50 episodes

Welcome to The Institute of Black Imagination hosted by artist, writer, and brand consultant Dario Calmese. Each week we bring you conversations from The Pool of Black Genius: a collection of iconoclasts at the leading edge of cultural thought and innovation. More than anything, we are here to inspire, engage, and to help you unleash your own imagination.

Thank you for tuning in! Please don't forget to rate, comment, subscribe and SHARE with a friend (@blackimagination).

The Institute of Black Imagination‪.‬ dario

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 108 Ratings

Welcome to The Institute of Black Imagination hosted by artist, writer, and brand consultant Dario Calmese. Each week we bring you conversations from The Pool of Black Genius: a collection of iconoclasts at the leading edge of cultural thought and innovation. More than anything, we are here to inspire, engage, and to help you unleash your own imagination.

Thank you for tuning in! Please don't forget to rate, comment, subscribe and SHARE with a friend (@blackimagination).

    E47.David Zilber: A Fermenter's Guide to the Universe.

    E47.David Zilber: A Fermenter's Guide to the Universe.

    Today’s episode is with Chef, Fermenter, Food Scientist, Photographer, and New York Times best-selling author David Zilber. David is the former Director of Fermentation for “NOMA” Copenhagen; known as one of the most coveted restaurants on the planet, and co-author of the New York Times best-selling book, “The Noma Guide to Fermentation”. In this episode, he shares how the power of a nudge can unlock a world of unlimited possibilities, and trusting biological processes beyond instant gratification.
    We explore David’s multicultural upbringing growing up in Toronto, Canada, along with topics that range from connecting fermentation to everyday life, how photography allows him to tether his curiosity for science and fermentation, and ultimately how he’s been able to bloom in the midst of chaos. David’s story is one filled with invaluable gems and speaks to the power of leaning into curiosity.
    Things mentioned
    https://www.theworlds50best.com/the-list/1-10/Noma.html ("NOMA", Copenhagen restaurant)
    https://www.jwst.nasa.gov/ (James Webb Space Telescope)
    https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/5-8/features/nasa-knows/what-is-the-hubble-space-telecope-58.html (Hubble Space Telescope)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrange_point (Lagrange point)


    What to read
    https://bookshop.org/books/the-noma-guide-to-fermentation-including-koji-kombuchas-shoyus-misos-vinegars-garums-lacto-ferments-and-black-fruits-and-vegetables/9781579657185 (The Noma Guide to Fermentation: Including Koji, Kombuchas, Shoyus, Misos, Vinegars, Garums, Lacto-Ferments, and Black Fruits and Vegetables) by David Zilber and René Redzepi
    https://davidzilber.medium.com/inbetweeners-78b194dbb3f8 (Inbetweeners: On the meaning of (re)mediation in mycelial and human worlds) by David Zilber
    https://www.sciencefriday.com/articles/ferm-excerpt/ (Why Fermentation Is So Important To One Of The World’s Best Restaurants)
    https://bookshop.org/books/essays-in-love/9781531871918 (Essays in Love) by Alain de Botton
    https://bookshop.org/books/the-dawn-of-everything-a-new-history-of-humanity/9780374157357 (The Dawn of Everything) by David Graeber and David Wengrow
    https://bookshop.org/books/living-planet-the-web-of-life-on-earth-9780008477868/9780008477820 (The Living Planet) by David Attenborough
    https://bookshop.org/books/on-the-origin-of-evolution-tracing-darwin-s-dangerous-idea-from-aristotle-to-dna/9781633887053 (On the Origin of Evolution: Tracing 'Darwin's Dangerous Idea' from Aristotle to DNA) by John Gribbin and Mary Gribbin
    https://bookshop.org/books/a-natural-history-of-the-future-what-the-laws-of-biology-tell-us-about-the-destiny-of-the-human-species/9781541619302 (A Natural History of the Future: What the Laws of Biology Tell Us about the Destiny of the Human Species) by Rob Dunn
    https://bookshop.org/books/the-anthropocene-reviewed-essays-on-a-human-centered-planet-9780593412428/9780525556534 (The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet) by John Green
    https://bookshop.org/books/being-a-human-adventures-in-forty-thousand-years-of-consciousness-9781250855404/9781250783714 (Being a Human: Adventures in Forty Thousand Years of Consciousness) by Charles Foster


    What to listen to
    https://open.spotify.com/track/0jNTJSaktLVy8iAi7KY2zB (Too Hot) by Kool and The Gang
    https://open.spotify.com/track/0nyrltZrQGAJMBZc1bYvuQ (Get Up Offa That Thing) by James Brown
    https://open.spotify.com/track/2grjqo0Frpf2okIBiifQKs (September) by Earth, Wind and Fire


    Who to follow
    Follow David Zilber on https://www.instagram.com/david_zilber/ (IG @david_zilber)
    You can also find his photography https://www.instagram.com/d_c_j_z/ (here).


    This conversation was recorded on February 3rd, 2022.


    Host https://www.instagram.com/dario.studio/ (Dario Calmese)
    Producer https://www.instagram.com/carmendharris/ (Carmen D. Harris)
    Production Assistant: https://www.instagram.com/holly_woodco/ (Coniqua...

    • 1 hr 39 min
    E46. Stephen Satterfield: The Origins of Food.

    E46. Stephen Satterfield: The Origins of Food.

    Today’s episode is with food writer, producer, and media entrepreneur Stephen Satterfield. Stephen is the host of Netflix’s critically acclaimed docuseries “High on the Hog” and the founder of Whetstone, a magazine and media company dedicated to food origins and culture from around the world. In this episode, he shares the importance of food origins as a space for reclamation and what it means to examine who and what’s being left out of the story.
    We explore Stephen’s own origin story–growing up in Atlanta in the ’80s–along with topics that range from his start as a young sommelier, the implications of citizens being divorced from food culture, and ultimately how being crushed by a series of life events propelled his career forward; leading him from self-doubt to conviction.
    Things to read
    https://maap.columbia.edu/place/1.html (Oysters originated because of a Black man)
    http://jameshemingssociety.org/james-hemings/ (James Hemings invented baked Mac and Cheese)
    https://www.whetstonemagazine.com/store/p/whetstone-magazine-volume-08-digital (Whetstone Magazine, Summer 2021)
    What to check out
    https://www.whetstonemagazine.com/magazine (Whetstone Media)
    https://www.riseandrootfarm.com/karen-washington (Kara Washington )and https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/may/15/food-apartheid-food-deserts-racism-inequality-america-karen-washington-interview (food apartheid)
    Environmental factors that affect a crop - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terroir (Terroir)
    Stephen Satterfield became a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sommelier (Sommelier) before his 21st birthday


    What to listen to
    Episode mentioned by Dario - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-morality-of-meat/id1475800695?i=1000499228439 (The Morality of Meat)
    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/point-of-origin/id1475800695 (Point of Origin) Podcast
    https://www.whetstonemagazine.com/radio (Whetstone Radio Collective)
    https://open.spotify.com/track/3lecA86POu0jRaFIubASoT (Outkast - Mainstream (1996))


    Who to follow
    Stephen Satterfield on https://www.instagram.com/isawstephen/?hl=en (IG)




    This conversation was recorded on March 4th, 2022


    Host https://www.instagram.com/dario.studio/ (Dario Calmese)
    Producer https://www.instagram.com/carmendharris/ (Carmen D. Harris)
    Production Assistant: https://www.instagram.com/holly_woodco/ (Coniqua Johnson )
    Visual Art Direction and Designs:
    http://riverwildmen.com/ (River Wildmen), https://www.instagram.com/afrovisualism/ (AfroVisualism)
    Original Music composed by http://www.dariocalmese.com/ (Dario Calmese)
    Visit us at https://www.blackimagination.com/oral-history (blackimagination.com )

    • 1 hr 1 min
    E45. Luvvie Ajayi Jones: The Professional Troublemaker.

    E45. Luvvie Ajayi Jones: The Professional Troublemaker.

    Today’s episode is with author, podcast host, and speaker Luvvie Ajayi Jones. Luvvie is a New York Times-Bestselling author and in this conversation, she lays out what it takes to become a professional troublemaker: unapologetically opinionated, courageous, and unafraid to speak the truth even if your voice shakes.
    We explore topics that range from the difference in Black identities between Nigeria and the United States, her path from failing chemistry to creating one of the industry’s most popular blogs, how love shows up when you’re not paying attention, and what ultimately allowed her to finally call herself as a writer. This conversation is one that speaks to the troublemaker in all of us.
    Her latest book, “Rising Troublemaker: A Fear-Fighter Manual for Teens'' is now available for preorder at Penguin Randomhouse (link below).
    Click here to take our listener survey!
    What to read
    Luvvie Ajayi Jones’ NYT, bestselling book https://luvvie.org/im-judging-you-book/ ("I’M JUDGING YOU: The Do-Better Manual")
    Her recently released book, https://luvvie.org/professional-troublemaker-book/ ("Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual")
    https://awesomelyluvvie.com/ (Luvvie Ajayi Jones' Blog )
    https://bookshop.org/books/the-source-of-self-regard-selected-essays-speeches-and-meditations/9780525562795 (The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations by Toni Morrison)
    https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/704765/rising-troublemaker-by-luvvie-ajayi-jones/ (Rising Troublemaker: A Fear-Fighter Manual for Teens)
    What to listen to
    Luvvie’s podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/professional-troublemaker/id1349454032 (Professional Troublemaker)
    Things mentioned
    Join Luvvie in her private community, https://www.luvvnation.com/ (Luvvnation)


    Who to follow?
    Check out Luvvie on all her platforms: https://www.instagram.com/luvvie/ (Instagram), https://www.facebook.com/AwesomelyLuvvie/ (Facebook), https://twitter.com/Luvvie (Twitter), https://www.linkedin.com/in/luvvie/ (LinkedIn)
    For more information about Luvvie Ajayi Jones, visit her https://luvvie.org/ (site).


    This conversation was recorded on January 20th, 2022


    Host https://www.instagram.com/dario.studio/ (Dario Calmese)
    Producer https://www.instagram.com/carmendharris/ (Carmen D. Harris)
    Production Assistant: https://www.instagram.com/holly_woodco/ (Coniqua Johnson )
    Visual Art Direction and Designs:
    http://riverwildmen.com/ (River Wildmen), https://www.instagram.com/afrovisualism/ (AfroVisualism)
    Original Music composed by http://www.dariocalmese.com/ (Dario Calmese)
    Visit us at https://www.blackimagination.com/oral-history (blackimagination.com )

    • 1 hr 18 min
    E44. Rev.Eboni Marshall Turman: Redefining God's Body

    E44. Rev.Eboni Marshall Turman: Redefining God's Body

    In this conversation, we discuss a wide range of topics from Eboni’s experience growing up in Brooklyn during the ’80s, to her studies of Black Theology along with her definition of Womanist Theology. Through conversation, vulnerability and curiosity eventually we land on what that pivotal moment in Eboni’s life was that ultimately propelled her to pursue her calling.
    More on a Black Liberation and Womanist Theology
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Womanist_theology#:~:text=Womanist%20theology%20is%20a%20methodological,field%20has%20since%20expanded%20significantly. (Womanist theology)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_theology#:~:text=Black%20theology%20contends%20that%20dominant,the%20side%20of%20the%20oppressors. (Black theology)
    https://www.google.com/books/edition/Black_Theology_and_Black_Power/1VQNAQAAQBAJ?hl=enandgbpv=1anddq=isbn:1570751579andprintsec=frontcover (Black Theology and Black Power)
    https://www.google.com/books/edition/A_Black_Theology_of_Liberation/HWINAQAAQBAJ?hl=enandgbpv=1anddq=isbn:1570758956andprintsec=frontcover (Black Theology of Liberation)
    The Matriarchs of Black Womanist Theology
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacquelyn_Grant (Jacqueline Grant )
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katie_Cannon (Katie Cannon )
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delores_S._Williams (Delores Williams )


    Sacred Text of Black Womanist Theology
    https://www.amazon.com/Color-Purple-Alice-Walker/dp/0156028352 (The Color Purple by Alice Walker)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Madonna (Black Madonna)


    The Father of Black Liberation Theology
    https://jameshcone.northwestern.edu/biography-of-james-cone/ (James Howell Cone)


    Sermons by Eboni Marshall Turman
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhhAoOvXNaM (Rev. Dr. Eboni Marshall Turman at Howard University Andrew Rankin Chapel Feb 28 2021)


    Books by Eboni Marshall Turman
    https://www.amazon.com/Toward-Womanist-Ethic-Incarnation-Chalcedon/dp/1137376821 (Toward a Womanist Ethic of Incarnation: Black Bodies, the Black Church, and the Council of Chalcedon (Black Religion/Womanist Thought/Social Justice))


    Where Eboni started her education
    https://www.schools.nyc.gov/enrollment/enroll-grade-by-grade/head-start (Headstart)
    Where Eboni started her dance education
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FShE0VifCYs (Da Butt) by E.U.
    Playlist inspired by this conversation
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDPIK7Fz_g4 (Iesha by Another Bad Creation )
    https://open.spotify.com/track/2azCMxOA4ODeDVExScqdr8 (Biz Markie “Albee Square Mall” (1988))
    https://open.spotify.com/track/0R0zZnqPg7yOWb4PRmW8nC (Jay-Z “Where I’m From” (1997))


    Short Films inspired by this conversation
    https://vimeo.com/17307366 (Celebrating Revelations at 50 by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater )


    Places to Visit
    https://www.marshallturman.com/ (Eboni Marshall Turman)


    This conversation was recorded on February 25, 2022


    Host https://www.instagram.com/dario.studio/ (Dario Calmese)
    Producer https://www.instagram.com/carmendharris/ (Carmen D. Harris)
    Visual Art Direction and Designs:
    http://riverwildmen.com/ (River Wildmen), https://www.instagram.com/afrovisualism/ (AfroVisualism)
    Director of Digital Content: https://www.vickygcreative.com/ (vickygcreative.com)
    Original Music composed by http://www.dariocalmese.com/ (Dario Calmese)

    • 1 hr 38 min
    E43. Kenturah Davis: The Limits of Language.

    E43. Kenturah Davis: The Limits of Language.

    Today’s episode is with contemporary artist Kenturah Davis. Exploring language, looms, and listening beyond the limen, Kenturah's work reminds us that identity requires an intimacy with the unknown and oftentimes hidden portraits of ourselves.
    We explore topics that range from the diminishing value of a Masters of Fine Arts degree to urban planning and design to Toni Morrison’s essay “The Site of Memory”, this conversation is one that holds our hearts in an audible essay on the shadows of life and living.
    What to read.
    https://blogs.umass.edu/brusert/files/2013/03/Morrison_Site-of-Memory.pdf (The Site of Memory by Toni Morrison )
    Playlist inspired by this conversation.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrlP3tbuj44 (Atladena- Kelela )
    https://thundercat.bandcamp.com/album/apocalypse (Apocalypse-Thundercat)


    Who to follow.
    https://www.instagram.com/kenturah/ (Kenturah Davis )






    This conversation was recorded on 12/14/21.


    Host https://www.instagram.com/dario.studio/ (Dario Calmese)
    Producer https://www.instagram.com/carmendharris/ (Carmen D. Harris)
    Visual Art Direction and Designs:
    http://riverwildmen.com/ (River Wildmen), https://www.instagram.com/afrovisualism/ (AfroVisualism)
    Director of Digital Content: https://www.vickygcreative.com/ (vickygcreative.com)
    Original Music composed by http://www.dariocalmese.com/ (Dario Calmese)

    • 1 hr 21 min
    E42. Zoe Adjonyoh: Exploring Identity Through Cuisine.

    E42. Zoe Adjonyoh: Exploring Identity Through Cuisine.

    Today’s conversation is with chef and activist Zoe Adjonyoh. Zoe is the founder and creative brainchild behind Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen and author of one of New York Times most notable cookbooks of 2021. Exploring identity, belonging,and culture, Zoe’s career is one of pivots and pirouettes that ultimately land her at home with herself and her love of Ghanian food, family, and justice.
    In today’s episode, we explore themes of identity, justice, ancestry, family, and well, of course, food. Zoe’s story will inspire anyone whose path feels non-linear or circuitous. Remember, you are right where you are supposed to be…always..in all the ways. As Zoe reminds us, those whispers of the universe are always speaking to us


    Things that we mention
    https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/nasa-knows/what-is-a-black-hole-k4.html (What is a Black hole? Let’s ask NASA )
    https://www.zoesghanakitchen.com/recipes/nkatsenkwan-groundnut-stew (Peanut Stew)
    https://www.zoesghanakitchen.com/ (Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen Site)
    https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/cooking-up-consciousness-podcast/id1559219638 (Cooking up consciousness)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_National_Party (British National Party)
    https://www.voraciousbooks.com/titles/zoe-adjonyoh/zoes-ghana-kitchen/9780316335034/ (Zoe's Ghana Kitchen: An Introduction to New African Cuisine)
    https://www.npr.org/2017/02/02/511860933/james-baldwin-in-his-own-searing-revelatory-words-i-am-not-your-negro (James Baldwin, In his own searing revelatory words,’I am not your Negro’)


    What was happening in the 1980s in London
    From the New York Time Archives:
    https://www.nytimes.com/1981/07/05/world/neo-nazis-accused-in-london-riots.html (Neo-nazis accoused of London Riots, July 5 1981 )


    And also from the New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/14/dining/best-cookbooks.html (The Best Cookbooks of 2021)


    This conversation was recorded on December 16, 2021 and February 1, 2022


    Host https://www.instagram.com/dario.studio/ (Dario Calmese)
    Producer https://www.instagram.com/carmendharris/ (Carmen D. Harris)
    Production Assistant: Coniqua Johnson
    Visual Art Direction and Designs:
    http://riverwildmen.com/ (River Wildmen), https://www.instagram.com/afrovisualism/ (AfroVisualism)
    Original Music composed by http://www.dariocalmese.com/ (Dario Calmese)
    Visit us at https://www.blackimagination.com/oral-history (blackimagination.com )

    • 1 hr 30 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
108 Ratings

108 Ratings

MiMLiFe ,

EPIC…

Dario Calmese is a wonder. I have never met him but I play with thoughts of him being my BFF. All of the words of greatness that one would use to describe him; would fail. He’s a genius; a humble one. The voice! The intelligence! The cadences in his voice! Then there’s the talent-no words!

This podcast stimulates, informs, educates, inspires, and just makes the listener want go out and live big. Thank you Dario for giving so much of yourself and for this cauldron of BLACK MAGIC…

CortesClan ,

Brilliant!

There are not enough superlatives to describe this podcast. Dario’s deep dives into the institute of Black imagination and carefully crafted questions and thoughtful conversations are nourishment for our people. Thank you!

Smooth_Vick ,

Never miss an episode

I love this podcast because each episode evokes opportunities for self reflection, and allows you to tap into the collective consciousness as well. It’s juicy on so many accounts; intellectually, spiritually, politically, creatively. It makes my Sunday’s a true delight. Thank you Dario and the team who helps bring forth all this amazing content.

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