036 - Cultivating Cultures & Social Fermentation With Eva Bakkeslett

Using Art And Fermentation To Inspire Connection With Each Other And Nature 

In this episode, we talk with Eva Bakkeslett.


Eva is a creative at heart and has a Masters in Art & Ecology and she defines herself as an artist, filmmaker, curator and gentle activist. Her works often combine film, workshops and public participation to challenge, inspire and engage people. She is particularly inspired by the process of fermentation and explores how this can be a method for re-imagining sustainable human cultures. 

Eva shows, lectures, curates and performs her work worldwide and she resides on the beautiful island of Engeløya in northern Norway. Join us as Eva shares some of the projects she’s done -including working with Sandor Katz; we talk about using fermentation as a metaphor, and get into some great discussion about having connection to the natural world.

I really appreciated talking to someone with a different world view, and expanding my consciousness. I hope you benefit too! Thanks for listening.


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Check Eva’s website out to learn more about her and what she’s up to: 


You can connect personally with Eva: 


Be sure to check out Eva’s TED talk: 


And here is a fascinating book Eva contributed to:





Eva Bakkeslett

- grew up steeped in wilderness and nature, picking wild food and baking bread

- always asked deep questions about how things are connected

- studied for a Masters in Art and Ecology

- while studying, made a poetic film about the process of making bread

- while fermenting, the bread dough was “chatting” to Eva: Eva decided to learn to understand that language

- became fascinated by the process of fermentation, and how it could relate to creating sustainable human cultures


Listening to Fermentation

- was inspired by people working with fermentation such as Frank Cook and Sandor Katz, did their course

- started incorporating that inquiry into every aspect of her artistic practice

- most nations have their own fermentation cultures passed down through the generations, Eva began to learn about these and how they parallel the other, larger kind of “culture” 

- discussion of people who have shaped Eva’s mindset


How Eva Communicates Her Ideas

- “social fermentation”, involves humans and microbes

- workshops, more-in depth courses, films, art exhibitions

- bringing people into the fermentation processes

- reconnecting with natural processes, instead of seeing ourselves as separate

- encouraging people to ask deeper questions


Fermentation on a Cultural Level

- discussion of different ferments Eva is working with

- stories of people emigrating with cultures from their native homes, across to other countries

- engaging people on a visceral level

- we are great at using our eyes, but neglect the other senses

- Eva aims to facilitate the start of a transformation in people, an epiphany moment

- embracing a more connected way of thinking with then brings change

- story of immigrant couple from Congo experiencing Scandinavian ferment, memories of their native fermentation processes = cultural connections


Tying Into Humanity’s Bigger Picture

- we are all inevitably part of the earth’s fermentation process; when we die, we return to the earth

- we can choose be part of those natural processes now while we live

- these moments of experiencing nature’s transformations are magic


How Eva Finds Her Next Project

- becoming part of good things that are already happening

- initiating events

- discussion of connecting with immigrants, their stories and their own cultural practices = cultural fermentation on a meta level


Looking To The Future

- touring show about bird situation worldwide

- not looking for answers, but looking for questions

- we are more bacterial than human: a metaphorical perspective as well as a biological one

- everything is connected, and we can experience being part of it


Closing Thoughts

- go and explore for yourself

- Eva will be in Copenhagen at Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology on October 18th 2018