Matti Sumari// installation, tea ceremony


24/06/2015// 7pm// ACUD, Veteranenstraße 21// facebook

The Chaga mushroom (inonotus obliquus) is frequently found on birches in Umeå, Sweden. The fungus is a parasitic species on birch trees and this lethal infection causes black, swelling outgrowths. The tumors have traditionally been used as tea, foremost in Russia. The tea is believed to have healing capacities, first introduced to a wide audience in the West through the Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's book Cancer Ward. During the last few years, tea made from the chaga mushroom has also been launched as an expensive food supplement and can now be found in health food stores. Scientific research has shown the tea to have anti­inflammatory and anti­tumor effects on humans. At the same time, the municipality of Umeå is trying to keep their birches under observation and cut down the infected birches in order to keep the disease from spreading. Umeå has the informal title City of Birches. What can this wretched tumor tell us?//website


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