Fungi, organisms that are not human, not quite animal, and not quite plants, form the ideal window into the complex processes that make up the ‘natural world’. In our urban spaces, fungi can be found in public parks, roadsides, backyards, and even sometimes within human dwellings, defying our binary understanding of our world that positions a corrupt, degenerate human society on one end, and the untouched, pure, virtuous natural world. 

The art of noticing fungi is akin to entering a hidden world, one that exists all around us, yet eludes most of us in our day-to-day lives.

Through these forays, you will learn about common fungi, how to identify them, the habitats and microclimates in which they exist, the seasons in which they ‘fruit’, and the unique role they play in our ecosystem. You will engage all your senses in your observations, making note of the unique smells, shapes, and textures of different fungi. Seeing our shared environment through the lens of fungi, you can shift your perspective,  re-situate yourself within our dynamic natural world, and use your new lens to observe ‘Terra Myco.’


Neither plant nor animal, but the consummate ‘other’, fungi are the scapegoats of the natural world, long maligned, feared, and regarded with revulsion. So, it’s no wonder that queer people have always been drawn to fungi. Exploring the multiplicity of gender and queerness within the weird world of fungi creates space for us to find that multiplicity reflected in ourselves. This helps us develop new frameworks of self and other, that enable us to create stronger communities, especially within oppressive, hegemonic environments.

In this workshop, we delve into the concept of ‘queerness’ itself, exploring all that is weird, wonderful, eccentric, and uncanny in our world – queer people and mushrooms alike.

In this two part workshop, participants are free to explore a ‘Museum of Myco-Curiosities’, which includes rare books and artwork about fungi, as well as dried specimens which can be viewed through a microscope. They can also walk through a gallery of fungi photography, and fungi poetry. Then, in the active part fo the workshop, participants are guided through two interactive activities that explore how the aesthetics of revulsion connect fungi and queer people. First, we explore the aesthetics of monstrosity, and walk around the room, posting the feelings that each photograph or poem evokes within us. We then ‘auction off’ each note to whoever resonates with it strongly on a personal level. In our next activity, Multi-Species Storytelling, we explore 15 different queer creatures and phenomena, and each participants chooses one from the deck. We then turn inwards to examine our personal journey with queerness and find the (hyphal) knots that connect it to our ecology. By engaging in multi-species storytelling, we rewrite our personal narratives through the eyes of our chosen queer creatures, exploring how nature can allow us to better understand ourselves and others.

We emerge from the Queer Encounters in the Mycoverse workshop with an evolved appreciation for multiplicity, a new voice through which to articulate our stories, and most importantly, a queer mycological lens through which to better understand the natural world.


This multi-format workshop was rooted in the exploration of ‘Creatures of Carbon’ as a part of Science Gallery, Bengaluru’s first in-person exhibition, CARBON. It introduced participants to the concept of the Anthropocene, ie the age of mankind, and the role that fungi play in it. Participants were then led to view our world through the lens of a hypothetical ‘Mycocene’, ie, the age of fungi.

After an indoor microscopy session, participants experienced a foraging walk in Lal Bagh, where they learned about different mushrooms, ways to identify them, and the microclimates in which they exist. They then observed the impacts of the Anthropocene and re-contextualized them within the framework of the ‘Mycocene’.


Postcards from the Mushroom Trail

Adolphe Milot’s 19th century ‘Champignons’ illustrations serve as the ideal backdrop to this zine about food, foraging, and the worlds that fungi opens us up to. This zine is a heartfelt meditation on the humble act of foraging, and the intimacy it creates between species. Containing love letters to the mushrooms I have known intimately over the years, this zine a celebration of the uncanny relationships that are forged in the forest.

Terra Myco: Field Guide

This is not your ordinary field guide.

Rather than a compendium of common fungi in your area,  this zine is your introduction to the hidden world of fungi, one that will help you understand how and where you can search for them.

With pages featuring parts of different fungi, a checklist of common mushrooms, and plenty of pages for you to take your own notes and ‘spore prints’, the pocket-sized zine is the ideal companion for your first foray into foraging!

The ‘Other’ Underground: A Zine of Fungal Queeriosities 

Between a mushroom with 23,304 different genders and fish that can change their gender at will, we find that nature is far more queer than we are taught to see. The more we explore, the more we find ambiguity and multiplicity before us.

This queerness is not invisible by chance, and the erasure of queerness in nature directly leads to the positioning of queerness in humans as an aberration. This zine explores the myriad ways that fungi queer our reality, and offers the reader the chance to reflect on the possibilities of queer fungal futures. 

Hello! I’m Malavika and I love all things fungi (and slime molds!)

My journey with these curious organisms began in Northern California over seven years ago, when an experienced forager noticed me egregiously misidentifying a common mushroom in a horse pasture. She generously shared her knowledge with me and inspired a lifelong obsession with fungi.

For the past few years, I have been foraging in Delhi, and holding Fungi Forays in the city during the monsoons.

To me, fungi are mysterious and magical, not only because they defy so many of our preconceived notions about our world, but also because they challenge us to abandon our preconceptions altogether. Fungi have taught me how to move slowly, observe closely, listen patiently, ponder deeply, and most importantly, to live resolutely.