Bringing Inanimate Materials and Objects to Life with Natalie Cru

Natalie Cru Natalie Cru is a graduate of the International Communication Management programme at THUAS and has been a student assistant at Mission Zero since September 2020. Her work at Mission Zero focuses on internal and external communication tasks such as taking care of the centre’s social media, creating onboarding materials, and writing scripts for Mission Zero’s podcast, Wasted Tales. Natalie also wrote her graduation project on science communication at Mission Zero. 

Writing for Wasted Tales 

“When interviewing for my student assistant position at Mission Zero, I had expressed interest in being part of a potential podcast that was mentioned on the job vacancy. When I met with Kim and she told me her idea for the project; to bring inanimate materials and objects to life through storytelling, I was immediately onboard and excited to take the challenge on. As I explain in the article I wrote, “The Making of Wasted Tales”, putting myself into the shoes of inanimate objects and materials presented its own challenges, and more importantly, opportunities to learn about their role in a circular society. 

Wasted Tales aims to highlight research projects at Mission Zero in an engaging and accessible manner. To write scripts about each of these projects, I got to speak to various researchers about the project or research area that they specialised in. This not only gave me a deeper understanding of the circular economy but made me reconsider my ambitions post-graduation. Energised by the passion of all the researchers and professionals I got to know through my time at Mission Zero, I reconsidered my options and applied to master’s programs in sustainability, with a drive to learn more in this fast-changing field. This led to my decision to start the MSc Governance of Sustainability at Leiden University in September.”

Voicing Eleanor, the Eco-coffin

“Towards the end of the podcast project, I was asked to voice one of the characters for Wasted Tales and had the honour of being featured on the final episode: Eleanor the Eco-coffin. The script and story of Eleanor is a little different to the rest of the podcast. As an object associated with death, this podcast took a much more philosophical stance than the rest of the episodes and had a more subdued atmosphere to it.

Writing this script in the middle of a pandemic was somewhat symbolic, as to some extent, we have all been confronted with the reality of our impermanence on this planet, and our fragility as humans. This script was written based on anthropological research on natural burials and eco-coffins, but it challenged me further in reflecting on the lessons we have learned through this difficult time we all face. Many of us had to mourn either the loss of loved ones, the life we once knew, or even the student life we once had as we finished up our degrees online. It was a bitter-sweet way to wrap up my degree, and my work for Wasted Tales, looking back on all that has been achieved and learned, while letting go and preparing myself for what is ahead.”