Conscient Podcast: e114 privilege – what are the privileges in your life?

Note : Une version en français de cet article est disponible sur : Français

(Claude Schryer in 2023)

It’s March 6, 2023 and I’m at Trout Lake Park in Vancouver. About 2 years ago, I went for a long soundwalk with climate activist, and now politician, Anjali Appadurai, which became episode 23 of season 2 of this podcast:

It was the first time that Anjali did a soundwalk and it was a very powerful moment for me because I’ve often thought back about what Anjali said that day. It has informed my work as a climate activist and on the role of art in the climate emergency. I encourage you to read, to listen to it. Today, we are going to hear an excerpt from that conversation, near the end, about the issue of privilege which comes back again and again in this sounding modernity season. So here’s Anjali from our soundwalk in 2021….

(Anjali Appadurai in 2021)

This really meshes with what I was talking about. It circles back to the beginning of the conversation when we were talking about who’s the ‘we’ and that privilege is the central question to that. Looking at the issue as this multi-layered thing and looking at it as a spectrum of history. What have the power dynamics been? Say you can take a slice of history, say the last 500 years. What were the advantages? Privilege can go back as far as you wanted to go back, right? And of course it’s so nuanced. Not every white guy has this much privilege, but you do have a privilege that goes back hundreds of years and I think one aspect of privilege, one that a lot of people leave out is this economic aspect, right, of class and resources. And that is not often talked about in the climate conversation, but it’s a huge piece of it. Because when we talk about the extinction of our species, this extinction doesn’t happen overnight. It happens in a spectrum. Who are the last ones standing? Those with the most resources and who are the first ones to go? It’s those with the least, the most disenfranchised. So I don’t think you can talk about climate without talking about privilege ultimately. And I think it’s on each of us to unpack that for ourselves and to bring that into the conversation. 

(Claude in 2023)

Back in 2023 again now. I’m going to skip ahead to another excerpt of our conversation from 2021 with Anjali. This time she talks about privilege in a more global context. 

(Anjali in 2021)

I’ll just leave with one more thought. There’s a lot of framing about how to divide up in an equitable way, the remaining emissions, the sort of carbon budget of the world. So the carbon budget is a framing in and of itself and then there’s this other framing that floats around the right to atmospheric space and how, if you look at atmospheric space as a human right, and if you divide up how much we have left in the world, how many people have way more than what would be their fair share, how many people have way less? And that’s a deep question of privilege as well. And talking about the global north, I mean, that really plays into our global privilege.

(Claude in 2023)

My question for you is ‘what are the privileges in your life?’


This episode is an excerpt from e23 appadurai – what does a just transition look like

Thanks to Anjali for her permission to use our 2021 conversation in this context. Note : Une version en français de cet article est disponible sur : Français

I am grateful and accountable to the earth and the human labour that provided me with the privilege of producing this episode. (including all the toxic materials and extractive processes behind the computers, recorders, transportation and infrastructure that make this podcast possible).

My gesture of reciprocity for this episode is to the Climate Emergency Unit

For more information on Anjali’s work see:

The post e114 privilege – what are the privileges in your life? appeared first on conscient. conscient is a bilingual blog and podcast (French or English) by audio artist Claude Schryer that explores how arts and culture contribute to environmental awareness and action.


About the Concient Podcast from Claude Schryer

The conscient podcast / balado conscient is a series of conversations about art, conscience and the ecological crisis. This podcast is bilingual (in either English or French). The language of the guest determines the language of the podcast. Episode notes are translated but not individual interviews.

I started the conscient project in 2020 as a personal learning journey and knowledge sharing exercise. It has been rewarding, and sometimes surprising.

The term “conscient” is defined as “being aware of one’s surroundings, thoughts and motivations”. My touchstone for the podcast is episode 1, e01 terrified, based on an essay I wrote in May 2019, where I share my anxiety about the climate crisis and my belief that arts and culture can play a critical role in raising public awareness about environmental issues. The conscient podcast / balado conscient follows up on my (2016-2019) project: 175, 3-minute audio and video field recordings that explore mindful listening.

season 1 (may – october 2020) : environmental awareness and action Season 1 (May to October 2020) explored how the arts contribute to environmental awareness and action. I produced 3 episodes in French and 15 in English. The episodes cover a wide range of content, including activism, impact measurement, gaming, arts funding, cross-sectoral collaborations, social justice, artistic practices, etc. Episodes 8 to 17 were recorded while I was at the Creative Climate Leadership USA course in Arizona in March 2020 (led by Julie”s Bicycle). Episode 18 is a compilation of highlights from these conversations.

season 2 (march – august 2021 ) : reality and ecological grief Season 2 (March 2021 ) explores the concept of reality and is about accepting reality, working through ecological grief and charting a path forward. The first episode of season 2 (e19 reality) mixes quotations from 28 authors with field recordings from simplesoundscapes and from my 1998 soundscape composition, Au dernier vivant les biens. One of my findings from this episode is that “I now see, and more importantly, I now feel in my bones, “the state of things as they actually exist”, without social filters or unsustainable stories blocking the way”. e19 reality touches upon 7 topics: our perception of reality, the possibility of human extinction, ecological anxiety and ecological grief, hope, arts, storytelling and the wisdom of indigenous cultures. The rest of season 2 features interviews with thought leaders about their responses and reactions to e19 reality.

season 3 (october 2021 – february 2022 ) : radical listening Season 3 was about radical listening : listening deeply without passing judgment, knowing the truth and filtering out the noise and opening attention to reality and responding to what needs to be done. The format is similar the first podcast format I did in 2016 with the simplesoundscapes project, which was to ‘speak my mind’ and ‘think out loud’. I start this season with a ‘soundscape composition’, e63 a case study (part 1) and e64 a case study (part 2), a bilingual speculative fiction radio play, set in an undergraduate university history seminar course called ‘History of 2021 in Canada’. It concluded with a soundscape composition ‘Winter Diary Revisited’.

season 4 (1 january – 31 december 2023) : sounding modernity


I’ve been retired from the Canada Council for the Arts since September 15, 2020 where I served as a senior strategic advisor in arts granting (2016-2020) and manager of the Inter-Arts Office (1999-2015). My focus in (quasi) retirement is environmental issues within my area of expertise in arts and culture, in particular in acoustic ecology. I”m open to become involved in projects that align with my values and that move forward environmental concerns. Feel free to email me for a conversation :

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