A Political Act: Youth Voices and Environmental Education in Brazil
Mari Casellato

Today we air the third episode of Flux, a FreshEd series where graduate students turn their research interests into narrative-based podcasts. This episode is by Mari Casellato, a recent graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University.

Mari takes us on a journey through time, revealing the potential of youth participation in environmental education in Brazil (and beyond). You might be thinking Brazil – where the Amazon was on fire just last year and the current Bolsonaro government has been routinely criticized for doing too little to prepare for the climate crisis. But back in the 1990s and early 2000s, Brazil spearheaded this idea of environmental education, which brought together a diversity of voices through national conferences and was seen as a political act. Mari was personally involved in this history.


This episode was created, written, produced, and edited by Mari Casellato. Johannah Fahey was the executive producer and Brett Lashua and Will Brehm were the producers.

Narrator: Mariana Casellato
History narrator: Tiago Luna
English version of Joao: Alcides Ferreira
English version of Mariana: Renata Penalva
English version of Isis: Aline Godoy
Youth voices: Ajani Stella and Kayley Chery

Music in this episode (used with permission):
Cacuriá – Mawaca
“Temas tradicionais de cacuriá”
Maranhão – Brazil/Arrangement: Mawaca
Special guest: Tião Carvalho (Voice, cavaquinho and caixa)
Lá na Mata da Amazônia – Seu Antonio and Grupo Cupuaçu
Other music came from the Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue): Eggs and Powder and Alum Drum Solo; and Soundstripe (www.soundstripe.com) Baiao Baiao, Coco Coco, and Sambita Sambita, all by Hola Hola.
Sound effects retrieved from Freesound.org: Sea sound effect by HowNotToSail and Forest sound scape by jonasrocha.
Former UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali speech at Rio 92 audio retrieved from the UN Audiovisual Library: The Earth Summit.

Special thanks to Rachel Trajber and Marcos Sorrentino for their generosity and continued work; to Clóvis, for continuing to be a reference; and to João, for the energy. To Projeto Cala-boca já morreu and all of its participants for so many years of partnership, with special remarks to Grácia for all the inspiration, to Mariana, for the insights, to Tiago, for the great voice, and, to Isis for all the support and companionship now and over the years. To Danilo Fernandes, Ajani Stella, Kayley Chery, Renata Penalva, Alcides Ferreira, Aline Godoy, Daniel Corsi, Carla Hirata, and Caio Mamede for agreeing to lend their voices for this project and for all the support. Finally, to Mawaca, to Tião Carvalho, to Neila Campos Mendes and her family, and to Grupo Cupuaçu for allowing us to use their amazing songs “Cacuriá” and “Lá na Mata da Amazônia” that gave so much life to this project.