12 episodes

A podcast exploring health and human experience. Brought to you by Wellcome Collection, a free museum and library in London.

The Wellcome Collection Podcast Wellcome Collection

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

A podcast exploring health and human experience. Brought to you by Wellcome Collection, a free museum and library in London.

    The Root of the Matter: Wasteland

    The Root of the Matter: Wasteland

    In the final episode of ‘The Root of the Matter’, JC takes us to the least human habitat of all – the wasteland. It’s a space which often fills us with a sense of foreboding and yet, these places teach us some of the most profound lessons about the plant world and our relationship to it:
     
    Author of Islands of Abandonment: Life in the post-human landscape, Cal Flyn, shows us how wastelands can demonstrate nature’s resilience in the most hostile of situations.
     
    Artist and writer James Bridle explains how  plants force us to fundamentally rethink our ideas about intelligence beyond the human. 
     
    And Tiokasin Ghosthorse, a member of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation of South Dakota, and founder of First Voices Radio, talks to us about the need to fundamentally change our language if we are to de-centre the human and heal our relationship with the earth. 
     
    Presented by JC Niala
    Lead Produced by Alannah Chance
    Produced by Mae-Li Evans
    Music and sound design by Alice Boyd
    Artwork by Faye Heller
     
    The Root of the Matter is a Reduced Listening production for Wellcome Collection.
     
    You can find the full transcript for this episode, and much more, on the Wellcome Collection website: The Root of the Matter | Wellcome Collection

    • 32 min
    The Root of the Matter: Wetlands

    The Root of the Matter: Wetlands

    What does the word ‘wetland’ mean to you? Many of us don’t encounter them at all, and at best we might think of a muddy, boggy marshland. But these landscapes, and the plants that thrive in them, are crucial for ecological health, biodiversity, and capturing carbon. In this episode, JC and her contributors invite you to see these misunderstood spaces in a new light.
     
    Ecologist and writer Mordecai Ogada talks about the cultural and ecological significance of Nam Lolwe (also known as Lake Victoria) to the Luo peoples who live on its shores.
     
    Diana Umpierre, of the USA's Sierra Club, explains the impact that human interventions have had on the Everglades in Florida, and the indigenous communities that call it home. 
     
    From the other side of the Pacific, Professor Dan Friess shares how mangrove swamps are crucial to both human and environmental health, and why they have been misunderstood in the past.
     
    Finally, we hear from the Wilder Landscapes advisor for Sussex Wildlife Trust, Fran Southgate, about how we need to pay more attention to our own wetlands in the UK.



    Presented by JC Niala
    Lead Produced by Alannah Chance
    Produced by Mae-Li Evans
    Music and sound design by Alice Boyd
    Artwork by Faye Heller
     
    The Root of the Matter is a Reduced Listening production for Wellcome Collection. 
    You can find the full transcript for this episode, and much more, on the Wellcome Collection website: The Root of the Matter | Wellcome Collection

    • 25 min
    The Root of the Matter: Woodland

    The Root of the Matter: Woodland

    We think of forests and woodlands as wild spaces, or areas where we can lose ourselves in nature, and yet they also provide us with a wealth of resources such as food, building materials, or medicines. But they are also globally under threat of destruction…
     
    In this episode, JC delves into the contradictions in our relationship with woodlands, and explores different ways we can think about them, if we are to use and protect them more wisely.
     
    Joseca, a Yanomami artist from the Amazon, and anthropologist and interpreter Anna Maria Machado, share their understanding of the forest and the threats it is currently facing.
     
    Forestry expert Rebecca Latchford, talks to us about how our models of forest conservation and usage fundamentally needs to change if they are still going to exist for future generations.
     
    And Michael Pollan, author of ‘This is your mind on plants’, talks about the mind altering properties and potential benefits of psychoactive fungi which grow in the forests.
     
    Presented by JC Niala
    Lead Produced by Alannah Chance
    Produced by Mae-Li Evans
    Music and sound design by Alice Boyd
    Artwork by Faye Heller
     
    The Root of the Matter is a Reduced Listening production for Wellcome Collection.
    You can find the full transcript for this episode, and much more, on the Wellcome Collection website: The Root of the Matter | Wellcome Collection

    • 31 min
    The Root of the Matter: Farmland

    The Root of the Matter: Farmland

    Fruit and veg are a clear link to our relationship to the plant world. Yet many of us have little understanding of the farming industry and the impacts it has on our planet, in bringing crops to our plates.

    In this episode, JC  untangles the knots of these complex global food systems - and focuses on a grain that is central to many of our diets, wheat.
    Professor of Archeological Science, Martin Jones,  shares how our early ancestors began to cultivate crops, and why crops may have begun to cultivate us too.

    Author and environmental activist George Monbiot sheds light on the impacts and fragility of the modern farming industry, its implications for our global food networks, and the changes that need to happen to make it more sustainable.

    We meet Iain Tolhurst, a farmer in Oxfordshire whose organic agricultural methods may provide a potential solution for how we might better manage our farmland.
    Presented by JC Niala
    Lead Produced by Alannah Chance
    Produced by Mae-Li Evans
    Music and sound design by Alice Boyd
    Artwork by Faye Heller
    The Root of the Matter is a Reduced Listening production for Wellcome Collection.
    You can find the full transcript for this episode, and much more, on the Wellcome Collection website: The Root of the Matter | Wellcome Collection
     

    • 29 min
    The Root of the Matter: The Garden

    The Root of the Matter: The Garden

    Gardens are hugely personal, they are an extension of how we see ourselves and how we are in the world. They can also be a strong reminder of what is excluded as much as what is included. In this episode JC asks, what does the Garden reveal about the way we relate to the natural world and to each other?
    Writer and grower Claire Ratinon explores colonial legacies in the garden, through our use of language and readiness to embrace and celebrate some plants, whilst excluding others.
    We visit the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve, where artist and urban farmer, Michael Smythe showcases the uses of common so-called weeds like ribwort plantain and yarrow in locally produced remedies. Wilma Bol, a social prescriber at a local GP surgery, highlights the relationship between this urban nature reserve and the local community, when it comes to communal health.
    The gardening activist, Tayshan Hayden-Smith, reflects on the image of horticulture today, and shares his introduction into guerilla gardening, in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire.
    Presented by JC Niala
    Produced by Alannah Chance and Mae-Li Evans
    Music and sound design by Alice Boyd
    Artwork by Faye Heller
     
    The Root of the Matter is a Reduced Listening production for Wellcome Collection.
    You can find the transcript for this episode, and more, on the Wellcome Collection website using this link:
    https://wellcomecollection.org/series/YsQLZxEAACAAWQ4J
     

    • 32 min
    The Root of the Matter: Trailer

    The Root of the Matter: Trailer

    In Wellcome Collection’s new series, ‘The Root of the Matter’, we join JC Niala on a journey to understand how plants can provide a lens on human health, history and belonging.

    • 1 min

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