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EMB artist-in-residence programme

EMB’s artist-in-residence programme ‘EMBracing the Ocean’ provides grants for creative individuals to inspire wide reaching societal change for Ocean sustainability by expanding societies’ understanding of the Ocean’s value and the urgency of ensuring its health and resilience now and into the future.

If we are to ensure the effectiveness of scientific solutions developed within the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, society’s relationship with the Ocean must change. Creative communication and the arts are powerful ways to impact society and achieve societal change due to their role in conveying human values, ideas, and visions; developing social, cultural, and individual identities; offering innovative approaches to communication and dialogue around complex issues; distilling information; and producing new knowledge and insights. This programme is part of EMB’s support for the Ocean Decade, and contributes to the Ocean Decade societal challenge of an inspiring and engaging Ocean where society understands and values the Ocean in relation to human wellbeing and sustainable development.

For the 2022 – 2023 programme, EMB provides grants of 10,000 EURO to two awardees from any creative discipline including creative communications, visual arts, literary arts, performing arts, and installation art. During a 12-month residency, the awardees will produce and disseminate a new piece of work, or series of work, through a two-way co-design process with Ocean scientists. The work should focus on any Ocean science topic relevant for sustainable development, including but not limited to those covered by the marine science-policy work of the EMB, and/or wider activities within the framework of the Ocean Decade, and should aim to raise societal awareness of the chosen topic and inspire behavioural change for a sustainable future. The residency will run from spring 2022 to spring 2023.

The call for the 2023 - 2024 programme will be announced in early January 2023.


Artists-in-Residence (2022 - 2023)

Michael Begg is an award winning experimental composer and sound artist based in Scotland. He is currently Associate Artist in Residence at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, and is the Musical Director of the Black Glass Ensemble. As an EMBracing the Ocean resident artist, Michael, along with researchers based at AWI, Hokkaido University and the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts, will be turning his attention to the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. Starting from the observation that data is the common vocabulary of science and art, he will create new recordings, broadcasts, and performances to explore the beauty, complexity and fragility of this vast and mysterious territory.

Find out more about his project here.


Emily Lartillot is a French dancer, dance teacher, and choreographer with Steps For A Change (SFAC) dance company. The company brings together young dancers aged 7 to 17 to create and present dance performances about the environment and biodiversity in close collaboration with scientists. For the EMBracing the Ocean residency, Emily will work together with Yunne-Jai Shin (Senior Scientist at the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development, IRD) to develop new choreography with youth dancers focused on mangroves as major social-economic systems for biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation and adaptation. The choreography is planned to be performed at the 7th edition of the University of the Earth, UNESCO, Paris.

Find out more about her project here.


Lera Litvinova is a Ukrainian artist and art curator, who EMB is supporting with an additional EMBracing the Ocean grant as support to Ukraine during the current crisis. Lera is the founder of Lera Litvinova Gallery in Kyiv. She supports an active position in the development of Ukrainian culture, and is a participant and curator of social projects actively implementing the principle of cultural diplomacy to strengthen cultural relations. As an EMBracing the Ocean artist, she will create new work co-designed with scientists to look at the impact of the war on marine pollution in the Black Sea, and links to the Mediterranean. The work will be exhibited in galleries and cultural institutions and promoted through local media outlets.

Find out more about her project here.


EMBracing the Ocean Committee

The EMBracing the Ocean Committee are responsible for evaluating applications and selecting the awardees. Committee members also work together to develop the EMBracing the Ocean programme and advise awardees on the development of their work. The Committee members for 2022 - 2023 are: 

Carlos Garcia Soto (Chair) - Carlos Garcia Soto is a Vice-Chair of the EMB Executive Committee, Coordinator of the UN World Ocean Assessment (WOA, 2021-2025), Senior Researcher of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO-CSIC) and Associate Professor of Satellite Oceanography in the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). His last key publication analyses the current state of marine citizen science in Europe and the new technological developments (doi:10.3389/fmars.2021.621472). You can find him on Twitter @CGarciaSoto_ieo.


Britt Alexander - Britt Alexander is a Science Officer at the EMB Secreteriat in Belgium. Her work involves facilitation of EMB's science-policy expert working groups, including editing and communication activities. She also participates in EU projects including the EU's International Ocean Governance Forum and BRIDGE Black Sea. She previously worked at the the open-access journal Frontiers in Marine Science and has a PhD in marine sponge physiology and ecology.


Mette Mila - Mette Mila is a Senior Advisor at the Research Council of Norway's Ocean Secretariat, member of European Marine Board Communication Panel, and member of Ocean Decade Communication Advisory Board. She is experienced within communication and science communication in the fields of ocean, climate and polar research, and has experience evaluating similar calls nationally.




Chris Fremantle - Chris Fremantle is a researcher and producer focused on the roles of artists in public life, in particular in health and environment. He lectures at Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon Univerity, Aberdeen, Scotland. He chairs the Ramsar Culture Networks’ Arts Focus Group and is advising a number of research-led arts projects including Ocean ARTic and AALERT. He established ecoartscotland in 2010 as a node in the ecoart community.