19/05 2022

Open call | Golden Watermelon 6.0 Young Artists Award

Media Mediterranea, News


The competition for the Golden Watermelon Award for Young Artists 6.0 is for artists and art collectives dealing with contemporary art, new media and innovative artistic practices. The competition is organized by the Metamedij Association within the 24th edition of the Media Mediterranea Festival, which will be held in Pula from 4 to 6 August 2022. This year’s theme of the competition and festival, “Worlding the Hydrosphere”, examines the concept of hydrosphere (ocean, sea, and water on Earth’s surface) in the context of interactions, collaborations and intertwining of different organisms, technologies, and forms of knowledge.


An expert jury consisting of Oleg Šuran (UMAS), Olga Majcen Linn (curator, Kontejner), Jerica Ziherl (curator, Lapidarium Museum) and Kristina Marić (the winner of the Golden Watermelon 5.0) will select 5 finalists whose works will be exhibited in a group exhibition at the Pula Gallery The Serbian Cultural Center in Istria as part of the Media Mediterranea 24 festival. The selection of works will be presented in a traveling exhibition at the Lapidarium Museum in Novigrad and the Xcenter Gallery in Nova Gorica in November and December 2022.


Finished works by Croatian artists or art collectives created after January 2019 can be submitted to the competition. The same applicant can send a maximum of two applications. The expert jury will select 5 finalists, and the winner of the Golden Watermelon Award will win a symbolic cash prize of 2,000 HRK. All finalists will be provided with travel and accommodation expenses during the festival.



Who is the call for?

The call is intended for artists aged 18 to 35 or the art collectives that bring them together, dealing with contemporary art, new media and innovative artistic practices.


Application procedure

The application should contain:
– name and surname of the author / artistic collective with a list of all members
– contact
– title of the work / concept
– job description / concept in Croatian and English (max. 1 text card)
– sketches and documentation
– overview of production / distribution costs (overview of necessary exhibition equipment)
– portfolio / link to the author’s website
– biography of the author in Croatian and English.


Applications marked “Golden Watermelon 6.0” should be sent to the e-mail address mediterraneafest@gmail.com by June 19, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.
The authors of the papers will be notified of the outcome of the competition by e-mail by the end of June 2022.



The concept of the competition

Worlding the Hydrosphere

It matters what matters we use to think other
matters with; it matters what stories we tell to tell other stories with;
it matters what knots knot knots, what thoughts think thoughts, what
descriptions describe descriptions, what ties tie ties. It matters what
stories make worlds, what worlds make stories

-Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene


“The sea is a body in a thousand ways that don’t add up, because adding is too stable a transaction for that flux, but the waves come in in a roar and then ebb, almost silent but for the faint suck of sand and snap of bubbles, over and over, a heartbeat rhythm, the sea always this body turned inside out and opened to the sky, the body always a sea folded in on itself, a nautical chart folded into a paper cup.”

-Rebecca Solnit, Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics


At the end of the essay “Woolf’s Darkness”, talking about the possible positive elements of uncertainty, Rebecca Solnit writes that “the destruction of the Earth is largely the result of a failure of the imagination, or its overshadowing by accounting systems that cannot account for what really matters. ”
If the future is uncertain, it means it is not decided. One should stop here, in that space of uncertainty, and understand what is possible in it. In the context of the current climate crisis, we cannot get around it anyway.


Geologist Marcia Bjornerud mentions the necessity of temporal literacy as a precondition for a sustainable society – an awareness of the geological past of the planet that shaped it into the form we inhabit today. Such literacy includes the ability to represent human society as part of the course of deep geological time instead of something separate from it, as part of nature that is moving rather than passive and static.


The Earth’s hydrosphere, which marks the totality of water on the planet,  is perhaps the most visible example of the constant movement of nature, the movement of geological causes and consequences through deep time that have resulted in an environment conducive to human life. In the context of the climate crisis, storing excess carbon dioxide released by the global use of fossil fuels is one of the key issues in overcoming the dangers of an increasingly unstable environment. The oceans play a significant role in this by incorporating it into the shells and bodies of sea creatures, which in turn create seabed sediments. However, overfishing threatens this process, as do rising sea temperatures and its gradual acidification.


Our uncertain futures depend directly on the futures of phytoplankton and shellfish, just as they depend on the survival of rainforests that provide oxygen for breathing or earthworms that make the soil more fertile for food plants to grow. The biggest misconception is the Anthropocene idea that human civilization can be independent of the other entities we share a planet with. One should therefore learn to navigate these areas of uncertainty without resorting to escapism, resignation or technological solutionism, which often limits discussions on climate change, and make friends with its gravity without embracing its own doom scenarios.


Donna Haraway, in her book Staying with the Trouble, describes such distress (on the eve of the climate crisis) as the creation of “unexpected collaborations and combinations” between the human and complementary human6 entities that make up this planet. Her worldings are interested in interconnections and cooperations in which various beings, species, technologies, forms of knowledge, and other factors of the world we inhabit intertwine and inform each other.


Therefore, this call is open to works and reflections that deal with the worlding of the hydrosphere: which seek, imagine or build paths of unexpected collaborations and combinations with the web of Earth’s waters and all that makes and inhabits them. We are interested in works that create a kinship with tides, periwinkles, seabed sediments, migratory fish shoals, seawater mythologies, transparency of jellyfish bodies, rising ocean levels, prehistoric glacier paths, submerged remains of human civilizations, evolutions of marine organisms…
We would like to discuss the role and importance of the sea for human civilization now and throughout history, identify existing places of mutual respect and start building new ones where they are lacking or replacing those that are harmful.


Staying with the trouble – everyday, complicatedly, imperfectly – is not just about getting used to the inconvenience, but about finding a way to practice the imagination that lives outside the usual logic of capitalism. Imagination that is able to imagine which ways of living, connecting and acting could mitigate the effects of the climate crisis and build futures that are more sustainable, careful, and ways to reach them. It is clear that environmental disasters are not so much a problem of lack of technology, but a problem of the absence of global relations and political will. The threat of climate crisis can be removed with the help of our sciences and technologies. But if the aspect of changing society, economy, culture, political practices, and the way we interpret our physical (and other) environment is missing, we can only postpone disaster and find ourselves again in this same (or worse) place for a decade or century. What matters is what thoughts we use to think about ourselves.


Imagination that is able to illuminate such spaces which we need in order to heal the Anthropocene and to find a way out of its dangers is an imagination that seeks to find practices of coexistence, adaptation, care, community formation, human and complementary human symbiosis and cooperation, compromise, care and all other “the art of living on a damaged planet.” It is an imagination capable of telling the stories of the seabed, protozoa, phytoplankton, and the fragility of mountain ranges, or Mediterranean shores, just as it is capable of telling the fragility of human bodies and ways of social reorganization. We would like to encourage similar stories and artistic reflections with this call, focusing on interdisciplinary, innovative, new media and related artistic practices.


If all we can imagine is a slightly “better” version of the Anthropocene in which new technologies allow us to continue using the same human and planetary resources we are witnessing today if we cannot imagine a different, more sustainable future we want to live in – then how do we expect to know the way for escaping from this point of living in climate danger?


What matters is what stories we tell about the future.


Text: Teuta Gatolin

Design: Oleg Šuran

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