Image: Olafur Eliasson, Earth Speakr, 2020, for the Federal Foreign Office on the occasion of the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2020.

Press Release 18 Nov 2020

Olafur Eliasson’s Artistic Work “Earth Speakr”: Listen to the Kids!

To mark the United Nations’ World Children’s Day (on 20 November), Olafur Eliasson's work of art titled Earth Speakr calls on political decision-makers to listen to the voices of the younger generation and to take them better into account: #ListenToTheFuture. At Futurium, Earth Speakr will be made available to the public as soon as Berlin’s museums and cultural institutions are allowed to reopen. Since the beginning of the German EU Presidency, the Earth Speakr app and website have been offering children around the globe the opportunity to engage themselves digitally with shaping the future.


Image: Olafur Eliasson, Earth Speakr, 2020, for the Federal Foreign Office on the occasion of the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2020.

Earth Speakr is an artistic work by Olafur Eliasson that consists of an app, a website in 25 languages, physical installations and other elements. It invites children to take a stand for the planet – and adults to listen to them. To date, children and teenagers from 70 countries have worked together to create the artistic work in the Earth Speakr app by sharing their views and feelings in their respective national languages and with the help of augmented-reality features. The children can lend their voices to any kind of object – be it a tree, a banana peel, the sky or the street – and in this way speak up both for their immediate environment and for the planet as a whole:

“Hello, I’ve got something I just have to say. Please protect the environment – otherwise we won’t have a future. There’s no Planet B, and there’s no Plan B, if we fail to act now. Thanks a lot for your help," says a sidewalk in Kapfenberg, Austria.

“I wish people wouldn’t eat so many animals,” says a wall in Tallinn, Estonia.

The messages are aimed at adults, but also at other children, and, as well as criticism, they also contain ideas and suggestions for solutions. The work of art, which is being co-developed by all those participating, opens up spaces of possibility for the joint shaping of our society’s future.

“Art and culture offer a space, a meeting place to network, exchange perspectives and celebrate differences at the same time. Getting involved in a work of art gives us the feeling of being heard, because our ideas are reflected in the form and structure of the artistic work. For me, it’s essential that this exchange should take place in both directions. World Children’s Day is a reminder to us all to show children – through our actions and not just our words – that their views about the shaping of our future are entirely valid and urgently needed. Children must become co-creators of our future,” says Olafur Eliasson, the artist behind Earth Speakr.

Futurium supports the artist’s initiative. As soon as Berlin’s museums and cultural institutions are allowed to reopen, Earth Speakr will be presented to the public in the Futurium foyer, where visitors can read and listen to its messages.

“At Futurium, we hold firmly to the principle that the future concerns us all – and that everyone should have the opportunity to help shape it. Earth Speakr demonstrates in a wonderfully child-orientated way that the first step towards shaping the future occurs when we raise our own voices. Whether this involves criticising existing conditions, coming up with concrete ideas for solutions, or telling our fellow humans about our dreams or utopias, dealing with questions of the future has many facets. We’re very much looking forward to working with Olafur Eliasson and his team because Earth Speakr is definitely in the right place at our House of Futures!” says Dr Stefan Brandt, Futurium’s Director.

Earth Speakr is the central element of Germany’s cultural programme hosted as part of its EU Council Presidency; it is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has come into being in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut. For those who wish to participate, the Earth Speakr app is available for download in the Google Play Store or App Store. Further information is available at

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About Olafur Eliasson

The visual artist Olafur Eliasson (*1967) grew up in Iceland and Denmark. In 1995, he founded his Berlin-based Studio Olafur Eliasson, where he works with an interdisciplinary team. Olafur Eliasson’s artistic works include sculptures, paintings, photographs, films, installations and digital media. He has achieved international recognition above all for those works of his – often in large-format – that are exhibited in public spaces and in institutional contexts. Natural phenomena – such as water, light, ice, fog and reflections – play an important role in his art and reflect his critical involvement in social and nature-related issues and the consequences of climate change. His works and projects have been exhibited at the Biennale di Venezia, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate Gallery of Modern Art in London. Further information is available at

About Futurium

Futurium is a house of futures. Everything here revolves around the question: how do we want to live? In the exhibition, visitors can discover many possible futures; in the Forum, they can take part in open discussions; and, in the Futurium Lab, they can try out their own ideas. One thing we know for sure today: in the future, we will have major challenges to overcome. How can we bring climate change under control? Which technologies do we want to use in the future? Does technology serve us – or do we serve technology? How do we want to live together as a society? Are there any alternatives to ‘higher, further, faster’? The future also emerges from our decisions and actions in the present. For this reason, Futurium wants to inspire all of its visitors to engage themselves with the future and to play a part in shaping it. Currently, Futurium, like all of Berlin’s museums and cultural institutions, is closed due to the ongoing pandemic. Futurium’s extensive digital programme is available at