The Earth Commons—Georgetown University’s Institute for Environment & Sustainability, Dramaten (The Royal Dramatic Theatre of Sweden), The Embassy of Sweden in Washington, DC, and The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics announce the launch of We Hear You—A Climate Archive, co-conceived by Earth Commons Artist in Residence Caitlin Nasema Cassidy and Jacob Hirdwall.
Inspired by Greta Thunberg’s urgent question “Can you hear me?,” this project seeks to amplify—and to record for future generations—the ways that today’s young people are experiencing changes in the fundamental forces of the earth. We Hear You—A Climate Archive includes a two-year series of curated international performance and the launch of a digital platform for global climate storytelling. In addition to these public programs, the project also includes curricular engagement with students at Georgetown University.
The performance series officially launched with an evening of climate storytelling on Friday, March 18 at the COAL + ICE exhibition presented by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Asia Society. An ensemble of DC-area youth artists and activists presented an original performance weaving their own experiences with the words of Greta Thunberg.
Following its launch in DC, We Hear You—A Climate Archive is commissioning 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 multi-year international curated performance series, culminating in a performance at Dramaten directed by Jacob Hirdwall.
We Hear You—A Climate Archive opened the United Nations Stockholm+50 June 1 plenary at Stockholm University. The performance featured Razmus Nyström and Melinda Kinnaman from The Royal Dramatic Theatre of Sweden with text by Greta Thunberg, Lilli Hokama, and Jacob Hirdwall and direction by Jacob Hirdwall. The Archive will offer a series of short stories, monologues, and prompts for audience reflection from November 8 – 10, 2022 at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt as part of the New York Times Climate Forward events.
“We need stories about what we love and stand to lose,” says Cassidy. “In this time of global crises, I know I need stories that deliver joy, that offer me ways to root in wisdom and move forward in hope. We Hear You—A Climate Archive is asking: How can we hear the young folx—the artists and activists doing the work of imagining more liveable futures? What can we learn from them—from one another?”
We Hear You—A Climate Archive grows from the performance We Hear You—Greta Thunbergs Tal, originally presented at Sweden’s Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm on January 31, 2020. Staged by Jacob Hirdwall and Ada Berger, this performance drew on the texts of Greta’s speeches collected in No One Is Too Small To Make a Difference (Penguin, 2019).
About the Collaborators
Wijdan Al Khateeb (she/her, Producer) is a Palestinian producer based in Doha, Qatar. She earned her BS in Media Industries and Technology at Northwestern University in Qatar and is currently pursuing a MA in Women, Society, and Development at Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar. Her work and research focus on Palestinian women. As a producer, she has worked on The NU-Q Creative Media Festival, as well as award-winning films Tick Tock and Refuge, both of which premiered at Ajyal Film Festival. Wijdan served as Project Specialist for The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy/FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and as Creative Media Intern with Qatar Foundation. In addition to producing, she currently works for Qatar Foundation in the Community Development Department as Marketing Coordinator.
Caitlin Nasema Cassidy (she/her, Project Director) is a theatremaker of Syrian-Lebanese and Irish descent based in NYC. She serves as Artistic Producer of the Youmein Festival in Morocco and NU-Q Creative Media Festival in Qatar, as well as Founding Co-Artistic Director of LubDub Theatre Company. Caitlin is the 2022-23 Artist-in-Residence of The Earth Commons—Georgetown University’s Institute for Environment and Sustainability and was an inaugural Fellow of the Lab for Global Performance and Politics and Edinburgh Institute for International Cultural Affairs. Performance credits include NY Times Critic’s Pick Pay No Attention to the Girl with Obie Award winning Target Margin, the world premiere of Paradise at Central Square Theatre for which she received the 2018 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Actress, and The Vagrant Trilogy at The Public Theater. Caitlin has developed work with The Orchard Project NYC Greenhouse, Page 73, NYTW, Ars Nova, Atlantic Theater Company, Long Wharf, UNESCO World Theatre Conference, and more. CaitlinNasemaCassidy.com
Robert Duffley (he/him, Dramaturg) is a dramaturg, editor, and teacher based between New York City and Boston, Massachusetts. Robert is Editor & Associate Dramaturg at the American Repertory Theater, Dramaturg for LubDub Theatre Co, and an affiliated faculty member at Emerson College. Recent/upcoming productions include the Broadway revival of 1776 (A.R.T./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), LubDub Theatre Co’s The Uncle Geoff Magic Show (Target Margin Theatre Labs), The Lazours’ We Live in Cairo (A.R.T.), and Celine Song’s Endlings (A.R.T.). Publications include The Roadmap for Recovery and Resilience for Theater (Editor) and works forHowlround, Routledge’s Contemporary Theatre Review, and Six By Eight Press. Education/Training: MFA, A.R.T./Moscow Art Theatre School Institute at Harvard University; BA, Georgetown University. Portfolio: robertduffley.com
Jacob Hirdwall (he/him, Project Dramatist) dramaturge/playwright, he has for The Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm staged Paralysie générale! (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). On behalf of Swedish Radio he has directed his own play Emperor Fukushima (2011), Kristian Lundberg´s The Yard (2012) and Anita Goldman’s If I Have To Travel To Los Alamos (2014). Jacob is the artistic director of Ensembleverket and has with that group staged There Is Someone Sitting On the Wing (2010) and the play The Undiscovered Country (2013, also performed in Reykjavik and in New York). He has written and directed the trilogy Landscape With Winter-birds(2015), Sleepwalking In The Nether World (2016, New York 2019), People Who Disappear (The City Theatre of Stockholm, 2018). In 2019, Jacob made his debut as an author with the novel Picnic At The End Of the Road. Jacob was during 2017-2020 head of The Bergman Studio – a workplace for drama-development.
Afsoon Pajoufar (she/her, Designer) is a NYC based designer of stage and environment 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. Her works have been presented in venues and festivals including Theatre for a New Audience, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), New Ohio Theatre, Bard Fisher Center, HARVARD TDM, MIT, KITCHEN THEATRE, and PRELUDE festival. She received her MFA in Scene 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 Creative Director of Zero One Digital, a holistic branding and digital marketing agency focused on cohesive brand building & storytelling, and VP of Creative at Zero One Group, an integrated technology services company that provides personalized solutions to even the most challenging business problems. He has worked as a scenic designer with Rorschach Theatre, Georgetown University, and Jakarta Players, and as a graphic designer with LubDub Theatre 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 theatre design, Swedian brings strategic knowledge and design expertise to projects requiring in-depth interdisciplinary practice and international collaboration.
The Earth Commons—Georgetown University’s Institute for Environment & Sustainability is a hub for environmental and sustainability innovation, research and education to accelerate action on the most pressing issues of our earth. Assembling a team of interdisciplinary experts, researchers, leaders and students, the Earth Commons is transforming the university into a living laboratory to develop scalable solutions for a greener, more sustainable world. earthcommons.georgetown.edu
Dramaten/The Royal Dramatic Theater is Sweden’s national stage and the host of the International Ingmar Bergman Festival. The CEO is Maria Groop Russel. As of March 1, 2020, Mattias Andersson is the artistic director. dramaten.se/en
The Embassy of Sweden in Washington, DC is one of Sweden’s largest missions and serves as the official link between Sweden and the United States. The Embassy of Sweden is located in House of Sweden, a physical representation of Swedish values such as openness, transparency and democracy, and the flagship of Sweden’s public diplomacy in the United States. houseofsweden.com
The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics is a joint initiative of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Georgetown College that humanizes global politics through performance. With highly visible national and global productions, partnerships, and initiatives, The Lab amplifies rarely heard voices, and presents pressing societal challenges of our day by engaging with artists and their stories. globallab.georgetown.edu
Additional collaborators will be announced at a later date.