The 90% Waste-Free ‘Where Do The Children Play?’ Video

The 90% Waste-Free ‘Where Do The Children Play?’ Video

Behind-the-scenes footage of ‘Where Do The Children Play?’ reveals 90% of props and scenery made from recycled materials

Following the release of the 2020 reimagination of his classic 1970 ecological anthem – ‘Where Do The Children Play?’ – Yusuf / Cat Stevens and director Chris Hopewell (Radiohead, Run The Jewels) have revealed behind-the-scenes footage exploring the environmentally conscious approach to the making of this allegorical and visually arresting stop-motion animated music video.

The creation of the visual reflects the song’s prescient warning and environmental concerns. 90% of all props and scenery were made from recycled and upcycled materials to minimise production impacts on the environment wherever possible. This commitment led director Chris Hopewell to create an entire ocean made out of plastic waste recovered from a beach in South Wales. Later repurposing scaffolding, reclaimed wood and second-hand cans of paint from a local charity store, Hopewell transformed the otherwise landfill-bound materials into an entire set over a six week shoot.

Realised by creators Hopewell (whose previous credits include Radiohead’s ‘Burn The Witch’) of Jacknife Films and production company Black Dog Films, three new making-of films explore the possibilities of creating a music video with as little waste as possible.

“The message in the film is really quite simple – if we keep on producing waste at the rate we do we’re headed for disaster. The fact that we were able to make this production using materials that would’ve gone into landfill is shocking. We collected ten Ikea bags of plastic waste on a 2km stretch of beach and barely made a dent. I’d like the video to make people think about the legacy that we’re leaving for future generations – we need a total re-think about the way that we consume.” Chris Hopewell

“Where Do The Children Play? is so relevant. It tells it like it is – that we need to change our ways. Looking at the world today and the message in this fifty-year-old song, it looks like the world never grew up.” Yusuf / Cat Stevens

Whilst articulating his concerns, Yusuf / Cat Stevens has never been content to remain an observer, and has dedicated much of his life towards forging positive changes to embrace peace, sustainability and the betterment of humanity. Today that can be witnessed through his far-reaching global Peacetrain initiative, which focuses on delivering essential food relief and self-sustainable initiatives to impoverished communities. 

As part of its ‘Where Do the Children Play?’ campaign, Peacetrain is working with Barnardos to provide an indoor play space for special needs children, as well as building a playground and outdoor musical stage at Shaftesbury Park Primary School in Battersea. .

Fifty years on, this sonic and visual rebirth of ‘Where Do The Children Play?’ affirms the artist’s concern for the natural world, underpinned by a longing for preservation of the innocence of childhood and spiritual reconnection in an increasingly techno-centric world. Yusuf / Cat Stevens’ life and career have seen him walk a boundless path and yet the central humanness of his message has remained consistent, radiating a warm and comforting musical accompaniment to the search for peace and understanding between peoples, and in harmony with nature.

‘Where Do The Children Play?’ offers a first glimpse into the forthcoming Tea for the Tillerman² album, out 18th September on UMC marking the 50th anniversary of the era-defining album that made a superstar.

Pre-order Tea for the Tillerman² here: https://CatStevens.lnk.to/TFTT2

Learn about the good things to come: peacetrain.org