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Ferment Radio

Author: Aga Pokrywka

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Ferment Radio is a bi-monthly podcast series on bacterial and social fermentation. We all know what bacterial fermentation is, or at least we have experienced its effects when we drink tea or coffee, and when we eat bread or pickles. Fermentation is a process in which food transforms into longer-lasting, more nutritious, and even tastier dishes. Fermentation as a diet; as a lifestyle; as a metaphor; as an inspiration. The combination of all these, embedded in our everyday lives, is called social fermentation. And as in fermentation itself, this definition is in a constant transformation process. Join Aga Pokrywka in Ferment Radio; a conversation with artists, chefs, activists, researchers, and hackers to discuss living interconnectivities: from macro to micro, and from societal to cellular.
9 Episodes
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".
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. 
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 for another exciting episode!
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. 
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.
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.
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. 
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. 
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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