Dropping Knowledge: Still Asking the Questions


In September last year Bebelplatz in Berlin, the site of the infamous Nazi book burning, resonated to the sound of 112 voices of some of the most important activists alive, answering 100 of the greatest questions of our time. This was The Table of Free Voices, organized by Dropping Knowledge, and reported on by Treehugger here. Questions included: “Why are women still at a disadvantage?’, ‘Is corporate social responsibility possible?’, and ‘What can I do, and tell others to do, to stop global warming?’. Even our own editor, Michael Graham Richards got to submit a question: "Television is a very powerful communication tool. Why do we use it to spread such unimportant information?" The result was a huge wealth of diverse answers and different opinions, all preserved under a copyleft licence. Dropping Knowledge, however, do not seem content to rest on their laurels.

Having recovered from this mammoth event, they have set about archiving the material recorded, and have now re-launched their website to make the information more accessible. Part of this re-launch included the making of an 8-minute retrospective of the Dropping Knowledge journey so far, which we’ve posted above. Other features include a daily question from the archives, highlighted on the main homepage, and an online web magazine. The first issue of the magazine is entitled Global Warning, and features interviews and footage from a journey undertaken by Ralf Schmerberg, one of the founders of Dropping Knowledge, and a small group of filmmakers to Beijing, Mumbai, Caracas, San Francisco, post-Katrina New Orleans. One recurring theme during this trip was, of course, the threat of climate change. The web magazine documents their trip, incorporating photos, text and videos in a new way: not only do you get interviews and talking heads with activists, meteorologists, industrialists, artists and regular citizens, but you also get some footage of city life in these places, which provides some interesting context. [Author’s Note: The magazine format takes a little getting used to in terms of navigation – something they tell us they are working on – but you basically click on the page number in the bottom corner to ‘turn the page’]

Stay tuned for an interview with Ralf Schmerberg on the ideas behind Dropping Knowledge, and where the organization is headed.

Tags: Berlin

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