What began as a decision by the MIAP board to support visual storytellers in times of covid, ended in a close-knit collective of artists.
In July 2020 a new open call was set up for visual artists based in the Netherlands to submit their proposal regarding a visual perspective on how nature and humans interrelate. Out of more than one hundred submissions, six artists were selected to take part in the Future of Nature grantees programme.
Besides a working grant of 5.000 euros, a programme was set up to support the newly formed collective which consisted of both young artists as well as more established artists who sought inspiration.
From an underground network of mycelium to European eco corridors; from a pigment garden in virtual reality to a road trip from the perspective of a wolf. And not to forget: ancient agricultural breeds and the importance of an almost extinct delicate blue butterfly. These stories intertwine at fascinating intersections and give us a new and often surprising perspective on the Future of Nature. These stories show us how nature is not something humans can or should control – how nature is part of us and we are part of nature.
Over the course of six months, the collective took part in twelve online and offline sessions, a number of informal chats and countless inspirational messages in the digital sphere. The programme was built on a few principles: entrepreneurship is indispensable, good storytelling is crucial, communication is key and feedback is a gift.
For each part, we were visited by a speaker or trainer who was well-versed in the subject matter and could guide the collective in exploring and using new tools and techniques. When asked what the most valuable learning experience was, the storytellers gave different answers. One thought ‘it was very useful to pragmatically sketch out my project and see how to make progress’, whereas another said it was ‘very valuable to learn to communicate about the project in a clear manner’. All of them attested to the fact that one of the biggest benefits was that of having close contact with peers, and being able to ask them for feedback on any kind of matter.
We would like to thank: long time MIAP-enthusiast Evelien Kunst for her storytelling canvas workshops; Wouter Vroege for helping us and the collective to create an interactive digital story in Slices; Tara Velis and Jannes Boon for facilitating everybody all the way to a strong mission and vision, defining target audiences and stakeholders on the way; MIAP alumnus Jan Hoek for his inspiration and entrepreneurial spirit; Marga Rotteveel for telling us all about Docking Station; Hanneke Propitius for her insights on collaborations; and Martijn Baarda for his coaching sessions and pitch advice.
The programme has come to an end, but the collective lives on. Their stories were compiled on our own landing page, where you can view their story and MIAP’s journey in a thrilling multimedia format you can find on; futureofnature.nl
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MIAP will launch a new open call for projects around the relationship between human and nature. Let us know if you are interested.