Pop in times of climate change

Audience Centre at Tibet Open House, Školská 28, Prague 1

We are bombarded daily by reports of irreversible changes to our planet, the threat of a sixth mass extinction or the oceans warming until we feel like we are living in a dystopian sci-fi movie. The environmental crisis has become global issue number one. It falls on some with the intensity of a burning meteorite, plunging them into deep depression, while millions of others head out into the streets to protest and rouse governments from their slumber. In addition, a significant number of people continue to deny the processes associated with climate change. But one thing is certain: almost everyone is thinking about the environmental crisis.

The echoes of the debates on the state of the planet can also be found in popular music, both at the top of the charts and in the alternative scene. The "music of ecological awareness" is characterised by the work of Icelandic singer Björk, who in her Utopia album dreams of a "bird species never seen or heard before", but warns of a "huge toxic tumour belching underneath". Baltimore duo Matmos, on their Plastic Anniversary album, thematise the 150th anniversary of the launch of the first celluloid, while pointing out the tons of non-recyclable plastics in the ocean. On the album Age Of, American producer Oneohtrix Point Never ponders the Anthropocene epoch, when humanity became an agent of irreversible processes. For all "environmental pop" one thing is true: the music is so intense that its message is hard to ignore.

Lecture by Miloš Hroch (A2larm, Aktuálně.cz, Respekt) and Pavel Turek (Respekt).

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