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.
THENMOZHI SOUNDARARAJAN on Annihilating Caste Systems /314
This week, Ayana is joined by Dalit American civil rights activist Thenmozi Soundararajan in a profound conversation detailing the wounds of caste within the United States and across the world. Thenmozhi brings just conviction and soul-filled commitment to the fight to annihilate caste-based supremacy. The very involvement within systems of punishment, carcerality, and discrimination deepens a wound that separates us from each other and from the broad web of life. Speaking to the ways that carrying the trauma of caste manifests within the body, Thenmozhi emphasizes the importance of slowing down to process the grief and pain caused by mindless oppression.
Thenmozhi Soundararajan is a Dalit American Civil rights artist, organizer, and theorist who has worked with organizations around the world to address the urgent issues of racial, caste, and gender equity. Her intersectional, cross-pollinating work helps to create a more generous, global, expansive, and inclusive definition of South Asian identity, along with safe spaces from which to honor the stories of these communities. She was also an inaugural fellow of the Robert Rauschenberg Artist as Activist, Atlantic Foundation for Racial Equity, and is a current fellow at Stanford Center for South Asian Studies. She is also the author of the newly released book The Trauma of Caste by North Atlantic Books.
Music by Justin Crawmer, June West, and Te Martin. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references, and action points.
SLOW STUDY: We Will Dance with Mountains Preview
We’re taking a pause this week from our regular episodes to share a special snippet from our first Slow Study with Bayo Akomolafe. This offering originates from Bayo’s course “We Will Dance With Mountains: Into The Cracks!” and is an edited curation of recorded lectures, prayers, musical accompaniments, and practice prompts offered by Bayo and co-conspirators.
This week’s preview includes a brief portion from Session One, as well as the corresponding practice prompt by Jiordi Rosales. Each session within the course includes a practice prompt for deeper exploration.
To learn more about what the course entails, contributors, and cost, visit our website at forthewild.world
MAYA KHOSLA on What the Forest Holds/ 313
What can the forest teach us of grief, of joy, of humanity? This week, poet and scientist Maya Khosla invites listeners into the forests of Northern California to find deep reverence for the power of biodiversity. Maya’s expertise on wildfires shines through this deep and well-informed conversation as she and Ayana share a love for the forest and deep-seated awe for the complexity of forest life. Maya introduces listeners to the science behind forest fires and urges us to see fire as not simply “destructive,” but rather as one of the many cycles of earth. From practices of cultural burning to current studies on post-fire diversity, the creative and regenerative power of the forest cannot be overlooked.
Maya Khosla is a wildlife biologist and writer. She served as Sonoma County Poet Laureate (2018-2020), bringing Sonoma’s communities together through poetry gatherings and field walks after the 2017 fires. Sonoma County Conservation Council (SCCC) selected her as one of the 2020 Environmentalists of the Year. Her poetry books include “All the Fires of Wind and Light” from Sixteen Rivers Press (2020 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award), “Keel Bone” from Bear Star Press (Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize), and “Web of Water: Life in Redwood Creek”. Her writing has been featured in documentary films including “Village of Dust, City of Water,” about the water crises in rural India.
Music by Lake Mary, Forest Veil, and Bird By Snow. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references, and action points.
SOPHIE STRAND on Myths as Maps / 312
In this winding and lucid conversation, guest Sophie Strand invites us to investigate our relationality, to embrace rot and decay, to welcome our demons to the dinner table, and to prepare for uncertain futures with tenderness. Sophie brings to light the wisdom of the compost heap. What myths do we need for modernity, what wisdom is sedimented within our bodies? Sophie and Ayana tap into deep lines of thought and myth, weaving together conversations and concepts from thousands of years of human history. As the interview asks, “What is it to be human on our most basic level?” To be a human is to be in complicated and compromising relationships – relationships that implicate us within the other, that show us that love is a process of altering and of deep work. Purity is not an option. Sophie Strand is a writer based in the Hudson Valley who focuses on the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, and ecology. Her first book of essays The Flowering Wand: Rewilding the Sacred Masculine will be published by Inner Traditions on November 22, 2022 and is available for pre-order. Her eco-feminist historical fiction reimagining of the gospels The Madonna Secret will also be published by Inner Traditions in Spring 2023. Subscribe for her newsletter at sophiestrand.substack.com. And follow her work on Instagram: @cosmogyny and at www.sophiestrand.com.
Music by Tan Cologne and Mitski. Cover image by Alexandra Levasseur. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references, and action points.
DR. VANDANA SHIVA on Diverse Expressions of a Living Earth / 311
In this episode centered around global consciousness and rooted local action, returning guest Dr. Vandana Shiva reminds us of the power of commitment in the fight for the Earth. Reflecting on her lifetime of devotion to the land, Vandana highlights the value of paying deep attention and of bearing witness to the interconnectedness of Earth. These thoughts deeply counter the modern state of media and movements that fleetingly follow trends without deep connections to justice and connection. Together, Vandana and Ayana piece apart the threads of our culture that lead to exploitation and extraction - focusing on the policies of division and distraction that keep us from each other. As Vandana states, “Earth is alive and her expressions are diverse.” We are all anchored to each other and to the earth. The divisions that we focus so much time on are created in order to dominate and exploit the nature on which the earthly community depends.
Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned environmental thinker and activist, a leader in the International Forum on Globalization, and of the Slow Food Movement. She is also the Director of Navdanya and of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, and a tireless crusader for farmers’, peasants’, and women’s rights. Dr. Shiva is the recipient of over twenty international awards and the author and editor of a score of influential books, including her latest book coming out Oct. 27 from Chelsea Green Publishing "Terra Viva: My Life in a Biodiversity of Movements."
Music by Henry Johnson, Scinnlaece, and Doe Paoro. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references, and action points.
DORI MIDNIGHT on Spinning Webs of Support /310
“With a prayer to imagine beyond the current structures and systems, and kind of weave ourselves into, and be wrapped inside of, the invisible cloak that is interdependence, that is mutual aid, that supports us to reach towards each other and reach towards a vision of mutually flourishing life.” This powerful vision is shared by this week’s guest, Dori Midnight. In this sweet, meaningful, and meandering conversation, Dori discusses magical and liberatory practices, ancestral Jewish healing traditions, and the necessity of reclaiming Judaism from Zionism in the name of collective liberation. She shares sweet stories of garlic and cedar, the generosity of belonging, and the blessing of our collective and intricate work as we stretch toward liberation. Dori Midnight practices intuitive healing, weaves collaborative, liberatory ritual spaces, makes potions, and writes liturgy, spells, prayers, and poems. For over 20 years, Dori has been practicing and teaching on ritual and remedies for unraveling times, reconnecting with traditions of Jewish ancestral wisdom, community care work, and queer magic and healing. Music by 40 Million Feet, Katie Gray, and Aviva Le Fey. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references, and action points.
Brings Everything Together
This podcast shares illuminating perspectives on our relationship to the world, cultivating connections with other beings, political analysis, and so much more! 💛
Thank you thank you!
So grateful when I find meaningful compassionate conversation in these trying times. Keep up the good work!
Interesting, informative, and inspiring
I recently stumbled across this podcast, and I cannot stop listening to it. Thank you for the thoughtful interviews and conversations.