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Education Honours College

Earth Day Competition Winner

12 July 2021

Charlotte is the winner of our Earth day competition. She rewrote the lyrics to a song by Billie Eilish, 'All the good girls go to hell' and performed her version.

Charlotte Mennema
Charlotte Mennema

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m Charlotte. I’m nineteen. I’m a first-year student of Artificial Intelligence.

I also joined the Honours College a few months ago. I am Dutch and live quite close to Groningen so that’s quite nice. Yeah, in my free time I like to make music. I’m also really into acting and theatre but that has not been a thing lately. So, I found other ways to be creative at home. In the past year, I really started to make my own music.

I’m glad you could use your creativity in our Earth Day competition. Are environmental issues something you are normally engaged with and what made you choose the ‘All the Good Girls Go to Hell’ song for your remix?

Yes, I have always been trying to combine it with AI and music. I am passionate about environmental justice and sustainability. The competition really spoke to me because of that. I knew the song, and I learned to play it a while ago. I liked it because of the rhythm and because it already was about sustainability and ecological crisis. But I felt compelled to make a version where the message is more clear.

What charity did you choose for spending your reward? And why?

I chose YOUth ACT. They are an Amsterdam-based organization. I was looking for an organisation that is quite new and does not have external funding. It’s a community-based hub for young people who work on social and environmental justice topics. I really think that the way to solve the ecological crisis is through networking and informing people and that environmental justice is really linked to it. If people are aware and care more about the problem, it would naturally follow that there would be more justice. People would notice the problem and then start working towards a solution in small and big ways. This is the platform that really does that.

Why did you join the Honours College?

My study was going really well so I felt I could add something to it. I was really drawn to the diversity and different topics, being able not only to deepen your program but also look into different things as well. I was already interested in combining art and technology and other issues. For example, how can I use AI and Art for combating the climate crisis? The Honours College helped me with combining knowledge from different disciplines. Despite the corona crisis, I have experienced the sense of community at the Honours College. It’s quite nice! I liked that the Introduction event and Gather Town give you a sort of community vibe. For example, I met some random people during the introduction event. Also, group chats and lecture chats are always really nice and give a sense of community even though we did not meet at all! I also think the Honours College is great for networking and showing me what possibilities are out there!

Is music your main passion outside of academia?

It’s actually theatre and acting, but it’s been difficult to do that. I’ve done some online projects last year, but I did not feel so creatively fulfilled online. But also music. I’ve played the flute since I was seven then I stopped and started playing the guitar. Music was my focus during the last year.

Did you consider an art-related career?

I really thought about going to drama school before university. But I decided on AI because I find it really important to have an interdisciplinary programme. I thought that AI is interdisciplinary and it really proved to be so during the past year. So I am very happy about that. I’m still considering going to drama school after my studies, because I would like to explore it a bit more. Even music, wherever it takes me. I want to combine these later on because I do not think I can go on without either. If I only did the creative stuff, I would miss the analytical stuff. But If I was only coding, I would miss acting and music. So I really hope to combine it. Actually, I wrote a song with an AI. I wrote the lyrics and melody and then I used a programme to make a drum track out of the melody. I hope to do more of that, especially during the summer when I have more time.

How were you managing during the lockdown?

I’ve really had barely any classes at the university and so, it’s been weird but still nice. I graduated from high school during covid, and I joined the Honours College and I made music. So it’s good to think that I did some nice stuff and even if somebody did not, I am sure they also developed themselves in some ways.

Last modified:12 July 2021 12.08 p.m.

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