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Story Untold Podcast
69 minutes | 7 months ago
Todd Spoth: “[Photography is] the only class I’ve ever failed in my existence”
An award-winning photographer based in Houston, TX, Todd Spoth has photographed U.S. presidents, Olympic athletes, and recording artists alike. Known as “Uncle Todd” to more than a few hip-hop artists’ families, Spoth has played golf with rapper Scarface and been doused in slime with NBA All-Star Chris Paul. Todd currently serves on the board of directors for the American Society of Media Photographers and has taught photography classes for Canon and the NFL. Read the extended interview. This episode is sponsored by Focal (bookfocal.com), the revolutionary e-commerce portfolio and booking system for photographers. Learn more about how Focal can boost your photography.
35 minutes | 8 months ago
Marta Zaraska: “Optimism, kindness, and friendship”
From the day her daughter was born, science journalist Marta Zaraska (Washington Post, The Atlantic) fretted about her family’s health. She fasted, considered adopting the keto diet, and ran a half-marathon. She bought goji berries and chia seeds and ate organic food. But then her research brought her to a new way of understanding, one that shattered her old beliefs about aging and longevity. In Growing Young, Zaraska makes the case for health’s social factors: a supportive network of family and friends, volunteering, and developing a sense of purpose. In uncovering the science behind these factors, she catches wild mice in central England, arranges flowers with Japanese octogenarians, and visits a Polish hugging centre. Bio adapted from Growing Young book jacket. Photo of Marta Zaraska from Facebook.
40 minutes | 9 months ago
Sarah McNair-Landry: “The Arctic Ocean is an amazing and terrifying place”
Raised in Iqaluit, adventurer-filmmaker Sarah McNair-Landry learned to ski and drive sled dogs from her polar guide parents. At nineteen, she became the youngest person to reach both the North and South Poles. She has traversed the Gobi Desert by kite-buggy, traveled Greenland by kayak, survived brushes with hungry polar bears, and now teaches newcomers how to thrive on winter expeditions. “[On the Arctic Ocean], it can be minus 40, and you can run into open water, or have these big chunks of ice crack in half, and then the next day, they’ll pile together and create these massive pressure ridges to get up and over. It’s a hard place to describe; it’s so different and dynamic and moving and changing. On one side, it can be very beautiful, and on the other side, it can be very demoralizing.” – Sarah McNair-Landry Photo: Sarah McNair-Landry. This episode has been edited for clarity.
31 minutes | 9 months ago
Frances Cha: “Books were something that consumed my life”
A former travel and culture editor for CNN International, Frances Cha grew up between the United States, Hong Kong, and South Korea. She has written for The Atlantic, The Believer, and the Yonhap News Agency, among others. Her debut novel, If I Had Your Face, follows four young women in Seoul’s underclass, “making their way in a world defined by impossible standards of beauty, after-hours room salons catering to wealthy men, ruthless social hierarchies, and K-pop mania.” Bio adapted from the book jacket for If I Had Your Face. Photo credit: Illooz.
53 minutes | 10 months ago
Cameron Dueck: “Mennonite has a lot of definitions”
Across Latin America, from the plains of Mexico to the jungle of Paraguay, live a cloistered Germanic people. In Menno Moto, a memoir of an eight-month, 45,000 kilometre motorcycle journey across the Americas, Mennonite writer Cameron Dueck searches for common ground within his cultural diaspora. From issues of drug smuggling and water rights in Mexico, to a mass-rape scandal in Bolivia, to the Green Hell of Paraguay and the wheat fields of Argentina, Dueck follows his ancestors south, finding reasons to both love and loathe his culture — and, in the process, find himself. Blurb adapted from Menno Moto book jacket. Photo provided by Cameron Dueck.
38 minutes | a year ago
Eva Holland: “Fear is essential”
In 2015, writer and Outside magazine correspondent Eva Holland was forced to confront the question: what happens when the thing you fear the most comes true? The daughter of a mother who lost her own parents young, Holland long feared the same would happen to her. Then, on a camping trip in northwestern British Columbia, she got the news: her mother had suffered a stroke. In Nerve: A Personal Journey Through the Science of Fear, Holland examines the extent to which fear inhibits us. What happens in the body when we go into a panic attack? How do we overcome our deepest fears? What would it be like to live without any fear at all? Conversely, what is the case for keeping fear around? “Fear is our most important survival tool, I think … without it, we have no drive to survive; we have no guardrails on our lives.” – Eva Holland Eva Holland is a Whitehorse, Yukon-based writer and editor. Her work has appeared in Wired, Grantland, The Walrus, and Canadian Geographic, among other places. Photo provided by Eva Holland (photo credit: GBP Creative).
49 minutes | a year ago
Dr. Erynne Gilpin: “Knowledge is relational”
A co-founder of UATÊ // STORIED LEARNING, a vehicle for community-led knowledge mobilization through film and storytelling, Erynne Gilpin is a Victoria-based educator, birth doula, bead worker, and activist. The creator of Indigenous Womxn Climb, she is interested in Indigenous resurgence through “embodied governance, insurgent healing, and land/water-based wellness.” “Knowledge is really interconnected with everything that’s around us, everything that is in our ancestry, in our kinship networks, and also in who defines our family networks … where we are living, and what places we’re connected to. That was a theme that I described in my dissertation as ‘Kitaskînaw î pî kiskinohamâkoya,’ which means in Cree that the land gives us our knowledge, and the knowledge is what tells us who we are as a people.” – Erynne Gilpin Photo credit: kl. Peruzzo (@peruzzo.prz)
37 minutes | a year ago
Eternity Martis: “I had to survive”
Eternity Martis found that as a Black student at a mostly-white university, she learned more about “what someone like me brought out in other people than who I was.” From blackface to racial slurs, she chronicled it all in her debut memoir, They Said This Would Be Fun. A blend of personal stories and in-depth reporting, it pulls back the curtains on systemic issues–racism, sexism, intimate partner violence–plaguing students today. An award-winning journalist and editor, Martis’ work has appeared in The Huffington Post, VICE, The Walrus, CBC, Canadaland, Chatelaine, and Salon, among other outlets. In 2017, she was a National Magazine Award finalist for Best New Writer. She is also the 2018 winner of the Canadian Online Publishing Awards’s Best Investigative Feature. Photo of Eternity Martis by Corey Misquita. Martis’ They Said This Would Be Fun is available through McLelland & Stewart. A map of Canadian independent booksellers taking online orders can be found here.
56 minutes | a year ago
Buy Nothing Project: “Build the world you want to live in”
What if, when you wanted something, you just asked? Rebecca Rockefeller and Liesl Clark are the co-creators of the Buy Nothing Project, a global network of hyper-local gift economies aimed at building community and consuming less. What started as a small Facebook group in Bainbridge Island, Washington in 2013 — the first gift was a dozen eggs to a neighbour — has bloomed to over 1.2 million members in 25 countries, even spawning a global travellers’ network and disaster relief team. “We are trained in so many ways to be in a scarcity mindset in which we feel like we have to amass all of these things, and all of these skills, and hold them close to ourselves, as if somehow that’s the only way they have value … When we start sharing our stuff and our skills with each other freely, there’s this amazing abundance that is rock-solid — and that can see us through not just times of ease, but times of difficulty and true scarcity.” – Rebecca Rockefeller, co-creator of the Buy Nothing Project “Everyone has something to give … even your company can be a gift to someone.” – Liesl Clark, co-creator of the Buy Nothing Project Find more about The Buy Nothing, Get Everything Plan. Find a Buy Nothing community. Photo: Liesl Clark (left), Rebecca Rockefeller (right).
56 minutes | a year ago
David Roskelley: “Enjoy the grind”
David Roskelley has a penchant for difficult things. The first American to climb the Seven Summits and Volcanic Seven Summits, the highest mountains and volcanoes on each continent, Roskelley has survived on yak meat while summiting Mount Everest, and traveled as far afield as Papua New Guinea and Antarctica in search of peaks to climb. A Chicago native, he was first entranced by the mountains as a twelve-year-old seeing the Teton Range. His next goal is more audacious than the last: to reach the high point of the Moon.
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