Lorde was recognized at Varietyof the Power of Women event for her efforts on behalf of 350 Aotearoa, an organization “whose commitment to end fossil fuel projects here is truly inspiring,” she commented.
Featured by Hunter Schafer, the model, LGBTQ advocate and star of HBO’s ‘Euphoria’, who said, âOver the past year, Lorde has used her powerful words, sounds and presence to promote the environment and raise awareness of the growing problem of climate currency. For many of us young people, this is the crucial question of our time. How can we protect our planet and make it a safe place not only for us, but for our children and their children? How can we make these changes in the face of wasted time? “
Lorde then gave a thoughtful and forward-looking speech, recalling how she came to be famous and what she does with the ‘golden microphone’ she received to help make the world a better place.
Lorde isn’t the type to talk without walking, and that’s exactly what she did when, for her latest album, “Solar Power”, she resisted the release of a CD, demonstrating her commitment. to slow the rate of climate change. In fact, the project is a sonic love letter to the natural world. As she puts it on her Power of Women cover: âThe purity of being outside was really magical to me,â Lorde says. “I felt like all the answers were there, like I could be healed by the natural world.”
Read Lorde’s speech in full below:
I’m sure many of you in this room have come by your power in a way that seemed fortuitous – in the right place at the right time; a cocktail of privilege, skill and luck. You didn’t go looking for it, rather it was something that happened to you. Maybe you know my story – I was one of the millions of kids who posted stuff online from their childhood rooms, trying to impress their friends, when one day something crazy happened. product – I was given a gold megaphone. This megaphone increased my voice tenfold, so that it was not only heard by people I knew. Suddenly, the journalists of the major publications could hear my voice, which always came from my room in the depths of the world. Artists I had admired for years, they could hear me. Hundreds of thousands of children around the world, my megaphone has worked on it. Enough people have decided: what you say is interesting, and we want to keep hearing you say it. At sixteen, I was given power. Eight years later, I have enough social media followers to populate a small country. I was given a golden megaphone, and it’s here to stay.
Last month I released a 5 song track for my album Solar Power, sung in te reo maori, the indigenous language of Aotearoa in New Zealand. It was a hugely meaningful endeavor to me and my associates – it felt right to use my voice to support those who work to keep our beautiful Indigenous language alive. This choice, to sing in te reo Maori, was the subject of a vigorous speech: is this rich and famous white woman favorable or symbolic? Does she defend or co-opt for her own social gain? Is it fair to express a language that is not yours, without ever having to experience the pain and struggle that historically accompanies that language? What does it mean when someone who has never had to fight to be heard, to have their power recognized, stands alongside those who have, who do?
I welcome this speech. A power like mine must be questioned. Over the past few years, we have all seen that no power system is too big to fail, no leader too established to uproot. By having these conversations as a society, about what makes us feel alive or asleep, supported or suppressed, we move forward. And maybe it’s stinging when you’re the one whose power is discussed in this way. But it’s not about you.
When we talk about power, amplification with a single voice, we must also recognize those who do not have such amplification. Tonight I think of the women whose birthplace or skin color or socioeconomic status were always going to make it less likely to be handed a megaphone. Or the women climate change will affect long before it affects me. People like me are elected, whether by ballot, by vote of the board of directors or by Instagram. Accepting that your power is directly correlated with the lack of others is crucial to understanding and contextualizing what you are capable of.
We need to view power in this way in order to thoughtfully represent the people who decide every day that our voices matter.
I did not ask for the golden megaphone, not in so many words. But it’s in my hands now, and handling it with care and context is the challenge that excites me the most these days. That’s why I was delighted to highlight an organization like 350 Aotearoa; not just because I support their campaign for Fossil Fuel Free Schools, but because one of their stated goals is to prioritize partnering with Maori in all of their climate-related decision-making.
Be gracious with your power. Do not over tighten or handle it unfairly. Be open to criticism and discussion of what you stand for. It helps everyone to move forward.
I’m going to paraphrase the great Maggie Nelson here: âThe form of power changes and travels. Letting go of a calcified conviction of what and where power is and how it moves can be a crucial element in spurring its redistribution. Recognizing and feeling the power we have, let alone analyzing our own will, invites us to investigate what we want to do.
I know what I want to do with the megaphone in my hand and I will do my best to act on it. I invite you, I implore you in fact, to stick to it.