This mentorship is a year-long interdisciplinary programme that creates space for artists and cultural practitioners to explore critical artistic practices on the intersection of arts and environmentalism.
Alarming changes in nature and our environment are all around us: forests and wildlife are disappearing; air and oceans are increasingly polluted; sea levels are rising; and extreme weather phenomena are escalating; additionally the outbreak of a worldwide pandemic has been a wake-up call. 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.
Artists and cultural practitioners across the world are setting up initiatives and rethinking responses to environmental change and the climate crisis. Now, more than ever, we need the arts and culture to help us respond; to inspire and motivate us by challenging our perceptions, encouraging us to change our habits by introducing intersectional and trans-disciplinary perspectives, and centering indigenous forms of knowledge and ways of living to envision alternative models of climate justice in the world.
Since 2018 the Goethe-Institut and Prince Claus Fund have been supporting artists and cultural practitioners working on the intersection of the arts, environmental change and the climate crisis – supporting a total of 54 exceptional initiatives from around the world, examples of which are presented in the online exhibition Take Me To The River. They are now building on this experience and launching this exciting new mentorship programme through which they solidify their joint commitment to addressing the climate emergency.
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 in a year-long programme aimed at accelerating engaged cultural practices and fostering leadership. These 12 individuals each develop a body of work, form a peer group, and throughout the year receive mentorship guidance, exchange ideas, collaborate, 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.
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