“the study of mycology first formed in the wombs of women. though the knowledge was shared with every child as they matured, it was often the women of history who carried on the responsibility of harvesting wild fungi to feed and heal their families.”
- mara fae penfil and fern katz, radical mycology
mushrooms can be powerful allegories; for life from death, for plenty, for cooperation, for the mysterious. fungi have a long history of lore, and much of that lore revolves around, or exists because of, women. the queendom fungi is the branch on the tree of life that we know the least about; yet so many aspects of life on earth depend upon those fungi. bread and beer would not be possible without them, plants and trees depend on them, and they are responsible for the vast majority of all decomposition. life as we know it would not exist, but for them.
yet the western scientific community disregarded the role of women, even when they were the primary source. western history, mycological history included, cannot be understood without a working definition of the patriarchy. an integral part of this project is to reject those ideas, and reimagine them as feminist. thus, it’s purposes are threefold.
first, by focusing the lens on a woman, I hope to question those traditional ideals; concluding a firm denunciation of patriarchal authority and the involuntary, coercive hierarchies it enables.
then, I hope to draw attention to the role women have played in mycology, and the negative impact that their historical exclusion from the field has had on our current understanding of the queendom fungi.
finally, I hope to elevate the humble fungi, and by using religious imagery, raise questions about our relationship with the natural world, and try to determine that which is truly sacred.
nature obscura, kelly brenner
radical mycology, peter mccoy
mycophilia, eugenia bone
entangled life, merlin sheldrake