Simmer 5: Is Community the Answer?

The fifth episode of Simmer features an interview on the topic of community with community consultant Gaya Erlandson, founder of the Lotus Lodge Community & Learning Center in Candler, NC. For counterpoint, her comments are interspersed with reactions of a fictional Azerbaijani housewife named Gunay Qasimova.

Community consultant Gaya Erlandson shares her perspectives on American culture and the importance of community. Topics include dynamic governance and intentional community. Erlandson is the founder of the Lotus Lodge Community & Learning Center in Candler, NC. For counterpoint, producer Carla Seidl voices reactions from Gunay Qasimova, a fictional Azerbaijani housewife whose perspectives draw from those shared with Seidl by several Azerbaijani women during her Peace Corps service in Azerbaijan from 2006 to 2008.

“Simmer” on the air

Carla’s six-part radio series, “Simmer: Bringing the Global Local” begins tonight at 7:30pm on MAIN-FM (Asheville 103.7). Listen to all six episodes on PRX here.



Bringing the global, local, with multidisciplinary artist and returned Peace Corps volunteer Carla Seidl.

“Simmer” is a six-episode experimental series of 30-minute programs produced for Asheville’s MAIN-FM in 2013. Host and producer Carla Seidl returned from teaching abroad in Azerbaijan and West Africa and sought to tie her experiences living in less economically developed regions to issues facing her community of Asheville, North Carolina. The program straddles art and journalism by combining interview with music, collage, and personal reflection. It aims to expand listeners’ awareness and sensitivity to other cultures and perspectives.

Topics are evergreen: education, democracy, health, media, and community.

The series served as Seidl’s practicum toward her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College.

Telling Our Own Stories: Wally Bowen on Creating a Democratic Media

Documentary on the life and work of media reform activist Wally Bowen, founder and executive director of the Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN) in Asheville, North Carolina. Interview recorded May 2012.

Media reform activist Wally Bowen of the Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN) of Asheville, North Carolina speaks from his front porch about his work and life, reflecting on themes of democracy, equal opportunity, sense of place, social capital, and the dangers of corporate-controlled Internet and journalism. Bowen shares his vision of locally-controlled media, which he says would not only create fulfilling work opportunities and enhance knowledge and human connection, but also enable us to shift from being passive consumers to engaged citizens. Speaking directly to the problem of social and economic inequities, Bowen introduces listeners to the problem of corporate media control and educates on the possibility of a different, more democratic model of journalism. As Bowen tells his story, including topics of home, spirituality, and facing the challenges of illness (ALS), he encourages us to tell our own. The documentary encourages listeners to become more active and engaged in their own lives.