Watch Tove Styrke perform Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad

The Scandi-Pop sensation reflects on the symbiotic affinity between the earth and the oceans surrounding it

Tove Styrke radiates energy. The Swedish songwriter’s distinct electro-pop sits in the same forward-thinking echelons as fellow Scandi-pop sensation Robyn. In this latest edition of Dazed Texts, the 26-year-old reflects on the words of another female tour de force, an extract from Margaret Atwood’s novella The Penelopiad

Her performance is part of Dazed’s partnership with the #TOGETHERBAND, a campaign raising awareness for the United Nations' vital global goals, a total of 17 objectives – ranging from climate change to fighting inequality – that aim to make the world a better place 2030. Carrying on from Mexican R&B star Girl Ultra’s May performance, which focused on Life on Land, this month we delve into the depths of Life Below Water, a goal that looks at conserving the oceans by exploring sustainable methods of underwater development. 

Water is our element / It is our birthright,” recites Styrke against a bright blue, oceanic backdrop. The extract, which examines the intrinsic, symbiotic affinity between the earth and the water surrounding it, is a poignant reminder of our responsibility towards the oceans, which cover three quarters of the world’s surface, and absorbs approximately 30 per cent of the carbon dioxide produced by humans. 

The short extract, while turning our attention to the nature of water (“Water does not resist, water flows,” says Styrke), expresses the dialectical delicacy of our relationship with the oceans. With sea levels rising, coastal habitats dying and plastic polluting ecosystems, it’s clear that we must address the man-made problems affecting the environment, animals and humans alike. Because, as Styrke reminds us, we “are half water” too.

Next month we tackle the UN’s No Poverty goal with none other than provocative noise-rapper-slash-internet-troll JPEGMAFIA. Stay tuned.

Performed by Tove Styrke
Original text by Margaret Atwood
Executive produced by Bec Evans