Danish-Icelandic conceptual artist Olafur Eliasson designed the participatory artwork Earth Speakr to amplify the voices of kids and their concerns regarding the future well-being of the planet – with the aim of sharing these with the general public and policy-makers across Europe. Earth Speakr consists of a playful app, an interactive website, physical presentations in key locations and a programme of events. The artwork, in which Eliasson showcases ‘kids as experts’, will launch Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in Brussels on 1 July.

Eliasson said:

I have created a work of art that will, hopefully, support dialogue between young and old, between people from all walks of life, in which kids and young people feel seen and listened to. It’s important to me that kids are acknowledged as central speakers in the debate about the climate.

The artwork addresses our values for the future and for the EU; it addresses creativity, freedom of expression, and the importance of establishing confidence and trust when we think about how to shape the future together.

Eliasson and his team are working with a growing network of partners across the EU that includes museums, schools and libraries to expand the reach of this collective artwork. The open-ended artwork launches officially on 1 July and will steadily evolve over the course of 2020 with the active participation of kids across the EU.

German Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas nominated Eliasson to create Earth Speakr as the centrepiece of the German Presidency’s cultural programme, not least because of the artist’s participatory approach to art and his focus on issues such as climate change and social inclusion.

Minister Maas noted:

During our EU Council Presidency, we want to give the next generation a louder voice through Olafur Eliasson’s Earth Speakr project. We want to listen to young people, spread their ideas throughout Europe and provide them with a prominent platform to express their wishes, criticism and visions for a just world that is worth living in. We want to make Europe fit for the future, which is why the dialogue with the Europeans of the future is so important to me.

About 'Earth Speakr'

Earth Speakr is a participatory, Europe-wide artwork created by Olafur Eliasson and his studio, kids, creative partners, researchers and experts.The work has been created for the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2020 and is produced in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut.