Titus, Finn, Pieter & Stijn | He/Him
A Piano, A Future
Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
Session 10: May 30, 2023
It is a quarter to nine in the morning. A child is sitting on my chair. Despite their bright yellow shirt, their aura looks grim. They do not move, nor do they attempt to play my keys. I want to scream, to alert others to comfort the child, but my voice only comes forth if someone chooses to call it. The child remains still, and as they keep sitting silently, my attention flows elsewhere. I look around, and I see him again. Every day at 9 am, the man walks into the building, and at 5 pm, he leaves again. Day in and day out. The child on my chair has seen him, too, and walks up to him.
“Come play the piano with me!” the child shouts to him.
But the man does not seem to be impressed. With firm steps, he continues his way to his office. “I need to catch a shareholder’s meeting, I’m sorry, my dear.”
“What do you mean? How is that more important?”
But the man has already escaped on the escalator.
I live in an office in the center of the capitalist world. Don’t ask me who put me here, because I have been here for as long as I can remember. Don’t ask me why they put me here, either. Because people seem to be too busy to even play me. Life is boring here, and honestly, I don’t think I am the only one who feels it. Day in, and day out, people walk and run to their offices. When they leave at 5pm every day, they look far from alive. It does not look worth it.
As the day passes, the child sits patiently on my chair, leaving me wondering if they are waiting for something to happen. Aside from the child, it seems like the most normal day I could imagine.
But then, suddenly, ten minutes before everyone is about to leave their offices again, I notice something strange. It is the man on the escalator, this time going to the exit. He is early today!
I don’t know why, but I get nervous. He wouldn’t, would he? Slowly but determined, he walks in my direction. The child on my chair is getting excited. “Hey—hello!”
The man sits down next to the child. “Hello, dear future.”
I am thrilled at this point. Is someone finally going to play me?
“It is time to stop doing what I am doing. I don’t want to contribute to a world in which a dead tree is worth more than a living one. That cannot be our legacy.”
After a long sleep, softly, I feel hammers on my body. The man starts playing. The sound of my own voice overwhelms me. An outburst of energy is rushing through every part of my being. It is an intense feeling, like I am a shining light. It is the feeling that I exist, that I matter, even though I am just a string. Through my voice, I am alive.
As everyone is walking out of their office, delighted by the music, I hear the whispering voice of the child. The child is talking to the man.
“Thank you. Thanks for being so brave.”
Then, the child knocks on my pedal.
“Thank you, piano. You mean the world to me.”
*This text has been adapted from a short film created by the storytellers.
Titus believes that we live in a world that is screaming for help. He heard these screams when he opened himself up to really feel all the suffering that’s going on. Titus now gives people the emotional perspective that he personally needed to rethink our ways of living through cinematography/filmmaking.
Finn is a 21-year-old film director and student based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Finn aims to bridge filmmaking, philosophy, and social entrepreneurship as means for societal change. The ecological system crises forms the center of the stories Finn tells.
Pieter is a socially involved young person from the Netherlands who tries to make the world a bit more creative, fair, and sustainable by creating his own music and short films that encourage thought and the use of constructive activism.
Stijn is a Public Administration and Organizational sciences student at the VU university in Amsterdam. He has worked on the (creative) production of short films, in which societal problems are presented and analysed critically, mostly through the use of metaphors and symbolism.