Stefana Fratila, Artist/DJ – T’karonto

Stefana Fratila is a Romanian-born composer, artist, and writer based in T’karonto (Toronto). She is also a DJ and co-founder of CRIP RAVE™ collective, an event platform showcasing and prioritizing Sick, Crip, Mad, and Disabled body-minds within safer and more accessible rave spaces. Stefana has exhibited, performed, and screened her work internationally, including at e-flux (New York) and the 2nd Kamias Triennial (Quezon City, Philippines). Her work examines the act of bearing witness through public interventions, performances, sound, and video installations. Interested in interrogating the relationship between memory and the body, she often incorporates her own experiences with disability and chronic illness. Her Social Distancing Mix can now be found on the Images Festival website.

  1. Star Trek: TNG

Look, I’m not going to lie to you. I basically hate society! The only people I want to interact with on a daily basis (other than my partner and cat) is the crew of the USS Enterprise-D. In part, what keeps me coming back is the show’s utopian vision of human society and the future in general. It’s sort of like Black Mirror without all the devastating hard truths, plus extra helpings of nineties camp. Outer space serves as an almost arbitrary backdrop to demonstrate how much hope there is for us all to have everything we need, and even get along while at it. There’s so much about this show to love. The sets are impeccable and, frankly, deeply inspiring. I recently found myself doodling the Red Lionfish in Picard’s ready room and the last time/place I doodled was probably the margins of my Math 11 textbook. I constantly find myself surfing TrekCore.com for Blu-Ray screencaps because the whole show is shot on Panavision cameras and gorgeous 35mm Kodak film stock. My favourite part is the soothing sound design (this 8-hour looping soundscape of the Enterprise’s Bridge is giving me life). It’s like being in a science-fiction womb. Finally, the characters even play chess in three dimensions! Like our world, but at least three times better.

  1. When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice

I read this memoir by Terry Tempest Williams over a year ago and I still think about it all the time. In Mormon tradition, women are expected to do two things throughout their lifetime: “keep a journal and bear children.” The book begins with the author lying down next to her dying mother. As Williams rubs her mother’s back, her mother says that she has been keeping journals and then makes her daughter promise to not look at them until after she has died. Williams agrees and, later, when she pulls the journals out… They are all empty. This book’s very premise makes me shiver.

  1. Cooking and baking with lavender, orange blossom, and roses

I grow lavender in the summers, so the next step was, naturally, to find ways to eat it as often as possible. My favourite recipes come from Diana Henry’s cookbook Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons. First off, her lavender, orange, and almond cake. I learned to bake from scratch just for this cake, just to experience this. It was perfect. Another incredible recipe from this book is roast duck with honey, lavender, and thyme. These recipes took me down a beautiful, floral rabbit-hole: orange blossom and roses. For these flavours, I suggest Henry’s chicken with tomatoes, saffron-honey, and orange blossom, and Yasmin Khan’s Persian Love Cake (cardamom, lemon, crushed rose petals).

  1. Hildegard von Bingen

At some point each year, I find myself revisiting Hildegard von Bingen’s musical compositions. They are transfixing and I adore reading about them into the night. For a particularly nerdy roundtable discussion, I strongly recommend this episode of BBC’s In Our Time. They get into detail about all the ways she was one our world’s earliest badasses.

  1. Yoga with Adrienne

She’s so hot. I’ll leave it at that.