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46 minutes | Jun 28, 2021
#19: Microbes, bodies, and politics (with Stefanie Fishel)
We need new words and concepts to explain the complexity of the world. Metaphors have the potential to be a productive tool to motivate social and political change. Could metaphors contribute to creating reality rather than just explain it? What about using the human body and its microbial life as a metaphor for interconnectivity and global relations? In this episode of Ferment Radio, we talk about these issues with Stefanie Fishel. She’s a lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia, and the author of “The Microbial State: Global Thriving and the Body Politic”, a book about human bodies and their metaphorical relationship to global politics.
28 minutes | May 28, 2021
Spirulina for all
Food production is one of the major drivers of global environmental change. Spirulina, a kind of cyanobacteria, has a big chance to benefit the environment by requiring less land and water to produce the same amount of protein and energy as livestock. You might know it as a popular superfood supplement that comes in green, blueish pills, or powder. But, aside from that, what is actually spirulina?In this episode, together with Anya Muangkote, a multidisciplinary designer and design researcher from Bangkok, we discuss her work on domestic spirulina cultivation. Anya´s open-source tools and knowledge propose a sustainable way of self-sufficiency that challenges the current modes of production and consumption.
35 minutes | Apr 16, 2021
#17: It’s alive!!! (with Adrien Rigobello)
Many fermented foods and beverages seem gross. What exactly is this feeling of disgust? Where does it come from? Is it the fear of something unfamiliar? Something that goes beyond our globally standardized ways of being, behaving, and feeling?Join us in a conversation with Adrien Rigobello, a Ph.D. researcher working with Fungal Architectures at the Royal Danish Academy and founder of thr34d5, a medialab for social resilience. In this episode, we not only talk about what’s gross, but also about xenodesign, engaging with the other, designing with living systems, and using kombucha and mushrooms as raw materials.
33 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
#16: The unpredictables (with Sarah Lloyd)
There’s a group of microorganisms that have been on the planet for about 600 million years. They’re unicellular, but have many nuclei; they are brainless, but can find their way through mazes that have inspired urban planners. They’re small, very hard to categorize, and they feed on bacteria. Who are they?Our guest on Ferment Radio’s 16th episode is Sarah Lloyd, a scientist who studies these fascinating organisms called slime molds. For the last 10 years, Sarah has done breakthrough research on slime molds, which she actually collects within two kilometers from her house, in the eucalypt forest, in northern Tasmania.
34 minutes | Feb 26, 2021
#15: Waiting for time to do its job (with Andrew Gryf Paterson)
The kitchen is a space that many people might not think is worth sharing. It’s a place known for messy preparations, and not exactly perfect results. In this episode, cultural producer, educator, and independent researcher Andrew Gryf Paterson “spills his guts” and talks about his hybrid practices, which include bioart experiments, food cultures, and his everyday life. They all come together in his own kitchen, at home in Helsinki. It’s Kitchen Lab is an arena for collaboration between humans, time, and bacteria.
33 minutes | Feb 18, 2021
#14: There are no simple solutions for complex problems (with Aviaja Hauptmann)
Fermented meat is seen by many as something closer to a dead body than to a pickle. This kind of fermentation practices have often been subjectively represented as something dangerous, cruel, or unecological. But, is it really so? Tune into the 14th episode of Ferment Radio and join us in a conversation with Aviaja Hauptmann, a microbiologist and Greenlandic Inuit who researches microbiomes of fermented foods native to Greenland. Together, we discuss the dietary and social prejudices around traditional Inuit meat consumption and its preservation.
35 minutes | Jan 29, 2021
#13: How much of our survival depends on consumption? (with Zayaan Khan)
Microbes might be small, but they play a big role in the work of Zayaan Khan, an ecological artist based in Cape Town, South Africa. Tune into Ferment Radio and find out more about Zayaan’s life story through her ever changing relationship with food: from a childhood obsession with sweets to fermenting wild rosemary to produce hair conditioner, and more. As usual, the conversation is not just about food or microbes, but about life, consumption, and the systems behind them.
32 minutes | Jan 19, 2021
#12: Sourdough is a snapshot of a moment (with Karl de Smedt)
This is a perfect episode to listen to when you’re baking your own bread. You’ll find answers to questions you always wanted to ask about your sourdough starter, but there was no one to ask. Did my sourdough go bad? How often should I feed it? Here, we also talk about how old sourdough starters are; who actually owns them, and why sourdough cultures are like cities. Tune in and join our conversation with Karl de Smedt, the sourdough librarian from Puratos Sourdough Library in Belgium.
32 minutes | Dec 30, 2020
#11: Gentle transformations (with Eva Bakkeslett)
38 minutes | Nov 29, 2020
#10: Pure, or not pure (with Stephanie Maroney)
Different ideas about food and eating can actually change our understanding of society, and have a strong influence on how we live our lives. Fermentation questions purity: it needs bacteria to grow, and in our society, bacteria are seen as something unclean. Can fermentation, which goes against separation, control, and boundary-making, help create a healthier society? Our guest Stephanie Maroney –a scholar of feminist food studies– has a great deal to say about how science uses colonial practices in order to find solutions to western problems. Particularly with the extraction of “ancestral microbes” from Hadza people, an indigenous ethnic group in north-central Tanzania.
33 minutes | Nov 13, 2020
#9: Thinking of difference, differently (with Deboleena Roy)
Neuroscience, molecular biology, feminist science and technology studies, feminist theory, postcolonial studies, and reproductive justice movements. This all comes together in the work of feminist scientist Deboleena Roy. In the 9th episode of Ferment Radio, we will ponder about change inspired by microscopic organisms. From that perspective, evolution seems to be more of a collaboration than competition; taxonomic classifications of organisms are less hierarchical and more rhizomatic; and humans are not the center of the world, as it is commonly thought. You can learn more about this in Deboleena’s book "Molecular Feminisms: Biology, Becomings, and Life in the Lab".
37 minutes | Oct 31, 2020
#8: Fermenting Feminism (with Lauren Fournier)
What happens when we put together fermenting and feminism? In this conversation with Lauren Fournier –a writer, curator, video artist, and filmmaker based in Toronto– we reflect on the different meanings of these powerful words. Our conversation is built around Lauren’s article “Fermenting Feminism as Methodology and Metaphor”.Fermentation is preservation, transformation, and collaboration. That is, Fermentation is political.This episode starts a new series on Ferment Radio that will focus entirely on feminist issues and fermentation. It’s our sisterhood act of solidarity with the ongoing protests in Poland against a law that prohibits abortion.
27 minutes | Oct 7, 2020
#7: Fermenting our way out of trouble (with Maya Hey)
Fermentation keeps things from going bad! Let’s face it, microbes and humans will always be connected. But, can we actually apply this fermentation paradigm to society? In the 7th episode of Ferment Radio, we continue our conversation with Maya Hey. Together, we reflect on the impossibility of controlling something that is inseparable from us, fermentation as a feminist practice, and the cultural appropriation of food recipes.Tune into fermentradio.com for another exciting episode!
30 minutes | Sep 20, 2020
#6: I wish I had superpowers to see microbes (with Maya Hey)
The 6th episode of Ferment Radio is the first part of a conversation with Maya Hey, a scholar and PhD candidate at Concordia University researching fermentation and feminist theory. From chemistry labs to culinary kitchens, organic farms, and food markets, her work is a constant search to answer questions around embodied knowledge, collective ethics, and interspecies thriving. In our conversation, we discuss the bigger picture of fermentation; fermentation as a selfless practice, and the impossibility of understanding the microbial part of ourselves.
30 minutes | Sep 2, 2020
#5: Interspecies collaborations (with Mindaugas Gapševičius)
On Ferment Radio’s 5th episode, we will engage in a conversation about “collaborations with bacteria”. Together with Mindaugas Gapševičius –an artist, facilitator, and curator based in Berlin and Vilnius– we will reflect on creating the right environment for bacteria to thrive. Whether it’s a pocket-size toolkit or community-based biolaboratory, Miga is definitely a specialist in establishing collaborative exchanges with bacteria.
29 minutes | Jul 29, 2020
#4: Healing the inanimate with bacteria (with Christina Stadlbauer)
Christina Stadlbauer is an artist working in the interstices between art and science. Her work pivots around life; animals, plants, and bacteria. On the 4th episode of Ferment Radio, we engage in a conversation around one of her long-term projects entitled Kin Tsugi Transformations. Kin Tsugi is a traditional Japanese technique of repairing broken ceramics with Urushi lacquer and gold or silver. This method is rooted in a worldview in which everything is impermanent. Based on this concept, Christina proposes to repair objects through healing, rather than gluing, and with living microorganisms instead of aggressive substances.
30 minutes | Jul 8, 2020
#3: Microbial time and space travels (with Mateusz Kędzior)
On Ferment Radio’s 3d episode, we learn about microorganisms as our ancestors, time vehicles, and superheroes! Find out about this and much more in a conversation with Mateusz Kędzior, a Postdoctoral Fellow with Betül Kaçar’s research group at the University of Arizona, United States. Somewhere between sci-fi and astrobiology’s hi-tech, this team tries tries to find an answer to seemingly basic questions, like: Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? The answers seem to be encapsulated in microorganisms.
32 minutes | Jun 24, 2020
#2: Microbes as social actors (with Salla Sariola)
Salla Sariola is a social scientist at the University of Helsinki, Finland. In this episode, we will talk about her research on microbes as social actors, and the implications of antimicrobial resistance, which happens, for example, when microorganisms are immune to antibiotics. Salla is also passionate about fermenting vegetables and dairy, as well as permaculture composting.
30 minutes | Jun 9, 2020
#1: Fermentation On Wheels (with Tara Whitsitt)
Tara Whitsitt is a nomadic artist and educator whose passion for growing food and teaching fermentation inspired the grassroots educational project “Fermentation on Wheels”. Tara has been driving across the USA for over 7 years, sharing starter cultures, the history and science of fermentation, as well as countless stories that she has gathered on the road. Together with millions of microbes, she is now rooted in the Kittatinny Valley, New Jersey.
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