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COAL Prize 2019





For its tenth edition in 2019 the COAL Prize will, in collaboration with the Platform on Disaster Displacement and DISPLACEMENT: Uncertain Journeys, tackle an essential subject:  displacement related to disasters and climate change.

Since 2009, an estimated one person per second has been displaced following sudden-onset disasters. In 2017, 18 million people were displaced due to climate- or weather-related events. Disasters such as droughts, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis have left many victims without shelter, clean water and basic necessities. Meanwhile, slow changes, such as desertification and sea level rise, also force people out of their homes. Environmental issues are often intrinsically linked to the same political, economic and social factors that cause migration. Consequently, we find ourselves facing an “ordeal common to all: the ordeal of finding oneself deprived of land. [...] We are discovering, more or less obscurely, that we are all in migration toward territories yet to be rediscovered and reoccupied” (Bruno Latour, Down to Earth, 2018).

A World Bank report released in March 2018 indicates that 143 million people around the world could be displaced by 2050 as a result of these impacts if nothing is done to halt climate change.

However, significant progress has been made in recent years to address the gap in international law for cross-border disaster-displaced persons and to improve protection of internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to disasters and climate change. The challenge lies in ensuring the political commitments made in the Global Compact for Migration, the Global Compact on Refugees, the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, the UNFCCC Task Force on Displacement, and the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda turn into concrete action in the areas most impacted by climate change.

In September 2018, UN Secretary-General António Guterres delivered a passionate speech calling upon world leaders and policymakers, who for too long have “refused to listen,” to come out of denial. He emphasized that they have the power to change the game.

Tackling the enormous challenge we face begins by making it visible. Thus the COAL association, in this special edition of the COAL Prize, invites artists from all over the world to share their testimonies and visions for a world more respectful of ecological balance and climatic justice. Through their creations, they can encourage policymakers to understand and act on the reality of displacement caused by climate change. Presented at COP25 in Chile, the COAL Prize will be present at the negotiating table to help ensure that political decisions translate into concrete changes for a shared and livable Earth.

With the support of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition and the sponsorship of the Ministry of Culture, the Museum of Hunting and Nature, the François Sommer Foundation, the Platform on Disaster Displacement and DISPLACEMENT: Uncertain Journeys.


Application deadline : 9 September 2019
Announcement of shortlisted artists : Novembre 2019
Award ceremony : December 2019 during the COP25 in Chile


For this special edition of the COAL  Prize, the laureate will receive a 10,000 euro grant awarded by the François Sommer Foundation. They will also benefit from international visibility in connection with DISPLACEMENT: Uncertain Journeys.


Since its inception in 2010 by the COAL Association, the COAL Prize has become a vehicle for identification, promotion and dissemination of these artists to the general public, political actors and professionals of culture and ecology.

Each year the ten projects are shortlisted by a committee of professionals among the projects received through the international open call. The winning project will be chosen by a jury composed of representatives of partner organizations of the 2019 COAL Prize and personalities of art and ecology.

All the artists and projects considered by COAL and the selection committee will become part of a network which COAL may invite or endorse for other relevant opportunities and projects carried out by the association.


Applicants will be judged on the following criteria: artistic value, relevance (understanding of the theme), originality (the ability to introduce new approaches, themes, and points of view), pedagogy (ability to get a message across and raise awareness), social and participative approaches (engagement, testimony, efficiency, societal dynamics), eco-design and feasibility.

The COAL Prize supports art projects in progress. Its award is not intended to cover all production costs of the project but should be considered as an aid to its development.


The application should include the following documents in a single PDF file saved as SURNAME_Name_2019_Project-title, and not exceeding 30 Mb :

- The completed application form, downloaded in this article on our website under "APPLICATION"
- A detailed description of the proposed project, describing its artistic dimension, its relevance to the theme Climate , disasters and displacement, and including a note on the technical feasibility of the project and a budget estimation.
- At least two visuals illustrating the project
- A CV and a portfolio


By entering this competition, applicants expressly authorize the COAL organization and its partners to publish, reproduce and display in public all or part of the elements of their entry for any purpose linked to the promotion and communication of COAL and its partners, via all platforms and media, in all countries, for the legal duration of the copyright. Entries submitted but not selected will remain in the archives of the COAL organization. They will, however, remain the property of their authors. Participation in this open call entails the full acceptance of these conditions.


The COAL Prize is supported by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition. It is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, the Museum of Hunting and Nature, the François Sommer Foundation, the Platform on Disaster Displacement and DISPLACEMENT: Uncertain Journeys.

Museum of Hunting and Nature and the François Sommer Foundation

The Museum of Hunting and Nature is one of the first museums in France to invest in a quality program combining art and ecology in France. Exceptional collections of ancient, modern and contemporary art (from antiquity to today) as well as a cultural program and monthly magazine explore the evolution and representations of the relationship between man and animal.

The François Sommer Foundation was founded in 1966 by François and Jacqueline Sommer, pioneers of the implementation of a humanist ecology. Faithful to the commitments of its founders, it works for the respectful use of the resources of nature, the sharing of wealth of the natural, artistic and cultural heritage for the protection of a biodiversity in which mankind find its proper place.

Platform on Disaster Displacement

The Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) is a state-led process working towards better protection for people displaced across borders in the context of disasters and the effects of climate change. The objective of PDD is to implement the recommendations of the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda, a toolbox to better prevent and prepare for displacement and to respond to situations when people are forced to find refuge, within their own country or across the border. PDD builds partnerships between policymakers, practitioners and researchers and constitute a forum for dialogue, information sharing as well as policy and normative development.

DISPLACEMENT: Uncertain Journeys.

DISPLACEMENT contributes art practice and research to international policymaking processes, working closely with the Platform on Disaster Displacement and other partners. It seeks to provide policymakers an opportunity to understand and reflect upon disaster displacement from a visual, experiential and emotional perspective, which it believes is key to ensuring policy achievements translate into concrete changes on the ground.


Entry Fee:

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