To Hear the Gras Grow: A Climate Activism Podcast (2019)

Besides the reasons I explain here, another important pre-event and inspiring experience for the creation of the research project "Sounding Crisis", was a podcast about climate change, which I was generously invited to conduct by Birgit Schneider, professor for Media Ecology. I realized this podcast as a teacher together with the four students Laura-Marie Czach, Greta Deppermann, Jeltje Anna Schmidt and Maximiliane Wittek from the University of Potsdam (Germany) in July 2019.


Fridays for Future Demonstration on July 19, 2019, in Berlin, Germany. Photo: © maxiwittek.de


When I initially designed my podcasting course „Gras wachsen hören“ (or „To Hear the Grass Grow“), I had actually planned to teach my students about John Cage and musical collaborations between humans and fungi and then go on practicing listening and do some tricky recordings with them. However, I had to learn quickly: Fridays for Future and the thousands of students striking worldwide each week since the summer of 2018 to stop climate change did not make my students as interested in aesthetic research as I had hoped and had to learn.


Protesters at the Fridays for Future Demonstration

on July 19, 2019, in Berlin, Germany. Photo: © maxiwittek.de


Deeply impressed by Greta Thunberg and her committed, inspiring fight for immediate changes in climate policy, the end of fossil fuels, and the reduction of net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2035, the participants in my course preferred to make something more concrete. So we decided to produce a climate activism podcast. This decision coincided with Thunberg’s visit to Berlin and her support of the local Fridays for Future demonstration on Friday, July 19.


For the full report in English about this student’s podcast project, please visit my website here. And. of course, you also can listen to the German podcast here.


CREDITS

“Gras wachsen hören“. Der Klimaaktivismus-Podcast von Studentinnen der Europäischen Medienwissenschaft in Potsdam.

With contributions by Laura-Marie Czach, Jeltje Anna Schmidt and Maximiliane Wittek.

Music and presentation: Greta Deppermann.

Speakers: Simon Knop Jacobsen, Ali Taher, Mara Senger and Ania Mauruschat.

Soundengineer: Alessandro Mongardini.

Editor: Ania Mauruschat

This podcast is a project of Europäische Medienwissenschaft (European Media Studies), a joint program of the University of Potsdam and the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. Special thanks to our sponsor speaker-search, recording studio and agency for professional speakers.