Inter-species Care: Maya Chowdhry and Mama D Ujuaje in Conversation with Eva Giraud – 30 June 2021


Online, Wednesday 30 June 2021, 7-8.30pm (BST)

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For this event, researcher and facilitator Mama D Ujuaje and writer and multidisciplinary artist Maya Chowdhry came together to explore relationships between the human and more-than-human. Looking at how humans have navigated the world of rice, what canvas and damask cotton have to do with human nourishment, why there are bananas in the Caribbean, and how coffee drinkers are colonised, this multimedia performance illuminates the complex environments of food, nourishment and interspecies care.

After the performance they were joined by Dr Eva Giraud and for a discussion on how we become so entangled with, and how we can care for, other species.

This event was part of the 2021 Critical Poetics Summer School, organised by the Critical Poetics Research Group at Nottingham Trent University in partnership with Nottingham Contemporary and Curated & Created at NTU, with broadcast technical support by Metronome.

To find out more about the Critical Poetics Summer School click here.


Maya Chowdhry is a writer and a multidisciplinary artist. Her work explores issues such as seed sovereignty and climate justice. Maya’s poetry collections are The Seamstress and the Global Garment and Fossil. She creates immersive and democratic live art experiences for participants, drawing from creating work in poetry, radio, video and installation. Recent work utilises the online space for transmedia storytelling and augmented reality artworks. Maya’s award-winning writing includes ‘Butterfly Orchid’, highly commended in the Forward Poetry Prizes, 2017. ‘Tales from the Towpath’, an immersive story for Manchester Literature Festival, was shortlisted for the International New Media Writing Prize, 2014. ‘Galvanising Change’, an interactive audio installation which utilises sensors to examine climate change, is currently exhibited online with Digital Art Studios and The British Council.

Photo credit: Sam Galantini

Eva Haifa Giraud is a Senior Lecturer in Media at Keele University. Her research has two strands. In empirical terms, she is interested in the ways that activists negotiate tensions associated with the media platforms they use, particularly the challenges posed by social media. Her work has engaged with this theme in the context of environmental, animal, and food activism, with more recent research focusing on anti-racist politics. She also has a broad conceptual interest in non-anthropocentric theoretical work, which explores ways of thinking and acting in the world that move beyond the treatment of (some) humans as exceptional. Her publications include What Comes After Entanglement? Activism, anthropocentrism and an ethics of exclusion (Duke University Press), Veganism: Politics, Practice, and Theory (Bloomsbury Academic) and articles in journals such as Theory, Culture & Society, New Media & Society and Social Studies of Science.

Photo credit: Rt1styx.arts

Mama D Ujuaje is a Community Researcher and Facilitator whose background is in Food and Nourishment Practice and artistic advocacy around Food Justice. She currently curates, within Community Centred Knowledge, Learning Journeys, exploring the interfaces of community, modernity and systemic justice through the routes of art and culture. She uses embodied and action research methods to interrogate the interfaces of community and academic knowledge construction. She is interested in how humans navigate justice issues over time and space and manage personal and social trauma in embodied ways, across the territories of the Anthropocene. In traversing from the physiology to the psychology of nourishment, Mama D encourages storytelling and the coaxing out of withheld stories from a wide range of bodies, bringing them to the loom. She encourages each participant to pick up the threads and interweave with each other, even getting beneath the skin of the everyday. Mama D is an alchemist of the ordinary.