Esra Kücük, of Allianz Foundation, explains why they launch their Climate Cultures Call Back

Esra Kücük, of Allianz Foundation, explains why they launch their Climate Cultures Call

A new culture of solidarity: The new Allianz Foundation gets to work
The Allianz Kulturstiftung and the Allianz Umweltstiftung are now one. The two well-established foundations have joined forces in order to fulfill their mission even better: sustainably improving living conditions for present and future generations. Originally founded with the aim of promoting social cohesion in Europe through art and culture, and of conserving an environment worth living in, we will continue to pursue these goals. But we needed a fresh start to respond to the challenges of our time.

Growing nationalism, widening social divisions, and the accelerating climate crisis have become the defining issues of our days. And these challenges are intrinsically intertwined. The rise of nationalism is connected to the rise in sea levels. Our planet’s climate affects our social climate. Rising temperatures do not stop at national borders. In order to react to these crises, a common, system-oriented approach is needed in order to open up future perspectives for people, society, and the planet.

Working at the interface of the arts, civic engagement, and climate action
Allianz Foundation is positioned at the interface of today’s challenges. We work with marginalized people or groups and advocate for equal opportunities. We promote resilient and diverse societies. And we are committed to combating climate change and preserving biodiversity. We do this by combining cultural and artistic approaches, civic engagement, and climate action in a holistic way.

Our goal is transformational change. We believe that the world needs a new culture of solidarity, a new relationship between humans and nature, a transformation that goes beyond political regulation and technological innovation. True change often comes from the margins and niches in society – initiated and pioneered by people outside the mainstream. It can be inspired by artistic forms that examine the previously unfamiliar. Art and culture can, in particular, be catalysts for change because they do not serve a specific purpose. They have the power to create spaces, build bridges, and strengthen Europe’s civil societies — their pluralism and cohesion — in the long term.

Allianz Foundation supports artists and art projects that provide fresh ideas for social change and create new perspectives – for today and the future. How can cultural and social divides be bridged? How can we create more sustainable and equitable forms of coexistence?

Climate Cultures Call
To epitomize our way of thinking, we recently published a Climate Cultures Call. It’s based on the premise that we need profound cultural change to win the battle against the climate crisis. With the Climate Cultures Call, we want to promote precisely such initiatives – experimental, open-minded, and forward-looking approaches for real transformation.

We are looking for projects that form new alliances to combat the climate crisis while incorporating social and cultural perspectives. We support initiatives that create new narratives, making the necessary socio-ecological change tangible as a benefit and motivating more people to protect the climate. And we work with partners who ask questions around justice for the societies of the present and for future generations. Applications can be submitted as per today, with a deadline of December 31 2022. Click here for the Climate Cultures Call.

Europe as an idea
As Europeans, we bear a special responsibility toward these issues. We understand Europe not only as a geographical or political entity. We see it as a global model for living together in diversity and solidarity, for a united effort to combat climate change – beyond national borders. Especially in times when these values are threatened by increasing authoritarian tendencies and other political upheavals, we need to constantly debate and defend the idea of Europe.

Our projects and partners are aware of this and stand up for social and ecological justice – not least when it comes to issues of displacement and migration. For this reason, Allianz Foundation’s commitment does not stop at Europe’s borders. Our dedication to solidarity and combating exclusion goes further. The Culture of Solidarity Fund that we launched together with the European Cultural Foundation and other partners in 2020 is living proof of this. It aims to reinforce European solidarity in the midst of turmoil and crisis and has just awarded an impressive 1.3 million euros to 80 projects in its Ukraine special edition.

Together with our partners, we are committed to strengthening civil society wherever the space to act is restricted, where free speech or the rule of law is threatened. Our goal is to promote a transnational community that networks and supports each other in order to remain resilient and capable of action, especially in times of crisis. We aim to create a space for the European public where the diversity of our history and narratives can be experienced.

When art and culture are understood in this way, they can generate ideas, courage, and hope. They can help us face the fundamental upheavals we face as humanity. And they can make the world a little more livable.

 

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