Climate Artists

S1 E1 | FULL EPISODE

Climate Speaks

NYC high schoolers prepare for a performance of a lifetime: raising awareness about climate change through spoken word poetry live at the Apollo Theater.

AIRED: September 05, 2019 | 0:05:27
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TRANSCRIPT

You are dreaming, they sang as I swam on.

You are dreaming, the bubbles whispered against my skin.

Every mother dreams.

You are dreaming, sobbed the slow endless tide.

I was born on a green eon.

You are dreaming, you are dreaming.

The Earth blinks black, but the cosmos blinks back.

Okay, now what I want you to do, hearing those lines again, I want you to think about what

order you guys would put that in, as a group, right?

I've really liked, like performance poetry for a long time.

So I saw this as an opportunity to get into something that I was interested in.

And also, like climate change is like a big problem.

And like I knew that I needed to do something about it.

And this was perfect.

And we need everybody on board because all the scientific data in the world does not

match an evening like this, when people can be moved and touched and feel what's really

at stake.

Dear greenhouse gas, I can't believe I thought I'd like you.

That I fooled myself into thinking that I wasn't like you.

The world will never be the same, call the crisis by its name, climate denial.

All it takes to break those chains is mindful living and small steps that still make a difference.

My poem is about how childhood and innocence was lost.

As the climate crisis grows larger.

My poem is about how climate change really affects the youth.

And I drew from my personal experience with natural disasters.

The other big note that I would give everybody is points of focus, I think will help you.

We all have a lot of beautiful, vivid imagery, right?

And so when you have that, I would say make sure that you're, keep your image out there,

right?

When you're talking about what you're seeing or what you're describing, see it out there.

It doesn't need to be internal.

Sorry little girl dreaming of octopi and jellyfish.

Sorry little sister.

Sorry we did not try to swim until we were drowning.

And some of us not even then.

Climate change, oh that's just a theory.

I scuff, if it's not real, why do I feel the symptoms of an incoming epidemic?

The doctor said there was only a sliver of a chance that I could survive this.

So he told me not to get my hopes up.

I think that it's just really important to think before you act in general.

And that solving any environmental issue isn't an easy task and it's important to really

take some time to deeply think through the best solutions before you take action.

So my poem essentially personifies Earth as a mother.

Like the common saying, mother nature, and in this poem, she's asking humans, her children,

to come to terms with the damage they've wrought on the environment.

One day, I'm doing to have a daughter.

I see myself holding my baby named love and I see her first breaths being contaminated

with pollutants and chemicals.

I see her first tears to signal her first breath.

And they're coming out in streams of oil.

Hollow fires crackling, smoke darkening, children asphyxiated by a cloud of debris, no more

movies.

Even so, I am bartered.

Traded for a new factory here, a new mine there.

I'm affected.

My relatives in Greece have to evacuate their homes just miles from raging wildfires burned

by climate change.

Even when the weatherman said it would hurricane, I swept the tropical storm under the carpet

category of mythological weather phenomenons.

I have heard the screams of the young.

They are breaking sound barriers, telling the people with power that their beautiful

Earth needs to be salvaged.

That she is dying.

But you are not there to mourn the mothers dreams set alight by factory fumes.

But I told them, that even though my cells have produced enormous amounts of carbon emission

waste and lit my lungs on fire, I still believe they will one day redeem themselves and realize

that my body is their home.

And through their actions show they have come to understand that.

I think like from this experience, the youth is really concerned with climate change.

And I think it should be an issue that everyone is concerned about.

I want people to see that things that they do have an impact and that it's a bigger problem

than just themselves.

And that they really need to start doing something now because like the children are the only

ones who are speaking up right now.

And they need to do something, because they caused the problem.

Once upon a time I believed that the world was perfect.

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