Today's blogpost from Stockholm is a reflection on why citizens…
It appears as if the time has come for me to add to the array of playlists published by my fellow bloggers. As it happens though, I am not one addicted to music. Books and movies have always been more my thing. I listen to music, sure, but I have much to learn. There are a few songs that have showed to be important and influential for my own personal transition to a an environmentalist worldview, or what you want to call it. Some of them are obvious in a text-wise sense, whilst others need an explanation. Bear with me – as I said music is not really my medium. I don’t know much about music, but I know that culture matters. So, here we go.
Let’s start with Eddie Vedder’s “Society”, known from the movie “Into the Wild”. Back in the first half of 2011 I had just returned from one year of exchange studies in Australia. Lots had changed, I had changed. I was back studying sustainable development at Uppsala University and one course module was “Life Philosophy and Modern Society”. Fantastic course. We went hiking in Norway with a Norwegian life philosopher, walking around barefeet, connecting to nature, to trees, to the ground and the soil. I remember writing a paper for uni referring to “Society”, feeling an empty void within me, hurting so much because of what is happening to our planet, to nature, to humankind. Hurting so much because it is so difficult to talk about the environment with others, without doing it from an anthropocentric perspective. I have yet to learn how do – and I wonder if my master programme in environmental communication will help with that.
I’ve chosen a live version done together with actor Johnny Depp, but I want everyone that haven’t seen the movie Into the Wild to do it now!
Next song is Ozzy Osbourne’s “Dreamer”. Pretty straight forward.
3 more songs, none of which are that straight forward “transition songs”. They keep me motivated though. They make me want to move forward, to transition, to dedicate my life to what I believe in. They give me strength and courage to challenge norms and expectations of what it means to be a young adult in the 21st century, not to mention a woman. They also serves as good reminders of how alike we all are, despite cultural, political and religious differences. How many places I have yet to visit, so many people I have yet to get to know and love. A transition to a sustainable world does mean that we will have to travel differently, but luckily for me I have always preferred long trips, being away months at the time so train trips are no prob.
“We OK” by The Very Best, a collaboration between London-based Radioclit and Esau Mwamwaya from Malawi, and K’Naan, a Somali poet and musician. Reminds me of all the cool and positive things that are happening in the world. It makes me want to study hard, work hard, and do something greater than myself. Sounds so tacky but hey why not.
Next song is also by The Very Best, but now feat. Mo Laudi. Feels like I’m on my way somewhere, just like we all are. The direction of transitions.
The last song for the day is by the Swedish singer Elliphant, it is called “Live till I die”. Great song, and one I was listening to a lot during my time as an intern in Bangladesh in 2013. As I was riding in the trunk of a car going down the Mymensingh-Dhaka highway, seeing trucks just an arm’s length behind me, I felt so invigorated and strong and practically immortal. My phone was playing this song, over and over again. I love the people of Bangladesh, and I love the country, Amar Sonar Bangla – My Golden Bengal. I have never seen a sun like the red sun setting over the green paddy fields. However, it was not easy being a sole white woman in a small town in northern Bangladesh. It took some time to get used to. The patriarchial structures are so deeply entrenched in the society and you are reminded of that every single day. This song was important to me, and my struggles in Bangladesh sort of gives me strength to go on fighting the uphill battle that is an environmentalists purpose in life. What I know though, is that people can adjust, and people can change. Go green!