COAL mobilizes artists and cultural actors on social and environmental issues and supports the emergence of a culture of ecology.
The COAL association was created in 2008 by a group of French professionals working in the fields of contemporary art, sustainable development and research, in order to promote the emergence of a culture of ecology.
COAL mobilizes artists and other key players in the art world around social and environmental issues, in collaboration with institutions, local authorities, NGOs, scientists and businesses, and supports the essential role played by culture and creativity in raising awareness and implementing tangible solutions. The association also contributes to the transformation of territories by art, through the conception of art programs designed specifically for particular spaces, such as “Nature in Solidum” for the Haut-Jura Regional Park or “STUWA” for the tourist information office in Sundgau, Alsace.
COAL has been the driving force behind about 50 contemporary art exhibitions and cultural events around ecological transition for major arts institutions all over France (Société du Grand Paris, Condition Publique, UNESCO, La Villette, La Gaîté Lyrique, FIAC, Domaine de Chamarande, National Museum of Natural History, Museum of Hunting and Nature, Berges de Seine, CEAAC, etc.). Every year it awards the COAL Art and Environment Prize and contributes to sharing knowledge about the subject through its European partnerships (as the French member of the ACT, Imagine 2020, Creative Climate Leadership and La Table et le Territoire networks), provides consultancy services, organizes numerous workshops, public lectures. COAL also maintains the daily update of Ressource0.com, the primary online resource platform dedicated to both national and international initiatives that link art and ecology.
Over a decade COAL has become the leading French actor in the expanding crossover between art and ecology. COAL took its place on the forefront of this emerging field when, in 2015, it organized ArtCOP21, the Cultural program for COP21 in 2015, placing culture on the sustainable development agenda. COAL is currently organizing a cultural season on biodiversity for the IUCN World Conservation Congress, which will take place in Marseille in June 2020.
“Nous prenons soin de conserver nos œuvres d’art, mais nous laissons les espèces sauvages, œuvres de millénaires d’évolution, disparaître sous notre nez.We take care to preserve our works of art, but we let the wild species, works of millennia of evolution, disappear under our noses.”Aldo Leopold, 1933
The Festival VIVANT is a cultural manifest aimed at drawing public attention to Biodiversity. Initially scheduled for the summer 2020, within the sope of the 2020 IUCN Congress on World Conservation. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the IUCN Congress was postponed to January 2021.
The COAL Prize 2019 tackles the subject of displacement related to natural disasters and climate change. Indeed, this 10th edition of the COAL Prize takes place in collaboration with the Platform on Disaster Displacement and DISPLACEMENT: Uncertain Journeys.
28 November 2019, at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (FR)
3-5 December 2019, at the COP25, Madrid (ES)
Au ciel, au vent, à la terre is the work of Fabienne Berthaud, novelist and director. She is exhibiting at Ground Control some thirty photographs taken during the two years preceding the shooting of her film “Un monde plus grand”, freely adapted from Corine Sombrun’s story, “Mon initiation chez les chamanes”. Following in the footsteps of her heroine, she traveled the most remote steppes of Mongolia, where the winds shape landscapes and uses.
In 2020, the COAL Prize foccuses on the topic of biodiversity and its destruction. This 11th edition is part of the VIVANT programme, a cultural season on Biodiversity. Furthermore, this festival sets the way for the IUCN Congress on World Conservation (postponed to Jan 2021).
Award ceremony: June 2020, in Marseille (FR).
COAL commissioned the solo show by Fabienne Berthaud, novelist and director. The exhibition “Au vent, au ciel, à la terre” [“Heaven, wind, earth”], is at La Halle aux Sucres, in Dunkirk. From October 19 to December 22.
Gabriela Flores del Pozo, Lucia Monge and Gianine Tabja, the three Peruvian artists from the FIBRA collective are the Prix COAL 2021 laureates, with their project “Desbosque: desenterrando señales”. By drawing on underground networks, the collective represents the invisible links between life in the forest and the actions of urban dwellers in the city, and thus highlights the intersecting social, political, cultural and economic causes and impacts of deforestation.
The Audubon Mural Project is an art project in the public space. And it consists of painting, on the city walls, frescoes depicting birds threatened by climate change. This concept aims at fostering creative civic participation and raising awareness on biodiversity loss. It is a collaboration between the National Audubon Society and the Galerie Gitler & _____. COAL launches the Audubon Mural Project in France: Les murs d’Audubon.
By the end of 2019, the City of Paris initiated a process of mobilising cultural actors as part of its circular economy plan, in order to assess and promote a transition towards circular economy models in the cultural sector, based on its specificities, needs and the experiences of peers. This resulted in a first booklet of 9 toolboxes published on Paris.fr. In 2021, the City of Paris, in partnership with COAL and Les Augures, is continuing this collaborative work by exploring new thematic fields through two cycles of workshops around digital sobriety and materials, which will complement the tools already available.
As part of the Perforations Festival, a very special night forest expedition will take place. From Friday 2.7. on Saturday 3.7, those interested will have the opportunity to participate in the ecological-artistic project of the French artist Thierry Boutonnier, which includes camping and spending the night in the woods, learning about mushrooms and dreams. This collective experience will give participants a dual perspective on mushrooms: from a scientific point of view, they will learn about the indispensable role of mushrooms in the forest ecosystem, and from the artistic side they will have the opportunity to make mushroom handicrafts.
The project will be implemented as a simultaneous mirror experience in France and Croatia. The Croatian expedition team consists of the artist Azra Svedružić, in charge of implementing the Thierry Boutonnier concept in Croatia, and two mycologists Ivana Kušan and Neven Matočec.
The twelve artists of this exhibition have been nominated for the COAL Prize. Inspired by those involved in the protection of nature, and in close collaboration with other disciplines, they create individual and collective initiatives and offer new hints, exploratory and sensitive, to tackle this living crisis. They invite us, finally, to invent new ways of relating to living things, and thus to better defend them.
Sunday the 5th of September, a Mural by the artist FIKOS will be inaugurated in Marseille. In the fall and winter of 2021, the Marseille mural will spread across Europe with the 10 ACT partners issuing an open call for bird murals in their own cities.
L’Écomotive Café wall, in front the the Saint-Charles train station, 2 place des Marseillaises, 13001 Marseille.
Networking as part of the ACT project is an important segment, in which partners are sharing and discussing the activities’ state of the art. This meeting was organised and hosted by Culturgest, Lisbon with participation of other project partners and representatives from: Arts Admin/London, Bunker/Ljubljana, Kaaitheater/Brussels, COAL/Paris, Domino/Zagreb, Kampnagel/Hamburg, NTIL/Riga, Theater Rotterdam/Rotterdam, and Lokomotiva /Skopje.
For its second edition, the Nuits des Forêts festival reopens its call for participation to all artists, creators, performers, actors in the cultural and educational sectors, thinkers and poets, to weave an artistic and sensitive program in the heart of the forest. The call is open until January 30, 2022!
A nationwide festival intended for the general public, the Nuits des Forêts (FR) invites you to discover the forest close to home and meet the women and men who inhabit it, cultivate it, protect it and draw inspiration from it… At a time of climate change, forests are at the heart of societal debates: droughts, tree diebacks and diseases, forest fires, carbon offsets and uses of wood… Because forests are a common heritage, the Nuits des Forêts wish to create a time of exchange, bringing together forest stakeholders, wood professionals, but also experts and scientists, thinkers and philosophers, artists, and inviting all citizens to mobilize on these issues. Through the encounter between culture and nature, this event intends to make society aware of forestry issues and promote new relationships with living things, at the level of each territory.
The ocean is our geographic, dreamlike and political horizon. While the United Nations proclaimed the Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development 2021-2030, the COAL Prize 2022 invites artists from around the world to explore these submerged universes to make them accessible to as many people as possible; to reveal what is playing out in the belly of the ocean, from its abyss twenty thousand leagues under the sea to its surface, to give to see and feel what is still unknown; and to imagine new concrete actions to rekindle resilience with the water worlds.
Marina Gioti was awarded the COAL Prize for her project Sounding the Silent World. A special jury prize was also awarded to Brandon Ballengée for his project Searching for the Ghosts of the Gulf. The prizes were awarded during a ceremony held at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris, in the presence of the nominated artists and members of a jury made up of experts in art, ecology and research, chaired by Christine Germain-Donnat, Director of the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, and Bruno David, President of the Muséum d’Histoire naturelle.
An invitation to discover the forest close to home and meet the women and men who inhabit it, cultivate it, protect it and draw inspiration from it. Nature experiences, collective actions in the forest, shows, artistic works, vigils and sharing of knowledge and know-how by foresters, wood professionals, committed actors or scientists…
Transforming Energy presents the latest work by the Berru collective and investigates the potential of the oceans as an element capable of responding to the challenges that the energy crisis and the management of natural resources pose to us today. This is a Collection Europe project, promoted by the ACT partners COAL (FR) and Culturgest (PT), and it is presented in the framework of Portugal-France Season 2022.
As part of the Transforming Energy exhibition by the Berru collective and the Temporada Cruzada França-Portugal, Culturgest and COAL present a double conference, the theme being on oceans and the interaction of humans with this global – yet sensitive – ecosystem. At the Culturgest Gallery in Porto where the exhibition will be on display, there will be a discussion between Berru collective, Clara Amorim, a biologist and specialist in acoustic communication of fish, and Olivier Adam, a specialist in cetacean bioacoustics. The moderation will be conducted by Samuel Silva, artist and professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts at University of Porto.
This conference is part of a program of two debates on eco-acoustics and energy issues related to the ocean, bringing together French and Portuguese researchers and artists. On the 15th of September 2022, before the opening of the Berru collective exhibition at the Vidéoformes festival, a second roundtable will take place at the Clermont-Ferrand University with the Berru collective, Roberto Gamboa, researcher at the University of Lisboa, specialist in marine energy production, among others, moderated by Elise Aspord, co-founder of the Vidéoformes festival and researcher at Clermont-Ferrand University.
The synergies and challenges that the encounter between the biological and technological worlds presents have been at the center of attention for the berru collective. Their works tend to combine living and non-living structures, whose interaction allows us to understand the complexity of these same structures and speculate on their potential collaborations in creating sustainable systems. This is a Collection Europe project, promoted by ACT partners COAL and Culturgest, in the framework of the Portugal-France Season 2022.
Appel d’air is a participatory and environmental work by the artist Thierry Boutonnier. It will accompany the construction of the Grand Paris Express until 2030. Local inhabitants take part in this artistic and civic project. Indeed, they adopt 68 trees that will grow in an urban nursery, under the watchful eye of a nomadic nurseryman.
With Plant! the COAL Prize 2023 invites artists from all over the world to sow the seeds of creation and action, to germinate new research and experimentation, so that an inventive and resilient plant-based way of thinking can flourish in the world to come. This Prize is a call to act, to transform, to heal, to revive, to hybridize. A call to feel the richness of plants, their balances and dynamics, from seed to calyx, from molecule to ecosystem. A call to try and, why not, to fail, because failure is the seed of growth. Open until March 19, 2023
A national event for the general public, the Nuits des Forêts are back from June 9 to 18 in 170 forests throughout France. With more than 20 new sites, discover the agenda of this 4th edition! Partner and artistic advisor of the Nuits des Forêts, COAL is preparing a reinforced program in the forest of Fontainebleau on June 9, 10 and 11, in the footsteps of the Artistic Reserves. Discover the entire program online.
A protean artist and choreographer, Robin Decourcy offers everyone an experience of perception in a natural environment through the writing of guided scores. This so-called eco-somatic practice invites us to dive into an intensified relationship with the surrounding biotope: to taste the silica in the stampian silence of the Oligocene, to enter into empathy with the gogottes, the rock-mushrooms, to connect with the flora and fauna, present and past. The experience is playful and concentrated. The atmosphere is respectful and benevolent, open to various states of consciousness and body.
A unique encounter for the Nuits de Forêts between these three artists with different practices, whose love of natural spaces brings them together on this stage in the open air of the Fontainebleau forest. The choreographer Robin Decourcy, in a dance experience in a modified state of consciousness, will be accompanied by the hypnotic songs of the poet and singer Abdullah Miniawy and the saxophonist with a circular breath, Peter Corser. An experience of the night and the invisible that promises to be unforgettable.
RESSOURCE 0 dives into a new field, at the crossroads of culture and ecology, both in France and internationally. Its objective is to question and respond to environmental issues, by integrating the aesthetic, creative, relational, sensitive and imaginative dimensions specific to art. RESSOURCE 0 defends a collaborative multi-stakeholder approach, in which solutions emanate from different exchanges and sensitivities.