This is the fifth episode in Public Seminar’s podcast, Exiles on 12th Street. If you like it, go to iTunesSpotifyStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and subscribe.

The future can sometimes seem daunting and frightening, but it can also feel like an unwritten adventure. As children, we played in a world of infinite possibilities, in which imagination—not predestination—ruled the day. In the fifth episode of Exiles on 12th Street, we explore possibilities the future may hold. From looking at provocative art about modern architecture to cell-based meat and sustainable cities, the “Futures” episode a world that has not yet come to fruition. Come invent the future with our guests: Afrofuturist artist Olalekan Jeyifous; restaurant owner Ravi DeRossi and the Good Food Institute’s Mary Allen; and museum curator Sarah Henry. The episode is presented by your host, historian Claire Potter, executive editor of Public Seminar.

Here are some links and references mentioned in this podcast:

  • Olalekan Jeyifous is a Nigerian-born, Brooklyn-based artist whose work focuses on Afrofuturism and revolutionary urban planning. He spoke with our correspondent Christopher Paul Harris, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of African American Studies at Northwestern University.
  • Olalekan refers to a collaboration with Walé Oyéjidé, founder of the fashion line Ikiré Jones. As part of the collaboration, Olalekan produced a series of images imagining the futuristic architecture of Lagos, Nigeria.
  • Olalekan hosted a TED talk where he elaborated on his philosophy of art and architecture disrupting urban spaces.
  • He talks also mentions Chicago public housing, including the Ida B. Wells building and Cabrini Green being demolished. You can read more about the HOPE VI program that encouraged replacing older buildings with modern ones and displaced many using public housing at the Congress for New Urbanism’s journal, Public Square.
  • Restaurant guru Ravi DeRossi and Mary Allen of the Good Food Institute discussed the possibilities of creating a meat-free food industry.
  • Mary mentions several statistics that point to a rise in meat production and consumption. As reported in the Good Food Institute’s “Plant-Based Market Overview,” SPINS retail sales data released on July 16, 2019 shows that grocery sales of plant-based foods that directly replace animal products have grown 31 percent in the past two years: The retail market for plant-based foods is now worth almost $4.5 billion. More detailed information and graphs about the effects of meat consumption are available on their website.