The National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts “Kr. Sarafov ”(NATFA) is a consortium partner in a new European project “EMPACT: Empathy and Sustainability: The Art of Thinking like a Mountain”
EMPACT project adopts an innovative approach by addressing the role of empathy in advocating for the climate crisis at the speed needed through artistic cooperation and the creation of novel art projects, and suggests that exploring the empathy-sustainability relationship through the arts can bring significant advances to the promotion of sustainability actions and pro-environmental behaviours. The project focuses on two sectors of the Cultural and Creative Industries: Fine and Visual Arts, and Performing arts.
EMPACT project is supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission.
EMPACT aims at supporting a diverse set of cultural players to take an active role in promoting empathy and sustainability in their respective local, national and transnational/European communities, advancing a better understanding of the ways in which empathy-related arts contribute to individual sustainability orientations and broader environmental sustainability.
Photos from the initial meeting on the EMPACT project (5-6 October 2022, Limassol, Cyprus)
EMPACT includes a holistic well-designed series of activities, organized in the form of:
- capacity building program, an artistic program, and a research and dissemination program, including 4 landmark/pilot workshops and 17 experiential workshops delivering the training curriculum to the participants in each partner country (at least 140 artists physically present and at least 20 per country/140 in total online participants);
- 2 artistic exhibitions with more than 60 participant artists, artistic productions;
- 5 collaborative/socially engaged art interventions (with the participation of artists, communities and/or university students);
- 14 collaborative interdisciplinary artistic projects leading to the production of novel artworks;
- 14 residencies/co-productions, one creative documentary film inspired by the project’s actions, regarding arts and empathy within an environmental context;
- 5 podcasts, one major interdisciplinary conference;
- 2 arts publications/exhibition catalogues and a platform for arts and circular economy practices.
Project duration: 24 months (2022-2024)
- Cyprus University of Technology (CY) – Project Coordinator
- Fondazione Lamberto Puggelli (IT),
- Espacio Rojo (ΕS)
- National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts (BG)
- Wisefour (CY)
- Maribor Art Gallery (SΙ)
- Nature, Art & Habitat Residency /NAHR/ ECO-Laboratory of Multidisciplinary Practice (IT)
- Vorres Museum (GR).
Project key objectives
O1. To bring together artists, cultural institutions and key thinkers in creative sustainability, philosophy and social sciences to discuss and explore ways of intensifying the powers of art in tackling the key pillars of sustainability. This objective will be addressed through: (a) the delivery of two landmark/pilot workshops and virtual events for at least 70 artists physically present and at least 70 in total online participants, and (b) the development of a platform for arts and circular economy practices-SuCiE. –
O2. To introduce, discuss and clarify the meaning of “empathy” in arts, which has important implications for artistic research, training and practice. This philosophical intervention is expected to function as a model for how philosophers, social scientists and sustainability experts engage with art, with the aim of achieving constructive change in both research and artistic practice. This objective will be addressed through: (a) the organization of one major interdisciplinary conference addressed to more than 150 artists/cultural professionals/sustainability experts/students/philosophers and at least 200 online participants, (b) the delivery of two landmark/pilot workshops and virtual events for at least 70 artists physically present and at least 70 in total online participants, and (c) the conduction of a small scale research, measuring in quantitative manner the impact of artworks. –
O3. To support male and female, in all their diversity, artists, and cultural professionals to engage with mainstream research from philosophy, social sciences and sustainability studies on the role of empathy and perspective-taking in advocating for environmental issues. This objective will be addressed through the delivery of 14 residencies/co-productions in cooperation with international collaborators and presentations to the public.
O4. To offer artists training courses that will allow them to transfigure moral emotions (empathy, compassion, perspective-taking imagination) to new skills related to sustainable creation. This objective will be addressed through the delivery of 17 experiential workshops delivering the training curriculum to the participants in each partner country to groups of 20 artists from fine, visual and performative arts and cultural professionals.
O5. To inspire the creation of innovative projects that address the empathy-sustainability relationship through arts and raise awareness on the challenges that climate change poses to environmental, physical and emotional health. This objective will be addressed through: (a) the organization of two artistic exhibitions with more than 60 participants, (b) the delivery of 2 arts publication/exhibition catalogues, (c) the delivery of a website to facilitate the creation of future analogous events, and (d) the production and delivery of a creative documentary film, inspired by the project’s actions, regarding arts and empathy within an environmental context.
O6. To engage new audiences and establish an innovative, participatory approach to contemporary visual and performative arts. This objective will be addressed through: (a) the organization of 5 collaborative/socially engaged art interventions with the participation of artists, communities and university students, involving more than 200 people in the interventions and presented in short films, a greater scope of people reached by the promotion of the action through social media and printed media, (b) the launch of an educational program for children in the form of artistic workshops addressed to more than 2.500 children, and (c) the creation of 5 creative podcasts, addressing key issues that will be emerging during the project’s implementation.
O7. To support European artistic co-operation and mobility of artists and of artworks that redefine sustainability within an empathic and creative context. This objective will be addressed through the delivery of 14 collaborative interdisciplinary artistic projects presented by each partner as individual events.
The project is co-financed by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union under the Grant Agreement No: 101055903 – EMPACT – CREA-CULT-2021-COOP-2