Why Root Forward?
Because we can’t move forward unless we secure our roots. It is only when we are firmly rooted to our landscapes, our food, and our communities that we can grow towards a more resilient, equitable, and harmonious future. The concept of rootedness is what my podcast about my Iraqi grandmother has in common with my podcast about elves in Iceland and a beekeeper in Slovenia. The objective of these pieces is to weave together some of those threads of continuity. After all, our greatest promise lies in being deeply connected with the land, with our history, and with each other and what better way to achieve that than through the timeless tradition of storytelling? I hope you enjoy.
Audio is my preferred medium because it offers a rare opportunity to tune into the particularities and intricacies of voices (whether they be of humans or Icelandic elves.) Stories come alive through audio and if you do your job right your audience is converted from passive listeners to fellow travellers. You are no longer just a writer of a script or a podcaster, but a guide leading your audience to new experiences and insights. That is what I have aimed to accomplish while collaborating with production companies such as Generation Anthropocene, the Stanford Storytelling Project, and Boldly Went. I do not seek to merely tell a story; I want those who tune in to accompany me on my journey.
Podcasting has opened a whole new world of narrative, but there will always be a need for the written word. Whether in the form of creative nonfiction or a journalistic blog post, the written word gives rise to a its own powerful form of communication. My passion and focus is the environment, and often within the environmental space I hone in on food, and, at times, for some strange reason, I obsess on New Jersey, its people, its culture, its lack of culture. I am also slightly addicted to travel and when I travel I encounter people and places that give rise to transformative stories that I feel the need to share with others. When this occurs, the written word is often the quickest and most direct means of sharing.