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Throughout the month of January, Team Mushroom engaged in thoughtful conversations centered around this year’s Telluride Mushroom Festival theme. As a community, we carefully considered everything happening in our collective consciousness, our world, our country, our environment, and the current mushroom renaissance we are experiencing. Our goal was to choose a single word that would truly capture and clarify our intention for 2024.

After brainstorming numerous concepts, one word emerged that seemed to effortlessly resonate. This word has not only defined but also expanded the mycological, individual, and collective vision for the 44th Annual Telluride Mushroom Festival. Are you ready to discover it?

Keep scrolling to unveil the theme for TMF 2024!

IDENTITY

A word from our Foray Manager, Chris Medary on Identity

Identity is a crucial concept in ecology, which studies how living things interact with their environment. It relies on the process of identification to determine the nature of organisms and their relationships with other species. However, identifying non-human organisms can be challenging since we cannot directly communicate with them. This poses difficulties in determining if something is food, medicine, poison, or even a gateway to another world. Fungi, in particular, present a unique challenge to the concept of individual identity. They form close relationships with other species, blurring the boundaries of identity not only for humans but for all life on Earth. We are all complex mixtures of different beings, trying to make sense of the world around us. According to CS Holling, identity can be defined as the function and structure of a system. This definition applies to all beings, animate or not, and recognizes that all systems are nested within each other.

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