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To rewild the western mind Arita Baaijens looks for ancient narratives that matter in the modern wor

Arita Baaijens - Explorer, Biologist, Author, Photographer, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society & the Explorers Club

We first spoke with Arita on February 8th 2016. Since then Arita has continued to follow her passions. She has recently returned from her 2nd expedition to the rainforest in Papua New Guinea.

While in Papua’s New Guinea, Arita has been focusing on life in the forest. This has involved taking sound recordings of ambient sounds, birds, etc. with the goal of producing a podcast in which the forest is the main character. There has also been a focus on the birds and how they communicate with each other and the local people.

For the past two years Arita has also initiated a landscape project in the Netherlands to rewild Dutch minds and to innovate mainstream cartographic maps. Arita also shares more about starting the - Dictionary for the Future.

Arita in her own words,

“Thirty years of exploration in wild places taught me that the separation between man and nature is an idea that exists in the western mind only. Nature is not ‘out there’, we are part of it. During my travels I was struck by the intimate way herders and nomadic people relate to the natural environment. Land in those regions has agency, intelligence and spirit. Closer to home, in the Netherlands, nature is considered a resource or at best a pleasant decor. We are stuck with an outdated model of reality. Let’s explore new narratives and in doing so create the world we want to live in!”

This is a fascinating podcast which will get you to explore more of your mind and the different way of explaining the world.


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Show Notes

  • Welcoming Arita

  • Who is Arita

  • What is her background?

  • Exploring difficult ways of explaining the world

  • Different realities at the same time

  • Starting a project in Holland

  • Nature spirits

  • A new way of mapping

  • Mapping subjective experiences

  • Deep mapping

  • The impact of the virus on our lives

  • How everyone and everything is connected

  • Needing to explore new places

  • Heading out to Papa New Guinea in 2016

  • The challenges of the jungle

  • Communication with the birds in the jungle

  • Studying bird language

  • Making a podcast with the sounds

  • Doing pioneering research

  • What it was like on expedition

  • Making sure there were women in the team

  • What is ecological intelligence?

  • Not being spiritual or religious

  • Believing in nature spirits

  • Funding the expeditions

  • The power of setting a deadline

  • Money is important - but - Believe in your own mission

  • Trust in yourself

  • Getting all the information she needed

  • The next steps after the expedition

  • Needing discipline in order to get the work done

  • Working on the podcast

  • Dealing with loneliness

  • The dictionary for the future

  • Special words

  • Quick Fire Questions

  • Final words of advice


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You can listen to our previous conversation with Arita below.

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