• Laura Herman & Charlotte Dumoncel d'Argence ©Tina Herbots

EUROPALIA CURATOR'S AWARD Biodiversity in ten concepts


For its second edition, the EUROPALIA CURATOR’S AWARD offers young curators the means to develop an ambitious project around biodiversity in Indonesia. Following a call for proposals, the jury selected the project Natural Capital from Laura Herman and Charlotte Dumoncel d’Argence. In residence in Indonesia, they will develop their project in collaboration with three artists of their choice, Martin Belou, Rachel Monosov and Adrien Vermont. Before their departure to Indonesia, we have asked the curators to select ten concepts related to biodiversity. 


Ecology was coined in 1866 by the biologist and artist Ernst Haeckel, combining the Greek word oikos (household and economy) with the word logos (study of). According to T.J. Demos, this understanding of the relationship between species and the environment coincided with the elaboration of a rationalizing, extractive, dissociative understanding of experiential relations among people, plants and animals. How can we act against this dissociation when we speak of nature? 


Biodiversity was coined in 1968 by Walter G Rosen and adopted by the scientific community. Ever since, biodiversity has been re-branded to communicate different messages including loss (of biodiversity), love (for nature), need (economic value) and action (countermeasures). But then, which messages remain underrepresented and how can we communicate them?

3.Biocultural diversity

Biocultural diversity is a term that describes how cultural and biological diversity intersect. It points to the linkages, for example, between rainforests and wedding ceremonies, butterfly species and extinct vocabularies. How can artists engage with the way nature, bodies, languages and indigenous cultures intersect?


Ecolinguistics explores the role of language in life-sustaining interactions between humans, other species and the physical environment. How can artists learn from those languages and interactions?

5.Biodiversity hotspot

A biodiversity hotspot is an area containing a large number of rare or endangered species and which is therefore designated for protection. What is the role of indigenous cultures in protecting and taking care of these hotspots?

6.Pensée Archipélique

Pensée Archipélique (Archipelagic thinking) is a term used to describe the poetics of theorist Edouard Glissant. The archipelago is simultaneously a collection of islands and a unity. How can we mediate our experience of the Indonesian archipelago, while taking difference into account? 


Speciesism is a term coined by Peter Singer in 1975 to describe discrimination against nonhuman animals. Can artists raise awareness around speciesism, anthropocentrism and violence against nonhuman worlds? 

8.irl-ploration / url-ploration

irl-ploration describes the process of observing and discovering a subject in real life (IRL) as opposed to url-ploration, the same process but browser-filtered and virtual (URL). What can we learn from the confrontation between our irl-ploration and url-ploration of the Indonesian archipelago?  


Taxonoreflex is the tendency towards classifying biodiversity in order to simplify and order the immense diversity of life forms into taxonomies, species or coherent data units. Perhaps species are no longer the right units to describe earthbound life?


Fictidiation embeds a type of thinking that traverses axes of popular culture, language, narratives, traditions and education in order to generate new scenarios and suggest new modes of mediation. How can stories, rumours and gossip counter hegemonic forms of knowledge and communication?