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cover art for 20. Seeds: The Life Keepers - with Milka Chepkorir Kuto

Lifeworlds

20. Seeds: The Life Keepers - with Milka Chepkorir Kuto

Season 2, Ep. 20

Seeds. Memory keepers. Speckled time travellers. Capsules of deep, earth wisdom. To control seeds is to control life. To be a seed is to hold the genetic code of turning starlight into matter, of morphing your body into soft green tips that tremble in the wind and drink fire. There is a deep co-evolutionary relationship that exists in your bones, between humans, land, ecology, and seeds.


And we are losing them. An absence of flourishing seed systems directly correlates with a loss of cultural identity for thousands of communities around the world. Life for rural communities fractures. We’re losing our seed keepers. The freedom of seeds therefore becomes a political act of justice, on food sovereignty, indigenous rights, and restoring power back into the hands of farmers. So how does this rich history weave into the story of today’s guest?


Milka Chepkorir Kuto is an anthropologist and climate and human rights activist. She is a member of the Sengwer indigenous community of Kenya’s Rift Valley, and she has become a representative for her people in defending their land rights after violent evictions from their traditional lands. Milka is also a Coordinator of Defending Territories of Life at ICCA Consortium, and has worked the UN Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Her community is now working to revitalize people-land relationships through indigenous knowledge, and Milka works with the women to save and protect their ancestral ways and seed systems. As Milka speaks, you can feel in her spirit this visceral connection to place, story, food, culture, a weaving of seed, hand, heart, human, forest. Milka herself is a seed, a story keeper, a culture holder, an inspirational tie between ancestral knowing and the modern world.


Episode Website Link

Show Links:

Milka’s Crowdfunding Site for Lifeworlds listeners: “Help the Indigenous Sengwer Peoples of Kenya”

Revitalizing Sengwer People-Land Relationships

Seed savers network Kenya

Global Alliance for Future of Food

Open Seed Sharing

Earthed course: Saving Seeds for a Better Future

Will Bonsall, Scatterseed Project

Movie: SEED, The Untold Story

Gaia Foundation Seed Sovereignty

Seeds of Freedom Trilogy

Navdanya from Vandana Shiva

Music: Electric Ethnicity by Igor Dvorkin, Duncan Pittock & Ellie Kidd

Cover Photo by AI

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