This piece is not exactly environmentally focused—this one is about family. My grandmother was born in Baghdad, Iraqi in the 1930s, at a time when Iraq and its Jewish communities were flourishing. But with increasing antisemitic sentiments and acts of violence and persecution over the next decade, she was forced to leave with her family as part of the Israeli airlifts between 1949-51. She has lived in Manchester, England ever since, dedicating her life to raising four children and nourishing her growing family with inimitable Iraqi dishes. But while my grandmother has always been adamant about sharing her cooking, she has been reluctant to share her recipes and details about her past. While this originally was an attempt to learn more about my grandmother, it became an exploration of the barriers in communication between generations and our very human desire to resist the inevitable changes that come with the passage of time.
A story about accidental beauty, a changing landscape, disappointed tourists, and the complicated nature of conservation in the Anthropocene.
Iceland’s Concealed Conservationists is about the elf population in Iceland and how Icelanders’ tradition of hidden creatures living in the landscape encourages a deep respect for nature and a sense of responsibility to preserve the wilderness which is an essential part of Iceland’s culture and identity. But over the past few years the numbers of tourists travelling to Iceland has increased drastically as people from other countries seek these rare and dramatic locations and so Iceland’s untouched wilderness is at risk of losing its essential character. This story is about the landscape of Iceland and the magic and life that it holds, and Icelanders’ efforts to ensure that it is not lost.
Produced by: Michaela Elias
Featuring: Michaela Elias, Steinar Kaldal, Olof Yrr Atladottir, Oddur Sturluson, Ragga Jonsdottir, Terry Gunnel, Gudmundur Ögmundarson
Producer(s): Michaela Elias, storytelling.stanford.edu
Music: Two Stragers, Rachel Mason, Live at WFMU on Scoot Williams show
Song Four, Bridget St John—Live at WFMU’s Monty Hall
Calendula, Ava Zandieh, Patterns and Drones
Henfight, Itasca, Live at WFMU on The Avant Ghetto with Jeff Conklin
Open your eyes, Jarkko Hietanen