Two Filipinos selected to join inaugural Climate Action Artists Residencies in Germany

A new artist residency program funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, the Climate Action Artist Residencies, is a groundbreaking initiative aimed at harnessing the power of the art to address the urgent challenges of climate change.

Through the program, it enables artists from Fiji, the Philippines, and Samoa to spend three months in Germany to work together with climate research institutions and translate the knowledge into an artistic project. Conversely, artists from Germany will take the same period in one of the participating countries to complete projects.

The first of two cohorts in this year has now been selected by an expert jury and of the four artists, two Filipinos who hail from Mindanao and the Visayas have been chosen:

Underscoring nature’s agency, Philippine singer, ethnomusicologist, Tao Foundation Director Grace Nono, Ph.D., will co-create a sound and music piece with friends and other living beings in her backyard and in a climate organization’s premises.

Ropate Kama, an indigenous artist from Fiji, will explore intergenerational psychological trauma caused by the climate crisis and aims to motivate people to act and heal through art in his residency.

Guided by seven historical artifacts linking German colonialism in Samoa to her own family history in the region, the visual artist Lisa Rave explores the interconnection of extractivism, cultural loss and the climate crisis in Samoa.

Razcel Jan Salvarita, Performance Artivist from the Visayas in the Philippines, will foster curiosity through a Climate Memory Artbox, encouraging community engagement and action climate change in an immersive shared space.

In its decision, the panel emphasized that the selected artists were convincing with their concepts for the residency, as they not only share their acquired knowledge with the means of art internationally, but also work collaboratively locally.

The program covers travel, a monthly stipend, and also supports participants with up to 10,000 EUR for material and production costs incurred to create their artistic work.

The member of the jury were Dr. Bettina Korintenberg, head of ifa Galleries at the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations; Bricx Dumas, artist, climate advocate and storyteller; Adi Meretui Ratunabuabua-Divialagi, Chairperson of Blue Shield Pasifika; Renan Laru-an, artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary; Maciusela Raitaukala, curator and cultural and arts manager at the Fiji Arts Council; and Nada Rosa Schoer, research associate at the Institute for Art and Material Culture at the Technical University of Dortmund.

Patron, Jennifer Morgan, Secretary of State and Special Envoy for International Climate Action, emphasizes that, “In order to curb the climate crisis and keep the 1.5-degree target within reach, we need society as a whole, and everyone in our society must join forces and work together. The Climate Action Artist Residencies, with their focus on The Vulnerable 20, make an important contribution to an increased understanding of the dangers of the climate crisis. They create new networks at the intersection of art, science, and society and amplify for us the voices from the regions most affected by climate change. This can be a new impetus for us: to see how strongly we are all connected and how endangered we all are, through the lens of artistic expression.”

The program is implemented by the exchange organization Cultural Vistas gGmbH with a European office based in Berlin, Germany.

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