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Prince Claus Fund

Photo: Misha Vallejo. Caption below. Foto: Misha Vallejo

Support for “Cultural and Artistic Responses to Environmental Change”

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 the frequency of extreme weather phenomena is increasing. While courses of action are debated in governments and in the media, the people who are most affected are often the least heard.

Cultural practitioners, artists, architects and designers in many parts of the world are initiating projects, exchanging ideas and rethinking responses to environmental change, while actively engaging their communities. Now, more than ever, we need the arts and culture to help us respond; to inspire and motivate us by offering new ideas that challenge our perceptions and change our habits by introducing radical and transdisciplinary perspectives and envisioning models of climate justice in the world.

Since 2018, the joint programme of the Goethe-Institut and the Prince Claus Fund supports initiatives from Africa, Latin and South America, Asia, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe that enable local communities as well as global institutions to engage with the threatening changes of nature and our environment through contemporary artistic and cultural interventions. We encourage ground-breaking cultural initiatives by individual artists, creative professionals as well as cultural organisations; especially initiatives that express how the arts and new media can propose solutions to environmental issues and create alternatives that support sustainability and foster cooperation and an exchange of new ideas globally.

The following 19 projects were selected in 2020 and will be realised from 2021 onwards:
  • Cafe Mito da Utopia by Victor Gama & Stacy Hardy, Angola
  • The Rhythm of Bamboo by Jiaona Hu & Xiaojing Li, China
  • ~Kii Rtkt Bare Hako by Asociación de Autoridades Indígenas tradicionales del río Pirá Paraná, Colombia
  • Death Is the Space that Nature Needs to be Alive by Nuits Balnaires & Bayo Hassan Bello, Côte D’Ivoire
  • Juraguá, the Path of the Blue Waters by Alessandra Santiesteban, Cuba
  • Ancestral Knowledge and Wisdom of the Indigenous and Mayan Q'eqchis and Pocomchis Peoples by Unión Verapacense de Organizaciones Campesinas, Guatemala
  • Static Range by Himali Singh Soin, India
  • The World Is Our Household! Situated Knowledges, Global Solidarity by Struggles for Sovereignty, Indonesia
  • Cybernetics Realism by Arash Akbari, Iran
  • Imagine Tomorrow by Brian Otieno, Kenya
  • Glossaries for Unwritten Knowledges by GERIMIS Art Project, Malaysia
  • Sounding the Monsoon: Weaving with the NakaiySeasons by Mspace & Atollscape, Maldives
  • Orange, Apple, Banana by Nadir Bouhmouch, Morocco
  • Within the Trees by Tantdile Xperimenta Lab, Nigeria
  • Storytelling Stones – The Art, Ecology and Mythology of Dry Stack Stonewalls in Palestine by Sakiya – Art, Science & Agriculture, Palestine
  • ENTYO by Pauchi, Peru
  • Whitehead’s Ark by Michelle Angelica Cabildo, Philippines
  • Bush Medicine Revival by the Hub Collective Inc., St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Milestones by Maxwell Mutanda, Zimbabwe

Multimedia Exhibition „Take Me to the River“

All over the world, cultural professionals are grappling with the effects of climate change whilst actively involving their communities. Their work opens up creative spaces that raise awareness of changes in our environment and develop possible solutions to counter the climate crisis. Some of these perspectives are now being shown in the Goethe-Institut and the Prince Claus Fund’s multimedia exhibition “Take Me to the River”, curated by Maya El Khalil. The selected projects from Egypt, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico, Congo and other countries were realised within the context of the joint funding programme “Cultural and Artistic Responses to Environmental Change” and include film, photography, VR video, audio-visual archives and community radio. Due to the pandemic, the exhibition will be presented online at www.takemetotheriver.net.

More Information

The Prince Claus Fund was established on 6 September 1996 as a tribute to HRH Prince Claus's dedication to culture and development. The Prince Claus Fund has a track record of 20 years of excellence in supporting cultural and artistic initiatives in the most challenging spaces. We have been a successful actor and liaison in the arts and culture sectors globally, generating possibilities for critical discussion and boosting creative expression. Because of its track record and autonomy, the Fund is seen as a global leader in supporting independent cultural initiatives of the highest quality with a broad social impact. Additionally, our geographical spread has allowed us to accrue an invaluable, extensive network of local contacts – artists, cultural practitioners, institutions and experts.

Photo: Misha Vallejo. Jose Miguel Santi leads a night hunt along the Rotuno River before the Pachamama celebration. This river is believed to be sacred and hunting is only permitted before important celebrations. It is known for being relatively shallow and during the dry season, nocturnal animals use it as a source of water, making it a good location for night hunting. From the project Secret Sarayaku by Misha Vallejo.


Sima Reinisch
Consultant to the Head of Department
Department of Culture
Goethe-Institut e.V.
Head Office Munich
+49 89 15921 226