Apply Now! 2022 Coal Prize Award

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The ocean is our geographic, dreamlike and political horizon. While the United Nations proclaimed the last decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development 2021-2030, the COAL Prize 2022 invites artists from round the world to explore these submerged universes to form them accessible to as many of us as possible; to reveal what’s playing call at the belly of the ocean, from its abyss twenty thousand leagues under the ocean to its surface, to offer to ascertain and feel what’s still unknown; and to imagine new concrete actions to rekindle resilience with the water worlds.

A landscape without a stable character or limit, in perpetual movement, an area where everything changes yet where nothing really changes, both quite concrete and almost abstract, the ocean seems to overflow its geographical definition to designate a sensitive, deeply intimate experience yet widely shared. An experience that conjures up what Romain Rolland called “oceanic feeling”, this emotion which annihilates temporality and space, and which immerses us during a great whole.

This feeling of being just a wave during a limitless ocean is quite ever exacerbated by the ecological context, the problems of which are still often beyond our perception and transcend our human scales of space and time. Among these imperceptible phenomena that are well underway, the transformation of the oceans within the face of global climate change and therefore the collapse of biodiversity constitutes a true challenge both for taking action and for raising awareness of sometimes elusive processes. Warming of the oceans, rising water levels, acidification and deoxygenation of the seas, overexploitation of fishery resources, plastic pollution, degradation of marine habitats, and proliferation of invasive species… The ocean is succumbing to multiple threats.

The ocean is, however, the idea of the worldwide phenomena that creates our planet habitable. It regulates the water cycle, weather movements, and stabilizes the climate by absorbing quite half humanity’s CO2 emissions. It constitutes the most important ecosystem on the earth, so vast that it covers three quarters of the Earth’s surface, so deep that it contains 97% of the available water and 99% of the living spaces on earth by volume, home to a singular flora and fauna, within the very place where life first emerged.

Cradle of organic life, it’s also that of economic and commercial life, sheltering the bulk of humans in its coastal areas and supporting three billion of them, who depend directly on marine biodiversity to satisfy their needs. The sharing of its resources and its spaces has made the ocean a serious diplomatic and geopolitical issue, which connects humans the maximum amount because it opposes them: between international cooperation and naval battles, both a reservoir of solutions for the longer term (energy, materials, etc.) and limitless site of exploitation (extractions, nuclear tests, etc.), the cornerstone of trade , crisscrossed on all sides and yet still so little known since we’ve explored but 5% of its extent.

It is precisely its mystery that fascinates, cultural heritage the maximum amount as natural and tract for the imagination, below and beyond the surface and therefore the horizon, where the planet begins and where the world ends, where our mythologies settle , from floating worlds to submerged cities, where the journey begins and where exile ends, within the heart of island worlds and with fantasized sea creatures, where the planet of yesterday which of tomorrow is emerging, whether it had been before the flood or after the apocalypse.

About Application

All applications are to be submitted by March 1st, 2022 at 11:59 pm at the newest via the COAL server. The Prize are going to be presented at a ceremony organized at the Museum of Hunting and Nature within the summer of 2021.

Prize Award

The winner of the COAL Prize are going to be awarded 10,000 euros and benefits from an (optional) residence travel by the Museum of Hunting and Nature at the Belval Domaine, property of the François Sommer Foundation.

Created in 2010 by the COAL association, the COAL Prize has in ten years become a vehicle for the identification, promotion and dissemination of artists everywhere the planet who dare to imagine and experiment, to rework territories, lifestyles, organizations and production methods. Together, they contribute to creating changes visible, in building a replacement collective narrative, a replacement imaginary world, a standard heritage, a positive, optimistic and necessary framework, to assist everyone find the means and therefore the motivation to implement necessary changes for a shared and livable Earth.

The COAL Prize is supported by the ecu Union through the ACT – Art Climate Transition network, the Ministry of Ecology, the Ministry of Culture, the Museum of Hunting and Nature, the François Sommer Foundation, the LAccolade Foundation and therefore the National Orchestra of Brittany.

The COAL – Culture & Diversity Student Prize, launched in 2019 by COAL and therefore the Culture & Diversity Foundation is hospitable the scholars of French arts and culture schools.


Launch of open call: 1st December 2021

Application deadline: 1st March 2022

Award ceremony: 8th Junes 2022


Applicants are going to be judged on the subsequent criteria: artistic value, relevance (understanding of the theme – OCEANS), originality (the ability to introduce new approaches, themes, and points of view), pedagogy (ability to urge a message across and lift awareness), social and participative approaches (engagement, testimony, efficiency, societal dynamics), eco-design and feasibility.

The COAL Prize supports artistic projects ongoing. Its award isn’t intended to hide all production costs of the project but should be considered as an aid to its development.


The winner of the COAL Prize are going to be awarded 10,000 euros and benefits from an (optional) residence travel by the Museum of Hunting and Nature at the Belval Domaine, property of the François Sommer Foundation.

The Belval estate is found within the commune of Belval-Bois-des-Dames, within the French Ardennes. It spans an indoor forested area of nearly 1000 hectares and is traversed by meadows and 40 hectares of ponds. A veritable observatory of rural life and wildlife, annually it welcomes selected artists who contribute to the representation of their vision of Man’s relationship to his natural environment. Testament to the Foundation’s commitment in supporting contemporary art , the residency at the Belval estate contributes to the dissemination of the artists’ works to a good audience. The combined knowledge of the scientific and academic teams of the Museum of Hunting and Nature and people of the Belval estate also will be available as a resource for the artists. We invite you to consult its charter on COALs website.


Every year, ten projects are shortlisted by a committee of execs among the projects received through the international open call. One winning project are going to be chosen by a jury composed of representatives of partner organizations and personalities in art and ecology.

In addition, all applications considered by COAL and therefore the selection committee will become a part of a network of artists and projects could also be solicited or promoted for opportunities and actions administered by COAL and its partners.

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