentric definition of democracy has meant for the world as a whole. Envisioning other ways of creating democracy, Báyò, Madhulika, and Minna describe festival democracy, democracies of contestations and dancing, and democracies of the more-than-human.
“The Edges in the Middle” is a series of conversations between Báyò Akómoláfé and thought companions like john a. powell, V, Naomi Klein, and more. These limited episodes have been adapted from Báyò’s work as the Global Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley's Othering & Belonging Institute. In this role, Báyò has been holding a series of public conversations on issues of justice and belonging for the Institute's Democracy & Belonging Forum, which connects and resources civic leaders in Europe and the US who are committed to bridging across difference to strengthen democracy and advance belonging in both regions and around the world. Báyò's conversations encourage us to rethink justice, hope, and belonging by sitting amidst the noise, not trying to cover it up with pleasant rhythms. To learn more about the Democracy & Belonging Forum, visit democracyandbelongingforum.org.
Music by Sitka Sun generously provided by The Long Road Society Record Label and by Maree Siou. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references, and action points.
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STEPHEN JENKINSON on a Lucid Reckoning /349
“We’re not trying to be right. We’re trying to see if we can see clearly.” In this agile and authentic episode, returning guest Stephen Jenkinson offers a lucid view of the world. How might our understanding of the world change if we approached life with a willingness to see things as they are rather than a need to only affirm that which we desire?
Ayana and Stephen journey together to consider what had brought us to this modern time – prompting vital questions about the value of tradition, the importance of strangerhood, the possibility of reckoning, and the meaning of ancestry. Stephen asks questions that disrupt and unsettle the status quo, and perhaps these questions will lead us to the lessons we so deeply need.
STEPHEN JENKINSON, MTS, MSW is an author, culture activist, ceremonialist and farmer. He teaches internationally and is the creator and principal instructor of the Orphan Wisdom School, founded in 2010. With Master’s degrees from Harvard University (Theology) and the University of Toronto (Social Work), he has worked extensively with dying people and their families, is a former programme director in a major Canadian hospital and former assistant professor in a prominent Canadian medical school. He is the author of several books including 'Reckoning', 'A Generation's Worth', 'Come of Age', 'Money & the Soul's Desires' and the award-winning 'Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul'. Stephen is the subject of the National Film Board of Canada documentary 'Griefwalker', and 'Lost Nation Road', a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the wheelhouse of a mystery train. Nights of Grief and Mystery world tours, with singer/ songwriter Gregory Hoskins, are odes to wonder, love letters for the willingness to know endings.
Music by Nights of Grief and Mystery. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references, and action points.
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ABDOUMALIQ SIMONE on Urban Entanglements /348
What does it mean to settle, to be in a settled place? This week’s guest, AbdouMaliq Simone has dedicated his work to investigating the specifics of urban organization as they are created by people. In this erudite and globally-positioned conversation, Ayana and AbdouMaliq meditate on how the design of our environments shapes us.
AbdouMaliq talks us through the uncertain, vulnerable, and dynamic positions in the choreography of global cities, and contemplates what it means to live an urban life. From the entanglements of resistance and protest, to surveillance and governance, to the effects of climate change on the city environment, AbdouMaliq brings nuance and depth to this vital conversation. As humanity shapes the city, it shapes us in turn, and as the world rapidly urbanizes, AbdouMaliq calls listeners to think about what an urban politics could be.
AbdouMaliq Simone is Senior Professorial Fellow at the Urban Institute, University of Sheffield and co-director of the Beyond Inhabitation Lab, Polytechnic University of
Music by Jahawi. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references, and action points.
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ANDREA GIBSON on The Blessings of the Wound /347
In an episode that cuts straight to the soul, this week’s guest Andrea Gibson joins Ayana in a conversation that asks what it means to truly live. Andrea contemplates the ways we cope with loneliness and the deeply rooted societal fears of disconnection and of death. Facing fear, confusion, and loss head on, Andrea reminds us that healing is a return to the self, a return to community.
Andrea’s openness about their diagnosis and emotional journey, brings depth and emotion to the conversation. Through poem and spirituality, Andrea draws us to see the beauty in being alive in this particular life, in our particular bodies, at this particular time. Their presence and attention is life-giving.
As Andrea shares their journey connecting to the eternal, genderless “We,” they invite listeners to contemplate their identities beyond this life alone. As we let the need to know fall away, what miracles might reveal themselves to us?
Andrea Gibson is one of the most celebrated and influential spoken word poets of our time. Best known for their live performances, Gibson has changed the landscape of what it means to attend a “poetry show” altogether. To hear Gibson is like hearing songwriters play their music, their trademark honesty and vulnerability are on full display. Gibson’s poems center around LGBTQ issues, gender, feminism, mental health and the dismantling of oppressive social systems. The winner of the first Women’s World Poetry Slam, Gibson has gone on to be awarded the LGBTQ Out100 and has been featured on BBC, NPR and CSpan. Gibson is the author of seven award winning books and seven full length albums. Their live shows have become loving and supportive ecosystems for audiences to feel seen, heard, and held through Gibson’s art.
Music by John Carrol Kirby (generously provided by Patience Records), Kesia Negata, and Katie Gray. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references, and action points.
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KATRINA SPADE on New Life from Death /346
Death is a process of decomposition, how can we come to embrace this reality? This week, guest Katrina Spade joins Ayana for a fascinating conversation on the possibilities of burial practices, ways to connect with death, and the value in thoughtful death plans. Sharing her journey to founding Recompose, “a licensed, full-service, green funeral home in Seattle offering human composting,” Katrina shares that the way we design death rituals matters in how connected we feel to the process of death.
Detailing the science, logistics, and art behind human composting, Katrina imbues the conversation with passion, concern, and a spirit of learning. Through Recompose, Katrina has witnessed the beauty that comes from watching new life blossom from death, and from the connections family members of the deceased can have with the soil created from the composting process. The intention and compassion we put into death-care matters. As Katrina reminds us, there is so much to be gained from intimacy with death.
Katrina Spade is the founder and CEO of Recompose, a public benefit corporation leading the transformation of the funeral industry. Katrina is a designer and the inventor of a system that transforms the dead into soil (aka human composting).
Since founding in 2017, Katrina and Recompose have led the successful legalization of human composting in Washington State in 2019. Recompose became the first company in the world to offer the service in December of 2020. The process is now also legal in Oregon, Colorado, Vermont, California., and New York.
Katrina and her team have been featured in Fast Company, NPR, the Atlantic, BBC, Harper’s Magazine, and the New York Times. She is an Echoing Green Fellow, an Ashoka fellow, and a Harvard Kennedy School Visiting Social Innovator.
Music by Yesol. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references, and action points.
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KURT RUSSO on the People Under the Sea [ENCORE] / 345
It is with a heavy heart that we share that Tokitae, a Southern Resident Orca held unjustly in captivity for 53 years, has passed away. To honor her memory, this week we are rebroadcasting our episode with Kurt Russo on the People Under the Sea, originally aired in October of 2018. This conversation explores the powerful memory held by Southern Resident orcas, the threats they face from vessel noise, chemical pollutants, and declining Chinook salmon population, the health of the Salish Sea, and the efforts of the Lummi Nation to return Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut (also known as Tokitae/Lolita), from where she was being held captive at Miami Seaquarium, to her natal waters in the Salish Sea. Tokitae’s life ended while in captivity, but we hope that her memory may serve to inspire the fight for right-relationship and reciprocity with our more-than-human-kin.
Kurt Russo is the executive director of Se’Si’Le, an Indigenous-led nonprofit dedicated to the perpetuation and practical application of Indigenous ancestral knowledge. Kurt has worked with Indigenous communities since 1978 in the areas of sacred site protection, Indigenous treaty rights, environmental cross-cultural conflict resolution, and the intertextualization of ways of knowing nature. He was co-Founder and Executive Director of the Florence R. Kluckhohn Center for the Study of Values and the Native American Land Conservancy, helped establish the International Indigenous Exchange Program (Northwest Indian College), the Sacred Lands Conservancy, and the Foundation for Indigenous Medicine. He has a BS in Forestry from the University of Montana, an MS in Forestry from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in History from the University of California (Riverside). He is a veteran and served in Vietnam where he worked with Montagnard Indigenous communities.
Music by Monplaisir and Amoeba. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references, and action points.
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Really enjoying your show and guests
As some who sees very little to be optimistic about in the coming future of EARTH.
Your show is a wonderful place to hear some positive talk and awareness of the work others are doing. Let’s see what we can do and how far we can take this global movement. Keep up the great work and having great guests and activists. I have the upmost respects to all and everyone who takes to the streets in theses strange times.
My favourite podcast!
My absolute favourite podcast of all time. Such informative, deep dive conversations into our connection to the earth and the systemic ways in which humanity is hindering it.
This podcast offers is such a potent teaching tool that brings to light SUCH important topics.
Thank you so much to Ayana + the whole For the Wild team for being my most consistent teachers in ecology + for educating me each week in more reasons why we should love, care for + stand up for our planet!
One of the best podcasts out there! Ayana Young approaches conversations with such intelligence and sensitivity, and gives a voice to such a rich range of perspectives. My best 2020 lockdown discovery, hands down. Very grateful that it exists.