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Earth Speakr
Loudspeakers for the Planet

“When nature suffers, we suffer as well.”
“When nature suffers, we suffer as well.” | Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut Bucharest

“Adults, do something now!” As part of the celebrations for the Day of German Unity, the Goethe-Institut Bucharest presented the Earth Speakr project in the presence of Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. 

Humans can take care of nature or destroy it. The choice is ours. Adults, do something now – if you don’t, there’ll be nothing we can do tomorrow! (Ismail, Bucharest)

Last Monday, on the new campus of the German School in Bucharest, both the Day of German Unity and World Teachers’ Day were celebrated in the presence of the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Germany’s Ambassador Cord Meier-Klodt. Earth Speakr, a work of art for the German EU Council Presidency 2020 created by the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson in cooperation with his studio, children and young people, creative partners and a group of scientists, received special recognition. It encourages the exchange of ideas between all age groups in Europe about the future of our planet and climate change.

For all teenagers and children who want to make a difference, Earth Speakr is the first step towards change. The project helped me to see how unsustainable our daily lives together are. We demand materials made from sustainable materials that don’t pollute the environment as much. When nature suffers, we suffer as well. I am firmly convinced that change begins with us, the young, supported by the old. Adults, help us! (Claudia, Bucharest)

In order to bring children and young people across Europe into a direct dialogue with political decision-makers, until December 2020 the German embassies are organising events for children and young people in cooperation with the Goethe-Instituts in 24 EU member states and in the UK. In a preparatory workshop at the Goethe-Instituts, youngsters are familiarised with the work of art and create Earth Speakr messages in their surroundings – as they did in Bucharest. Since most of the workshops took place online, pupils from all over Romania were able to participate and draw comparisons between the way their and other municipalities handle environmental protection.
President Klaus Iohannis and Ambassador Cord Meier-Klodt on the podium with Romanian Earth Speakrs. President Klaus Iohannis and Ambassador Cord Meier-Klodt on the podium with Romanian Earth Speakrs. | Photo (detail): © Goethe-Institut Bucharest
In view of Covid-19, which is confronting schoolchildren in particular with their first major crisis, President Iohannis praised the future-shaping energy of cultural projects like Earth Speakr, which lastingly sensitises young people to climate change and environmental protection. The German ambassador praised the motivating effect of Earth Speakr, which gives committed young people the opportunity to express their expectations of adults.

The workshop on urban life gave me a better understanding of discrimination. Cities today are built for the needs of strong and healthy people. The ill, the elderly and people with disabilities face insurmountable obstacles. A city should meet the needs of all its citizens. In any case, I will work for this goal. (Patricia, Bucharest)