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 forthewild.world for the full episode description, references, and action points.