19 episodes

Xeno is a podcast and community exploring home, identity, and belonging.

Each month, we hold space for conversations on what it means to be culturally complex in a world that challenges those who are perceived as being different or "other". These intimate and complex stories reveal our shared humanity and collective search for belonging.

Xeno Isabella McDonnell

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires macOS 11.4 or higher

Xeno is a podcast and community exploring home, identity, and belonging.

Each month, we hold space for conversations on what it means to be culturally complex in a world that challenges those who are perceived as being different or "other". These intimate and complex stories reveal our shared humanity and collective search for belonging.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires macOS 11.4 or higher

    Lawrence D'Silva | on earth, landscape and mixed identity

    Lawrence D'Silva | on earth, landscape and mixed identity

    About Lawrence D'Silva:
    Lawrence D’Silva is an environmental scientist, nature presenter and filmmaker. From a safari Land Rover guide in southern Africa to working in environmental investment in London, nature has always been Lawrence's passion. He aims to entertain and inspire action and debate through film. Lawrence identifies as being mixed, with one side Welsh and the other South Indian, via Malawi. Lawrence grew up on tales of Malawi and India's Malabar coast and loves both places (as well as Britain). Both places are subject to intense environmental pressures that impact communities and nature alike.

    Summary:
    In this episode, we discuss colonialism, mixed heritage and British identity, class and race dynamics, our mixed experiences growing up, environmentalism, personal and embodied connection to place/landscapes, biodiversity and sustainability, self-exploration, rethinking personal belonging in the UK, intergenerational trauma, ancestral stories, and Family Constellations therapeutic practices.

    Resources:
    'Late Light' by Michael Malay
    'The In-Between World of Vikram Lall' by M.G. Vassanji
    'The Salt Path' by Raynor Winn

    Connect with Lawrence:
    IG: @nature_lawrence
    Website: https://www.lawrencedsilva.com/
    X: @lawrence_dsilva

    Credits:
    Image credit: @mixedracefaces
    Our theme music is by Alix Julian Edwards
    The Xeno brand is by Somewhere Off Grid

    Soraya Abdel-Hadi | on how nature belongs to everyone

    Soraya Abdel-Hadi | on how nature belongs to everyone

    About Soraya Abdel-Hadi:
    Soraya is an award-winning writer, co-active coach, speaker, host, facilitator, consultant, and the founder of the non-profit All the Elements CIC—a community working to increase diversity in the UK outdoors.

    Summary:
    In this episode, we explore nature connection, diversifying the outdoors industry, belonging in the outdoors, burnout, neurodivergence, finding your creative voice as a marginalised person, writing life and nature, activism, co-creating new ways of gathering and ecogrief.

    Connect with Soraya:
    Website: www.soraya.earth.com
    All the Elements CIC: www.allthelements.com
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sorayaearth?ig
    Substack: https://substack.com/@sorayaearth

    Resources:
    'And a Dog Called Fig: Solitude, Connection, the Writing Life' by Helen Humphreys
    'Whip Smart: A Memoir' by Melissa Febos
    'Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative' by Melissa Febos
    'The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles' by Steven Pressfield
    'Big Magic' by Elizabeth Gilbert
    'The Artist's Way' by Julia Cameron

    Credits:
    Our theme music is by Alix Julian Edwards
    The Xeno brand is by Somewhere Off Grid

    Gabby Green | on our new global normal

    Gabby Green | on our new global normal

    About Gabby Green:
    Gabby Green is the Founder and Executive Director of New Global Normal. Inspired by her own experience growing up as a third culture kid in Hong Kong and South Korea, Gabby strives to make the world a better place by promoting active global citizenship. Through New Global Normal, she endeavours to create a movement that leverages multiculturalism in student bodies worldwide and engages communities on the importance of intercultural communication in our personal, social, and academic lives.

    Gabby is currently working full-time to expand and improve New Global Normal. In 2023 she graduated from the University of St Andrews with a First Class MA (Hons) in Economics and International Relations. Her dissertation entitled 'The China Threat Narrative: A Genealogy. How does American exceptionalism shape US representations of and responses to the China threat narrative?' received a distinction. In 2024, Gabby will pursue a Double Masters in the Global Political Economy of China and Europe at the London School of Economics and Fudan University.

    Summary:
    In this episode, as fellow third culture kids (TCKs), we discuss global citizenship, intercultural communication, the concept of a cultural lens, global political coordination, what it means to be a third culture kid, Gabby's experience living in South Korea and Hong Kong as a third culture kid, increased anti-Asian and specifically anti-Chinese sentiment, the importance of cultural curiosity and humility, the role of American exceptionalism, and the US-China dynamic.

    Resources:
    'Cross-Cultural Dialogues' by Craig Storti (2017)
    'Cross-Cultural Responsiveness & Systemic Therapy' edited by Shruti Singh Poulsen and Robert Allan

    Follow Gabby:
    New Global Normal - https://www.newglobalnormal.com/

    Our theme music is by Alix Julian Edwards. Please subscribe to our monthly newsletter at xenocast.org and follow us on Instagram: @xeno_pod.

    Maya Mitsuko September Welford | on names, mixed identity and transformative language

    Maya Mitsuko September Welford | on names, mixed identity and transformative language

    About Maya Mitsuko September Welford:
    This month, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview a fellow podcast host who is equally as passionate about identity: Maya Mitsuko September Welford. Maya is the host of the podcast That’s My Name, which explores the deeply personal stories and family histories associated with names from around the world. Names can have profound cultural and identity-based significance linked to them.

    Maya Mitsuko September Welford is a multi-award-winning professional with degrees in BSc Psychology and MSc Corporate Responsibility. She is currently a Behavioural Finance Specialist at a leading bank in the UK. She empowers people through coaching and workshops and is deeply interested in issues around social mobility, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    Summary:
    In this episode, we explore the stories of belonging that we carry through our names, the mixed-Asian experience, growing anti-Asian sentiment, the idea of exploring ancestral routes/roots/wisdom, the indigenous concept of “rematriation”, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the corporate world, and the transformative impact that language can have.

    Resources:
    'Mixed/Other' by Natalie Morris
    'All My Relations' podcast hosted by Matika Wilbur, Desi Small-Rodriguez and Adrienne Keene
    'The Disappearance of Rituals' by Byung-Chul Han

    Follow Maya:
    'That's My Name' podcast
    IG: thatsmyname_pod

    Our theme music is by Alix Julian Edwards. Please subscribe to our monthly newsletter at xenocast.org and follow us on Instagram: @xeno_pod.

    Alix Julian Edwards | on sound, synchrony and the rhythms of home

    Alix Julian Edwards | on sound, synchrony and the rhythms of home

    About Alix:
    Jamaican-born and Berlin/Taiwan-based, Alix Julian Edwards orbits a diverse spectrum of sounds, ranging from Hip Hop, Jazz, Bass, House, and Techno. Trained in dance and vocally from a young age and studying jazz piano paved the way for his productions, fully utilizing his musical exposure. On Baihui Radio, he hosts 'Series of Existence', described as 'Nostalgia experienced in the waking state echos throughout our many lives and existences. A familiar feeling experienced in the present yet unknown to it. This collective response triggers the portal to our mind and the universes entangled within it.'

    Summary:
    In this episode, we explore the experience of discomfort and adaptation, the importance of developing one’s interiority, the self as a sanctuary, safety in creative practice, American culture, Jamaican diasporic cultures, inter-cultural paradigms, expression, colonialism, food, music, sound and rhythms as home, how to embody home in language, dance, and the body itself.

    References:
    "Matter and Memory" by Henri Bergson

    Connect with Alix:
    Instagram: https://instagram.com/alixlaing?igshid
    Lost Laing Instagram https://instagram.com/lostlaing?igshid=
    Website: https://lostlaing.xyz

    Our theme music is by Alix Julian Edwards
    Please subscribe to our monthly newsletter at xenocast.org and follow us on Instagram: @xeno_pod

    Jenny Lau | on diasporic routes, radicals and the taste of home

    Jenny Lau | on diasporic routes, radicals and the taste of home

    About Jenny:
    Jenny Lau is a writer, community builder, and founder of 'Celestial Peach' and the 'Asian Slaw Alliance'. Lau takes a ‘philosophical and cultural approach to food in a search for balance and meaning in a material world’. Celestial Peach is a platform telling stories about Chinese food in the diaspora, and the people and cultures behind it. Jenny writes in her Substack 'Eating For Longevity, Chewing On Identity', exploring topics of Chinese-, Asian- and diaspora-adjacent identity, language, food, culture, philosophy, and arts.

    On 13 September, Jenny will host a panel event ‘In Our Prime’ in conversation with Wiz Wharton, Bich Tyler, and Qu Lei Lei: Book a ticket for the event at https://www.celestialpeach.com/.

    Summary:
    We discuss journeys of belonging, Chinese diasporic routes, ESEA heritage, being culturally bilingual, learning Cantonese, community building, the commodification of food and culture and our responses to this commodification, food as a means of both care and control, the body as home, Mariana Ortega’s philosophical concept of ‘home tactics’, Chinese philosophy, and other subjects.

    Our theme music is by Alix Julian Edwards
    Photo credit: Ming Tang-Evans

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