For The Wild Podcast
ANTONIA ESTELA PEREZ on Uncovering Plant-Human Intimacy /305

ANTONIA ESTELA PEREZ on Uncovering Plant-Human Intimacy /305

September 21, 2022

Breathing in the joy and lessons of the plant life surrounding us, Ayana and guest Antonia Estela Perez share an enriching conversation on the power and magic of coming to know the world around us. Antonia dives into the tension that exists in living in and caring for lands that have been violently colonized, calling listeners to understand plants both in the ways that colonization has affected their legacies and within anti-colonial structures that suggest there are other ways to engage with the plants around us. 


The natural world is, in fact, not separated from any one of us, and in detailing her work with Herban Cura, Antonia brings her insight on connections to plants and land within urban settings expanding the horizons of intimacy between humans and plants across human-imposed boundaries. As Antonia shares more about her New York City and Chilean roots,  she reminds us of the value of connection to places for spiritual, ancestral, and medicinal means. Cultural and ancestral knowledge are vital to everyone’s survival in a world marred by colonial violence. What healing can be found within our own backyards, our own lineages? Perhaps the plants will lead us home once again – as they always have. 


Antonia Estela Perez grows medicines, gardens, and networks that work to interrupt anthropocentric, individualist, separatist socialization and bring folks into deeper awareness of their ecological family and belonging. They are first gen, born and raised on Lenape territory in NYC, and descended from the Mapuche peoples of Chile. They have cultivated a deep relationship with their plant relatives since a very young age, and their passion for open-source pedagogy founded the inclusive healing, learning, and collaboration space Herban Cura along with its medicinal product line.


Music by Julio Kintu and The Ulali Project with Pura Fé. Visit our website at for the full episode description, references, and action points.


DR. MIMI KHÚC on Claiming Unwellness / 304

DR. MIMI KHÚC on Claiming Unwellness / 304

September 14, 2022

Guided by her curated work Open In Emergency (a “hybrid book project” including a Tarot Deck and a “hacked” DSM), Dr. Mimi Khúc and Ayana share in a deep conversation touching on mental health, collective unwellness, and the power of communal care. Mimi provides listeners with a reminder of joyful slowness and the vitality of finding the agency to care for self and others.


Mimi’s work is grounded in the question: “How do we find new ways to talk about what hurts?” Flipping diagnosis on its head, Mimi guides us to find new ways to name what we feel and to decolonize the language of feeling itself. How is what we feel a reflection of what we have been told we must feel? How are our understandings of wellness centered around a productivity that benefits expansive capitalism over humanity? 


Together, Mimi and Ayana reflect on the ethical callings and commitments to care for each other and begin to unpack the systems that must be dismantled in order to truly care for one another and find vulnerability together. These are spiritual and religious questions. Perhaps connection and care in this individualized, alienating world are true magic. 


Mimi Khúc is a writer, scholar, and teacher of things unwell and visiting professor in Disability Studies at Georgetown University. She is the managing editor of The Asian American Literary Review and guest editor of Open in Emergency: A Special Issue on Asian American Mental Health. She is very slowly working on several book projects, including a manifesto on contingency in Asian American studies and essays on mental health, the arts, and the university. But mostly she spends her time baking, as access and care for herself and loved ones.


Music by Jeffery Silverstein, Samara Jade, Grief Is A River (Sarah Knapp). Visit our website at for the full episode description, references, and action points.


DR. BRETT STORY on How We Belong to Each Other / 303

DR. BRETT STORY on How We Belong to Each Other / 303

September 7, 2022

This week, Ayana is joined by filmmaker and author Dr. Brett Story. Together, they ponder justice, accountability, and interconnection in a complex and rapidly changing world. 


In this intellectual and timely conversation, Brett begins by unpacking how carceral logics and conceptions of the “criminal” work, mark and dictate the world spatially, while at the same time explaining the socially-constructed nature of crime. Brett’s work examines the ways we individually and collectively metabolize our anxieties, and through this lens, she makes connections across the broad issues of our current reality from changing climates to criminal justice systems that were designed to enforce control rather than to produce true justice. 


At the center of the conversation is the question of  interdependence– emphasizing the need for community and collective action in the face of neoliberal individualism. Mass-incarceration and climate change are not crises of the individual, but of our culture. The abolitionist imagination may be the key to a collective future– as Brett reminds listeners that our aspirations can be both practical and utiopan. 


Brett Story is an award-winning nonfiction filmmaker based in Toronto whose films have screened at festivals and theaters internationally. She is the director of the award winning feature documentaries The Hottest August (2019) and The Prison in Twelve Landscapes (2016), both of which were also broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens. Brett holds a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Toronto and is currently an assistant professor in the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University. She is the author of the book, Prison Land: Mapping Carceral Power across Neoliberal America.  Brett was a 2016 Sundance Institute Art of Nonfiction Fellow and a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow in film and video.


Music by Jahawi Bertolli, Jahnavi Veronica, and Leyla McCalla. Visit our website at for the full episode description, references, and action points.


CLAUDIA SERRATO on Earth-Centric Gastronomy / 302

CLAUDIA SERRATO on Earth-Centric Gastronomy / 302

August 31, 2022

This week, guest Dr. Claudia Serrato opens our minds to the sensual, political, and vital nature of our relationship to food. Our bodies are a landscape in their own right and with Indigenous feminist theory in mind, this episode bears wittness to the cycles of gastronmies and of life that keep us tied to the earth. Claudia turns to her own landscape to remind us that there are times to dry up and times to bloom.  


To consume food means that we enter into a relationship with it, we physically embody it. In this conversation Claudia and Ayana dive into what that relationship could be, and how embodiment may be a spiritual quest. Honoring foodways and the gifts of the earth is about more than just changing our diets, but is rather a cultural, spiritual, and political project. How might we honor both where we came from and where we are now in ways that respect traditional foodways alongside place-based geographies/ food ways? 


Decolonizing the body and the landscape also means decolonizing the kitchen.Through the sacred work of food sovereignty, we can create a better kitchen, a better palate – one that resists the violence of colonization and globalization. This work is the toil of gardening, the pain of remembering, the prayers of the season. This is not easy work, but it is vital, human, and intimate.  


Dr. Claudia Serrato is a cultural and culinary anthropologist, an Indigenous plant-based chef, and a food justice activist scholar. Claudia has been writing, speaking, and cooking up decolonized flavors for over a decade by ReIndigenizing her diet with Mesoamerican foods and foodways, cooking traditions and nutrition, and culinary ways of knowing.


Music by Justin Crawmer, Julio Kintu, and PALO-MA (Paola De La Concha). Visit our website at for the full episode description, references, and action points. 


Ang Roell on the Relations of the Beehive / 301

Ang Roell on the Relations of the Beehive / 301

August 24, 2022

How might we steward relationships of generosity, see beehives beyond the human-imposed gaze? This week, guest Ang Roell leads us to better understand bees and our entangled relationship to them. Bees, from the honeybees we may be familiar with to the wide variety of bees local to areas across the globe, are a vital participant in our ecosystems in ways that go beyond pollination or agricultural production. Together, Ang and Ayana unpack the often colonial and capitalist assumptions behind the language we use to describe bees (from the “busy bee” to the assumptions Euro-centric views of hives make). The internal workings of the hive are far more complex, more collective, more wild than many have imagined.


Ang introduces listeners to the magic of the beehive as a superorganism – revealing the complex relations within the hive and the multitude of lessons if we listen rather than impose. Rooting into the rich history of beekeeping and the folk traditions of their ancestors, Ang reminds us of the deeply interconnected world humans and bees share and the reciprocity inherent in right relationship. The cycles, rhythms, and rituals of the hive may offer a balm in these times, just as they have before.  


Ang Roell (they/them) is a beekeeper, facilitator and writer who lives and works on the East Coast of the US/Turtle Island. They are the founder and lead beekeeper at They Keep Bees, and a consultant with Mainspring Change Consultants.


Ang's work with bees includes cultivating queen bees who are adaptive to ever changing climates. In their consulting work they support organizations in making lasting change by shifting power structures & creating effective collaboration. In both of these roles Ang seeks to build resilient collaborations designed to stand the test of these transitional and transformative times.


Music by Anilah (Drea Drury), Alexa Wildish, and Violet Bell. Visit our website at for the full episode description, references, and action points.

DR. BAYO AKOMOLAFE on Coming Alive to Other Senses / 300

DR. BAYO AKOMOLAFE on Coming Alive to Other Senses / 300

August 17, 2022

“The fugitive is the figure of the Anthropocene, a political invitation to unlearn ‘mastery,’ to fall to the Earth, to learn how to commune with soil… In a sense, the fugitive answers the question that is hidden within the words of my Elders, when they say: ‘in order to find your way, you must become lost.’” In this week’s episode, Bayo Akomolafe guides listeners on a journey to lose oneself and leave behind the ties that bind us to world views that do not serve humanity’s wholeness. Touching on the historical roots of fugitivity, Bayo challenges us to lean into the “political un-project” that is fugitivity, blurring societally-imposed binaries, in order to better understand the human territory and to make more-than-human sanctuary through post activism. If justice is an action and not a static state, how can we embody it? 


Twisting and turning through the contours of human consciousness and understanding, Bayo and Ayana dive into meaningful and existential questions. Rooted in trickster philosophy and abundant spirituality, Bayo encourages mindful and playful questions. At the heart of such complex questioning, lies the vital question of our time – what does it mean to be a human in times such as this?


Bayo Akomolafe (Ph.D.), rooted with the Yoruba people in a more-than-human world, is the father to Alethea and Kyah, the grateful life partner to Ije, son and brother. A widely celebrated international speaker, posthumanist thinker, poet, teacher, public intellectual, essayist, and author of two books, These Wilds Beyond our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home (North Atlantic Books) and We Will Tell Our Own Story: The Lions of Africa Speak, Bayo Akomolafe is the Visionary Founder of The Emergence Network and host of the online postactivist course, ‘We Will dance with Mountains’. 


Music by Dzidzor and Lady Moon and the Eclipse. Visit our website at for the full episode description, references, and action points.


DR. CLINT CARROLL on Stewarding Homeland /299

DR. CLINT CARROLL on Stewarding Homeland /299

August 10, 2022

In this new episode of For The Wild podcast, Ayana and guest Dr. Clint Carroll, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, discuss the mobility of Cherokee ethical frameworks as they are applied to environmental governance projects for Land Back. Exploring various forms of Cherokee relationality throughout time, Dr. Carroll pushes back against dominant settler histories about Cherokee migrations and relations to homeland and provides insight into what audience members ought to glean from Indigenous philosophies imparting practices of deep reciprocity, responsibility, and relationship to the land and each other. This episode shares about Cherokee Nation’s historic plant gathering agreement with Buffalo National River Cherokee Treaty Lands and details of the Cherokee Environmental Leadership program, spearheaded by Dr. Carroll. We learn of Cherokee treaty history, Cherokee relations to more than human kin encoded in origin story, Cherokee place names,  and Cherokee linguistic concepts central to the Cherokee Environmental Leadership program that de-center human beings and re-center relationships and responsibilities with a community of other-than-human kin. 


Clint Carroll is an Associate Professor of Native American and Indigenous Studies in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, he works at the intersections of Indigenous studies, anthropology, and political ecology, with an emphasis on Cherokee environmental governance and land-based resurgence. Currently, he is working with Cherokee elders, students, and Cherokee Nation staff on an integrated education and research project that investigates Cherokee access to wild plants in northeastern Oklahoma amid shifting climate conditions and fractionated tribal lands. Funded by the National Science Foundation and the Indian Land Tenure Foundation, this work aims to advance methods and strategies for Indigenous land education and community-based conservation.


Music by Buffalo Rose (Misra Records), Cold Mountain Child, Kendra Swanson, and Crispy Watkins and The Crack Willows.

ALEXIS SHOTWELL on Resisting Purity Culture /298, August 3, 2022

ALEXIS SHOTWELL on Resisting Purity Culture /298, August 3, 2022

August 3, 2022

This week we are joined by guest Alexis Shotwell to discuss how we might turn from the purity politics that govern many of our lives and this hurting world toward collective struggles for transformation and liberatory futurisms. Rather than forfeiting our complicity and implication in a world with mounting problems, we learn of a helpful heuristic for transforming inaction or the urge to be the perfect activist to a ground where we might be better- equipped to stick around for the long hall in struggles for social justice.  According to Alexis, this practice calls for admitting our mistakes and centering repair. 


In this episode, we dive into the relationship between purity culture and white supremacism, our complicit locations and implications in violence, and the importance of showing up to repair our broken and harmed relations inherited or otherwise. Alexis elucidates that it is only through the messy process of owning up to these broken relations throughout time and seeing how we might participate in and take on culturally appropriate relations of repair, responsibility, friendship, and comradeship in the struggles for liberation that we can survive these times. We hope this episode inspires your curiosity and (re)activates your commitments to this world. 


Alexis Shotwell’s work focuses on complexity, complicity, and collective transformation. A professor at Carleton University, on unceded Algonquin land, she is the co-investigator for the AIDS Activist History Project (, and the author of Knowing Otherwise: Race, Gender, and Implicit Understanding and Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times.


Music by Anne Carol Mitchel and Daniel Cherniske. 

Visit our website at for the full episode description, references, and action points.

DR. JAMAICA HEOLIMELEIKALANI OSORIO on Reclaiming Aloha / 297, July 27, 2022

DR. JAMAICA HEOLIMELEIKALANI OSORIO on Reclaiming Aloha / 297, July 27, 2022

July 27, 2022

How might traditional Hawaiian lifeways and teachings usher in a reclaimed understanding of aloha and a world beyond capitalism? In this episode, Dr. Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio centers Pilinia, precolonial Hawaiian intimacy and relations, as technology for increasing capacity for relationships and pleasure, care and reciprocity, love for each other and the Earth, and the actualization of the Hawaiian concept of aloha ʻāina. Dr. Osorio opens this episode by charting iterations of Pilina throughout the history of sovereign Hawai’i, describing nets of intimacy within Pilina multiple partners, expansive ‘ohana family networks, and how queer lovemaking is reflected in the land as inherent in creation. From that grounding, Dr. Osorio guides us into a fuller understanding of aloha by returning the commodified phrase to the more extensive knowledge of aloha ‘āina, wherein the possibilities for abundance and other worlds are not only born but remembered and recalled from the long history of sovereign Hawai’i and traditional Hawaiian teachings and lifeways. Dr. Osorio reminds us that for Native Hawaiians and Indigenous peoples, the future beyond capitalism, settler colonialism, heterosexuality, and other forms of domination resides in the living knowledges from ancestral pasts. There are other ways of being for Hawai’i and the planet.  


Dr. Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio is a Kānaka Maoli wahine artist, activist, and scholar born and raised in Pālolo Valley to parents Jonathan and Mary Osorio. Heoli earned her Ph.D. in English Hawaiian literature in 2018 from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Currently, Heoli is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous and Native Hawaiian Politics at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Heoli is a three-time national poetry champion, poetry mentor, and published author. She is a proud past Kaiāpuni student, Ford fellow, and a graduate of Kamehameha, Stanford University (BA), and New York University (MA). Her book Remembering our Intimacies: Moʻolelo, Aloha ʻĀina, and Ea was published this fall with the University of Minnesota Press.


Music by Pura Fé, Rising Appalachia, and Justin Crawmer, 


Visit our website at for the full episode description, references, and action points.

DR. LARRY WARD on Healing the Colonial Mind  /296

DR. LARRY WARD on Healing the Colonial Mind /296

July 20, 2022

In this episode of For The Wild podcast, we plumb into racial karma and healing systemic trauma in the American context with guest Dr. Larry Ward. Covering the neuroscience of trauma, the habit of racism, and various typologies of systemic trauma, Dr. Ward provides insight into how we might consciously choose to activate our neuroplasticity toward justice rather than collectively rewarding our neuroplasticity for violence and oppression. We are reminded in this episode that we are more than our colonial traumatic memory; we are, in fact, part of the one living reality of the natural world. According to Dr. Ward, cultivating a spiritual practice of awareness of our embeddedness with the world allows us to transcend the conditioning of the colonial mind. Harkening to the potential for anima mundi, the creation of a new world soul, we are invited to lead in the direction of the positive deconstruction of the current world order and to be vigilant in putting our minds and behaviors toward creating generative possibilities for the planet and generations to come.


Dr. Larry Ward (he/him) is a senior teacher in Buddhist Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh's Plum Village tradition, author of the book America's Racial Karma, and co-author with his wife Peggy of Love's Garden, A Guide To Mindful Relationships. Dr. Ward brings twenty five years of international experience in organizational change and local community renewal to his work as director of the Lotus Institute and as an advisor/dharma teacher. He holds a PhD in Religious Studies with an emphasis on Buddhism and the neuroscience of meditation. Larry is a knowledgeable, charismatic and inspirational teacher, offering insights with personal stories and resounding clarity that express his dharma name, “True Great Sound.” 


Music by Daniela Lanaia, Curran Runz, Lady Moon and the Eclipse, and The New Runes

Visit our website at for the full episode description, references, and action points.

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