Dramaten, The Earth Commons—Georgetown University’s Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Embassy of Sweden in Washington, DC, and The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics Launch We Hear You—A Climate Archive. A global performance project exploring youth perspectives on climate crisis/chaos.
Inspired by Greta Thunberg’s urgent question “Can you hear me?,” this project seeks to amplify—and to record for future generations—the ways that today’s young people are experiencing changes in the fundamental forces of the earth. We Hear You—A Climate Archive will include a two-year series of curated international performance and the launch of a digital platform for global climate storytelling. In addition to these public programs, the project will also include curricular engagement with students at Georgetown University.
The performance series will officially launch with an evening of climate storytelling on Friday, March 18, from 7-8PM at the COAL + ICE exhibition presented by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Asia Society. An ensemble of DC-area youth artists and activists will present an original performance weaving their own experiences with the words of Greta Thunberg. Reserve tickets to the performance here.
Following its launch in DC, We Hear You—A Climate Archive will commission 77 additional stories from young people around the world. These commissions will inform the launch of a digital platform for global climate storytelling, as well as a multi-year international curated performance series, culminating in a performance at Dramaten directed by Jacob Hirdwall.
“Greta Thunberg's small book with big words, No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference, really shook me,” says Hirdwall. “Her rhetorical question ‘Can you hear me?’ made us here at Dramaten want to answer that with yes, ‘we hear you.’ We are now beginning the work on collecting responses from young people around the world. I think it will be a story that is not mainly about statistics and figures, but rather about how it feels: this climate crisis we are in the middle of right now. The fact that we are on the brink of destroying this planet. We aim to bring these stories back to Dramaten.”
“Back in January 2020, I saw the performance We Hear You—Greta Thunbergs Tal at Dramaten in Stockholm,” says Helene Larsson Pousette, Swedish Counselor for Cultural Affairs at the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, DC. “The performance, which was based on Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg’s international speeches, had a profound impact on me. As Cultural Counselor at the Embassy of Sweden, this is one of the most important projects I have brought with me to Washington, DC. We all need to take responsibility for climate issues and join and support young people across the world to increase the global ambition for climate justice.”
“This project is a call to listen to the young folx doing the hard work of imagining more liveable futures,” says Cassidy. “In this time of global crises, I am seeking stories that deliver joy, that offer me ways to root in wisdom and move forward in hope. We Hear You—A Climate Archive is asking: How are our young artists and activists experiencing the chaos of the capitalocene? What can we learn from their stories?”
"It is fantastic to have such a great international project on this topic and to be part of a platform for young voices. The strength of the climate movement lies in global cooperation and Dramaten looks forward to being part of A Climate Archive,” says Mattias Andersson, Theatre Manager and Artistic Director of Dramaten.
We Hear You—A Climate Archive is a collaboration between Dramaten (The Royal Dramatic Theatre of Sweden), The Earth Commons—Georgetown University’s Institute for Environment and Sustainability, The Embassy of Sweden in Washington, DC, and The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics. We Hear You—A Climate Archive is co-conceived by Caitlin Nasema Cassidy and Jacob Hirdwall. Additional support for this project is provided by the Swedish Arts Council.
We Hear You—A Climate Archive grows from the performance We Hear You—Greta Thunbergs Tal, originally presented at Sweden’s Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm on January 31, 2020. Staged by Jacob Hirdwall and Ada Berger, this performance drew on the texts of Greta’s speeches collected in No One Is Too Small To Make a Difference (Penguin, 2019).