"Adapting in the Anthropocene" - A UNESCO/COAL Exhibition

© Antti Laitinen

As part of the celebrations of World Philosophy Day in 2013, placed this year under the theme “Inclusive Societies, Sustainable Planet”, the UNESCO House will hold a contemporary art exhibition, specially put together for World Philosophy Day 2013 by the French association COAL (Coalition for Art and Sustainable Development), in Paris, from 25 to 29 November 2013.

Entitled “Adapting in the Anthropocene”, this exhibition will be open to the public from 10 am to 5.30 pm, during the whole week, in the Pas Perdus Hall and the Mirò Halls.

It will present projects several artistic projects nominated for different editions of the COAL Art & Environment Prize 2013, which all aim to capture major societal and contemporary environmental issues and participate in the emergence of a new culture of nature and ecology.

For UNESCO, the exhibition will thus be an opportunity to consider the relationship between art, the social imaginary and environmental change and to promote its work, notably through its World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), in order to promote ethical principles and responsibilities for climate change adaptation which call upon humanity to ensure environmental sustainability, understood as embracing the protection of biodiversity and the integrity of ecosystems as the very basis of life on earth.

This exhibition, which echoes the Roundtable on “Thinking the Anthropocene” organized as part of the celebration of World Philosophy Day 2013, on 26 November 2013, in the afternoon, also strongly echoes the main themes of the “2013 World Social Science Report – Changing Global Environments”, published on 15 November 2013 and publicized during this World Philosophy Day. The artwork for the Report, drawn from the work of the South African artist Andries Botha, directly reflects the connection between art, the social imaginary and environmental change.

Alongside the analytical contributions of the social sciences, UNESCO considers that art is one of the best emotional vehicles to foster new attitudes towards nature and the environment.

COAL, established in France in 2008, is an association that brings together professionals of contemporary art, sustainable development and research.

The COAL Art & Environment Prize is awarded every year to a contemporary artist involved in environmental issues. The winner is designated from among ten nominated projects, selected through a call for international projects by a jury of eminent people from the world of contemporary art, research, ecology and sustainable development.

This Prize has developed into a truly international event which attracts many renowned artists and pioneers of art in relation to ecology. This success reflects the creative potential of art on this subject through the richness of the proposed approaches. Each year a special theme is selected as an honoured focus. In 2013, the COAL Art & Environment Prize was held under the main theme of “Adaptation” and was awarded for the fourth time. The call for projects for the COAL Art & Environment Prize 2013 mobilized the submission of approximately a 300 projects from more than 50 countries.

Established in 2010 by the COAL association, the COAL Art & Environment Prize, with a monetary value of 10,000 Euros, is organized under the patronage of the French Ministries of Culture and Communication and of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy and of the French National Center for Visual Arts. It also receives support from private partners.

Artists: Ackroyd & Harvey, Damien Chivialle, Olivier Darné, Nicolas Floc’h, Hanna Husberg et Laura McLean, Ivana Adaime Makac, Matthew Moore, Liliana Motta, Lucy + Jorge Orta, Zhao Renhui, Anna Katharina Scheidegger, Laurent Tixador and The Migrant Ecologies Project.

UNESCO/COAL Exhibition "Adapting in the Anthropocene"
From 25 to 29 November 2013
free entrance from 10 am to 5.30 pm
UNESCO Headquarters
Pas Perdus Hall and Miró Halls
7, place de Fontenoy, Paris 7e

The vernissage of the exhibition will take place on Tuesday 26 November 2013, at 6 pm., with the participation of the following artist: Ralph Mahfoud, Anna Katharina Scheidegger, Hanna Husberg, Laura McLean and Benedetta Panisson.

It will be held just after the Roundtable on “Thinking Anthropocene” which will be held, the same day, from 4.30 pm to 6 pm, Room II, at UNESCO Heaquarters.

On-line inscription is required at the following address: wpd2013.inscription@unesco.org


Type of Event Exhibition
Start 25.11.2013 09:00 local time
End 29.11.2013 16:30 local time
Date to be fixed 0
Focal point Crowley, John
Organizer UNESCO - Social and Human Sciences Sector
Contact Irina Zoubenko-Laplante, wpd2013.inscription@unesco.org
Country France
City Paris
Venue UNESCO Headquarters
Street 7 place de Fontenoy
Room Salle Pas Perdus, Room Miro 1, Room Miro 2, Room Miro 3, Room Miro 4
Permanent Delegation Contact
Major Programme
Language of Event English, French
Estimated number of participants
Official Website COAL Website (in French)
Link 1 World Philosophy Day 2013
Link 2 Philosophy at UNESCO
Link 3 2013 World Phylosophy Day Programme
Link 4 Invitation