Eliasson’s public artwork Earth Speakr is co-produced with children and young people in Europe on the occasion of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU 2020. Their messages will be disseminated on social media under the hashtag #ListenToTheFuture. Governments and adults are invited to respond.
Artist Olafur Eliasson:
World Children’s Day is a reminder to us all to show kids – and to demonstrate through action – that their down-to-earth views are entirely valid and much-needed in shaping our future. They must become co-designers of our tomorrow. To recognise the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including the child’s right to be heard, I ask politicians and other people in power to work to make this happen, not just today but every day of the year.
Over 250,000 people have collectively taken part in Earth Speakr since it launched in July.
Eliasson started the multilateral artwork – featuring an app and a website available in 25
European languages, as well as physical expressions and more – to amplify kids’ hopes and concerns on climate change, promoting cross-generational exchange across Europe and beyond. The artwork is a centrepiece of the cultural programme of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU 2020, which seeks to strengthen the European public sphere.
German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier:
Earth Speakr is the work of an outstanding artist, Olafur Eliasson, whose project gives a voice to children and young people from all over Europe. With this work of art, their ideas, suggestions and expectations are broadcast to the world. This is an invaluable service, as the future belongs to the next generation – we must listen to what they have to say. I would like to encourage as many children and young people as possible to take part. Every new voice enriches this unique project on the future of our planet.
Children from 70 countries and counting are co-creating the artwork by sharing their views – in their native languages – using the app’s augmented-reality technology. The video messages are addressed to adults, but also to other kids, offering solutions, ideas, and sharing frustrations.
Hey! Fahrt ihr öfters mal [mit dem] Zug? Das würde mich sehr freuen! Meine Freunde natürlich auch, also die anderen Züge. Ich meine, wenn ihr oft Auto fahrt, ist das doch viel schlimmer für die Umwelt, wegen der CO2-Auspestung. Wenn ihr Zug fahrt, wäre das doch viel besser für alle! Also, macht mit und fahrt mal mehr Zug!
Please don't throw all sorts of garbage in me! Use the recycling bin for the plastic and the compost bin for food waste.
Earth Speakr has worked with German embassies and Goethe-Institutes across the EU to host over 100 physical and digital events so that children were able to meet and discuss their messages first-hand with politicians at German Embassies, including President of Romania Klaus Iohannis in Bucharest. Participating kids introduced the artwork to German Minister of State Michelle Müntefering at the German Foreign Office. Olafur Eliasson has met with President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier to present and discuss Earth Speakr messages and encourage more political figures to participate. Throughout the project, Earth Speakr has also streamed children’s Earth Speakr messages in a number of public locations, including at the European Parliament, the Justus Lipsius Building and the Europa Building in Brussels, and in Berlin at the publicly accessible “Lichthof” of the Federal Foreign Office.