Dramaten (The Royal Dramatic Theater of Sweden), the Institute for Environment and Sustainability at Earth Commons-Georgetown University, the Swedish Embassy in Washington, DC and the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics announce the launch of We Hear You-A Climate Archive, co-designed by Caitlin Nasema Cassidy and Jacob Hirdwall.
Inspired by Greta Thunberg’s urgent question “Can you hear me?” this project seeks to amplify – and record for future generations – how young people today 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 performances 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 kick off with an evening of climate storytelling on Friday, March 18 from 7-8 p.m. at the COAL + ICE exhibit presented by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Asia Society. A cast of young artists and activists from the DC area will present an original performance weaving their own experiences with the words of Greta Thunberg. Book your tickets for the show here.
After launching 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 series of international performances over several years, culminating in a performance at Dramaten directed by Jacob Hirdwall.
We Hear You-A Climate Archive is a collaboration between Dramaten (The Royal Dramatic Theater of Sweden), The Earth Commons-Georgetown University’s Institute for Environment and Sustainability, the Swedish Embassy in Washington, DC, and The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics. We Hear You-A Climate Archive is co-designed 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 expands from the performance We Hear You-Greta Thunbergs Tal, originally presented at Sweden’s Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm on January 31, 2020. Directed by Jacob Hirdwall and Ada Berger, this performance s inspired by texts by Greta speech collected in No One Is Too Small To Make a Difference (Penguin, 2019).
“Greta Thunberg’s little book with big words, No One’s Too Small to Make a Difference, really shook me,” says Hirdwall. “His rhetorical question ‘Can you hear me?’ made us here at Dramaten want to answer yes, “we hear you”. We are now beginning the work of collecting responses from young people around the world. I think this will be a story that will not be mainly about statistics and numbers, but more about what it feels like: this climate crisis we are going through right now.. The fact that we are about to destroy this planet. Our goal is to bring these stories back to Dramaten.
“In January 2020, I saw the We Hear You-Greta Thunbergs Tal performance at Dramaten in Stockholm,” said Helene Larsson Pousette, Swedish Counselor for Cultural Affairs at the Swedish Embassy in Washington, DC. “The performance, which was based on the international speeches of Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, had a profound impact on me. As a cultural counselor at the Swedish Embassy, it is one of the most I brought with me to Washington, D.C. We all need to take responsibility for climate issues and join and support young people around the world to increase global ambition for climate justice.”
“This project is a call to listen to young people who are doing the hard work of imagining more livable futures,” Cassidy says. “In this time of global crises, I seek stories that bring joy, that offer me ways to ground myself in wisdom and move forward in hope. We Hear You-A Climate Archive asks: 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 large 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 is delighted to be part of A Climate Archive,” says Mattias Andersson, theater director and artistic director of Dramaten.
Wijdan Al Khateeb (she, producer) is a Palestinian producer based in Doha, Qatar. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Media Industries and Technology from Northwestern University in Qatar and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Women, Society and Development at Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar. Her work and research focuses on Palestinian women. As a producer, she has worked on the NU-Q Creative Media Festival, as well as the award-winning films Tick Tock and Refuge, both of which premiered at the Ajyal Film Festival. Wijdan was Project Specialist for Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy / FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and Creative Media Intern at Qatar Foundation. In addition to production, she is currently working for the Qatar Foundation in the community development department as a marketing coordinator.
Caitlin Nasema Cassidy (her, project director) is a director of Syrian-Lebanese and Irish origin based in New York. She is the artistic producer of the Youmein festival in Morocco and the NU-Q Creative Media festival in Qatar, as well as founding co-artistic director of LubDub Theater Company. Caitlin is the 2022-23 Artist-in-Residence of the Institute for Environment and Sustainability at Earth Commons University-Georgetown and was an inaugural fellow of the Lab for Global Performance and Politics and the Edinburgh Institute for international cultural affairs. Performance credits include NY Times Critic’s Pick Pay No Attention to the Girl with Obie Award winner Target Margin, the world premiere of Paradise at the Central Square Theater for which she received the 2018 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Actress, and The Vagrant Trilogy at the Public Theater. Caitlin has worked with The Orchard Project NYC Greenhouse, Page 73, NYTW, Ars Nova, Atlantic Theater Company, Long Wharf, UNESCO World Theater Conference, and more. CaitlinNasemaCassidy.com
Robert Duffley (he/him, playwright) is a playwright, editor and teacher based between New York and Boston, Massachusetts. Robert is an associate editor and playwright at American Repertory Theatre, playwright for LubDub Theater Co, and an affiliate faculty member at Emerson College. Recent/upcoming productions include the Broadway revival of 1776 (ART/Roundabout), Claudia Rankine’s HELP (The Shed), Miranda Rose Hall’s A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction (currently touring Europe in a production directed by Katie Mitchell), The Uncle Geoff Magic Show by LubDub Theater Co (Target Margin Theater Labs), We Live in Cairo (ART) by The Lazours and Endlings (ART) by Celine Song. Publications include The Roadmap for Recovery and Resilience for Theater (editor) and work for Howlround, Routledge’s Contemporary Theater Review and Six By Eight Press. Education/Training: MFA, ART/Moscow Art Theater School Institute at Harvard University; BA, Georgetown University. Portfolio: robertduffley.com
Jacob Hirdwall (he/him, Project Dramatist) playwright/playwright, he directed for the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm General paralysis! (2004-17), Emperor Fukushima (2011), What Is Politics (2012), Another Country (2012), Requiem for an Activist (2012) and We Hear You-Greta Thunberg’s Speeches (2020). For Swedish radio, he directed his own play Emperor Fukushima (2011), The Yard by Kristian Lundberg (2012) and If I Have To Travel To Los Alamos by Anita Goldman (2014). Jacob is the artistic director of Ensembleleverket and has staged with this group There Is Someone Sitting On the Wing (2010) and the play The Undiscovered Country (2013, also performed in Reykjavik and New York). He wrote and directed the Landscape With Winter-birds trilogy (2015), Sleepwalking In The Nether World (2016, New York 2019), People Who Disappear (The City Theater of Stockholm, 2018). In 2019, Jacob made his authoring debut with the novel Picnic At The End Of the Road. Jacob was during 2017-2020 head of studio Bergman – a workplace for drama development.
Afsoon Pajoufar (she/her, designer) is a New York-based stage and environment designer for play, opera and live performance. Afsoon’s artistic practice is often focused on the intersection of space and new technologies, including XR and live video. His works have been presented at venues and festivals such as Theater for a New Audience, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), New Ohio Theatre, Bard Fisher Center, HARVARD TDM, MIT, KITCHEN THEATER and the PRELUDE Festival. She earned her MFA in Stage Design from Boston University and is a proud member of USA829. afsoonpajoufar.com/
Swedian Lie (he/him, Designer) is a creative consultant and designer based in Indonesia. He is Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Zero One Digital, a global branding and digital marketing agency focused on building and storytelling cohesive brands, and Vice President of Creative at Zero One Group, a integrated technology services that provides customized solutions to even the most difficult business problems. He has worked as a set designer with Rorschach Theatre, Georgetown University and Jakarta Players, and as a graphic designer with LubDub Theater Co., the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Studio Theatre, among others. With nearly a decade of experience in branding, digital marketing, advertising and theater design, Swedian brings strategic knowledge and design expertise to projects requiring deep interdisciplinary practice and international collaboration. .
Dramaten/The Royal Dramatic Theater is Sweden’s national stage and host of the International Ingmar Bergman Festival. The CEO is Maria Groop Russell. Since March 1, 2020, Mattias Andersson is the artistic director. dramaten.se/en
The Institute for Environment and Sustainability at Earth Commons-Georgetown University is an internationally renowned home for innovative education, groundbreaking research, and transformative action on the environment and sustainability at the University of Georgetown. earthcommons.georgetown.edu
The Swedish Embassy in Washington, DC is one of Sweden’s largest missions and serves as the official link between Sweden and the United States. The Swedish Embassy is located in Sweden House, a physical representation of Swedish values such as openness, transparency, and democracy, and the flagship of Swedish public diplomacy in the United States. houseofsweden.com
The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics humanizes global politics through performance. We cultivate a distinct global community of collaborators that includes students, emerging and established artists, educators, policy makers and activists. Our work harnesses narrative, memory and acts of witnessing to bring about transformation and change. globallab.georgetown.edu
Other collaborators will be announced at a later date.