Q.: “What do you need to be happy?”
- (Elisa, Brazil): “Generally speaking, we need equality, like we watched in the movie, to be happy”.
- (Mina and Farah, Palestine): “In order to be happy, we should stay close to our family, and we should have a school where we can have good education”.
- (Sheyda, Iran): “I need some more places where I can have fun in my country, places where I can spend my time apart from my house – like a café”.
- (Hamed, Iran): “In Iran, schools focus on learning Maths, Sciences and other subjects, but not on happiness. There is a mental pressure on us and we feel like we do not have time to have fun”.
- (Zésar, Spain): “I think that to be happy we need to identify an individual happiness that is usually perceived as consumerism today. Today, we are required not only to aggregate in some places like we did in the past but are expected to buy products to enter some places. However, on a collective level, we would need to fight to obtain equality, more social justice and above all a greener planet where we can be happier”.
- (Maya, Poland): “In order to be happy I would need everybody and all living creatures, such as animals, to have the same rights. I would love to live in a world where we do not kill animals because this is not what we need”.
- (Mina, Palestine): “Making new friends and meeting new people, talking to them regardless of the places where you meet them. The place does not have a meaning, the meaning is given by the people”.
- (Iza, Poland): “Equality, that everyone is equal and that we respect each other. It does not matter that some people have disabilities, and some others love some people. It is important to think that someone is not weaker or stronger so that all of us is equal and has positive skills and abilities. Moreover, we should recognize the positive traits in each of us”.
- (Michał, Poland): “For me, happiness means being that people with disabilities and people without disabilities are together”.
- (Emilia, Poland): “For me the most important thing is equality, especially for the law. It is not fair that two women cannot get married, and I want to change this, because I want everybody to be equal”.
- (Michał, Poland): “I would like that hate disappeared from public spaces, but I know that this is impossible. I would also like us to stay with our families and friends with love”.
- (Karolina, Poland): “For me the most important thing is that we take care of our animals, not to abandon them on the streets. It does not matter if they are young or old, they are living creatures and we should take care of them. Please remember that they also have hearts and feelings”.
Q.: “Do you see climate changes in your environment?”
- (Elisa, Brazil): “My community was one of the first that realised the effects of climate change. For example, the fires in the Amazon that we all saw in the news. Because of deforestation, we are having now 40° everyday – it has become our new normality”.
- (Farah, Palestine): “We are all aware of the situation in Palestine – I mean the Israeli occupation. Sometimes they use missiles or there are explosions, and this affects the air quality very badly. Some people are dying or having health problems because of it. Sometimes they burn the trash to get rid of it, which is extremely bad for the environment. One more mistake that they do is cutting trees, especially olive trees. They use the trees to build furniture and this is a real issue now”.
- (Sheyda, Iran): “Tehran, Iran’s capital city, has a very bad situation concerning air pollution which is becoming worse every year. 5000 people per year die because of this”.
- (Hamed, Iran): “There were big, beautiful Wetlands and a lake called Urmia in Iran. Now, only some of them have water because most of them are dry. We are worried about the condition of the water too”.
- (Zésar, Spain): “In general, the situation in Spain is causing an increase of desertification, we are losing trees, and water reserves have less water. One concrete example from my hometown, Zaragoza: last year in June we would wear jackets, whereas in November we would wear t-shirts because the temperatures are going through vertiginous changes that are causing problems both to animals and to people. For example, the birds have their production cycles in September, whereas before they had them in April. As far as corruption is concerned, we have problems with the wind that transports toxic material. In industrial cities such as Barcelona and Madrid, people’s health is suffering. And pollution is reducing the rain and the snow. The last time that I remember I saw the snow and could build a snowman in Zaragoza was in 2006”.
- (Emmily, Brazil): “We, the human being, are taking actions that are making the world more and more inhabitable. If we do not intervene now, the future generations will suffer the consequences”.
Q.: “What are you doing to prevent such natural disasters?”
- (Iza, Poland): “What we can and should do is to plant trees. In my family, we have been planting trees, from generation to generation, so now we have a beautiful forest”.
- (Elisa, Brazil): “I, together with my project, go to people’s houses to bring them together and tell them about climate change so that they are aware of the problem and can do something collectively. I see the results of the project – today we all go to schools and universities to give workshops. We have created a new project, out of our original project, where people come together and distribute seeds all over the city for people to plant them”.
- (Mina and Farah, Palestine): “It is difficult to find solutions in Palestine owing to the political situation. As far as burning trash is concerned – people are not educated so they do not know that this is something that you should not do. That is why we organise workshops to explain this to the people”.
- (Hamed, Iran): “After the end of this BK project, I am going to create a page on social media to share the environmental problems that my country is going through and let them know what is going on”.
- (Maya, Poland): “There are droughts – very hot weather – and, because of them, Poland will find itself with no water. We are already having less water than before and water is coming to an end. What I do for the environment – I am vegetarian because slaughtering animals put a lot of CO2 in the atmosphere and I try to share awareness with other people. Some of my friends have become vegetarians too. What annoys me the most is plastic: it is everywhere, so I would rather not drink water, even if I am thirsty, rather than buying a plastic bottle. Moreover, I think would rather talking to people and annoy them so maybe, for the hundredth time, they will understand, something will click in their mind”.
- (Emilia, Poland): “I am vegetarian, I am not using plastic, and I am trying to let people know that burning carbon to make houses warm is wrong because it is very harmful for the environment”.
- (Sheyda, Iran): “I try to use public transportation to reduce air pollution. I try to raise awareness about the worsening condition of air pollution among people around me. I would like them to use public transportation too. After this project, I am going to create a campaign for this, to make it bigger than it is now”.
- (Karolina, Poland): “I am worried about the fact that a lot of people are throwing trash in the forests, instead of recycling, because this also impacts animals”.
- (Zésar, Spain): “I think there are two ways to deal with environmental problems. Politically speaking, we need to preserve diversity, and education. Personally speaking, I try to do the three Rs – Reduce, Recycle and Reuse –, I try to save energy and water, and I participate in an ecological political organisation”.
Q.: “You created the birth of hope in your performance. What do you need from us, the adults, so that you can change the world?”
- (Elisa, Brazil): “What we need from you, adults, is that you believe in the possibility that we, youngsters, can change the world. Adults should not just support us, but they should also try to change the world through dance, music, art so that we can introduce a beautiful change”.
- (Mina, Palestine): “We do not only need money, we sometimes need wise words. As you are older than us, we could obtain wise words from you. If you give us wise words, you could inspire us. In most cases, when young people approach adults, the adults do not take young people seriously. So, we can work together to raise awareness”.
- (Elena, Palestine): “We should stop buying products coming from Israel worldwide, these products are made in dirty ways with dirty money. Every product you buy from them is like killing a child”.
- (Sheyda, Iran): “I think that I need adults to believe in me, believe that I can do this. I also need them to support me in hard situations and in the new project that I am going to start”.
- (Hamed, Iran): “I want you, adults, to support our ideas, which are good and useful. Let us speak about our ideas”.
Transcription: Silvia Travasoni
Photos: Magda Sawicka