MENTORSHIP AWARD CULTURAL & ARTISTIC RESPONSES TO ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE

By the Prince Claus Fund & Goethe-Institut

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© Morteza Soorani. Full caption below

Alarming changes in nature and our environment are all around us: biodiversity is disappearing; air and water sources are increasingly polluted; sea levels are rising; and extreme weather phenomena are escalating. These environmental changes undermine and hamper action towards reducing inequalities and promoting peaceful and inclusive societies. While causes and consequences of environmental change and the climate crisis are being debated by politicians, scientists, and the broader public, the most affected people are often those least heard. 

We need to revisit societal approaches to problem solving and innovation. Artists, cultural practitioners, and designers across the world are setting up initiatives, exchanging ideas, and rethinking responses to environmental change and the climate crisis, while actively engaging their communities to believe in the possibility of different futures. These creatives are proposing inventive, collective solutions to environmental issues and developing new perspectives on sustainability and climate justice.

Now, more than ever, we need the arts and culture to help us respond; to inspire and motivate us by challenging our perceptions, encouraging communal action today by introducing intersectional and trans-disciplinary perspectives, motivating synergistic and effective participation, and centering indigenous forms of knowledge and ways of living to envision alternative models of climate justice in the world.  

Cultural & Artistic Responses to Environmental Change is a year-long interdisciplinary programme that is aimed at accelerating engaged community-based cultural practices at the intersection of arts and the environment, initiating an international network of creatives, and fostering leadership. Through this programme we create a platform to explore critical artistic practices, stimulate joint learning, connect engaged practitioners across the world, stimulate cross-disciplinary exchange, and amplify new perspectives on environmental change. 

The mentorship brings together 12 emerging artists and cultural practitioners (± 8-15 years of relevant professional experience) with 4 mentors, all working across a range of disciplines and environmental issues. Throughout 2023, these 12 individuals will each work on a body of work, form a peer-group, receive guidance, exchange ideas, and jointly delve deeper into their practices. The 4 mentors, all experts on the intersection of arts and the environment, guide the participants throughout the programme. 

The programme consists of two Labs (week long mentoring intensives, one in person and one online), bi-monthly online masterclasses and peer-group sessions, and a visitor's programme in Amsterdam and Berlin. Each participant receives an award of €10.000 to work on the concept for a body of work that they outline in their application. 

Through this mentorship programme we aim to:

  • support critical and unconventional work by emerging artists working on a range of issues related to the global commons, environmentalism, the climate crisis, and climate justice;
  • stimulate leadership of individuals whose artistic work fosters awareness, social cohesion and empathy;
  • accelerate the artistic practices of artists and cultural practitioners who show a commitment to their communities and to creating lasting change through environmental activism;
  • strengthen and amplify new perspectives on environmentalism, the climate crisis and climate justice.

With this initiative we invite artists and cultural practitioners both from and based in our working countries to envision a better future for our planet through artistic practices. 

How to apply? Please check the Eligibility Criteria & Guidelines before applying. Applications can be completed via the Prince Claus Awards Platform.

Timeline: The deadline for the submission of project applications is 31 May 2022 23:00 CEST.  Only complete submissions received in the platform before the deadline can be considered. 

Meet the 2021 cohort here.

APPLY HERE

Full image caption:

South of Khuuzestaan province, Arvand, Iran. This palm grove has gotten dehydrated over the past 10 years due to the salinization of Karun River's water. The palm trees are sacred to the locals, so counting a unit of a palm tree is the same as counting people. In the Persian language ”Nafar” means “person”. 

Due to the drought and construction of too many dams in the Karun River, the balance between the borders of the sea and the River has been broken down and as a result, the water gets salinized. 

At the end of Karun, all of the lands that were irrigated by this River’s water, have turned into sold mashes. 

The ruination of these palm groves, took away the source of income for thousands of people in this area, causing poverty and emigration of locals of this region to the other cities.