Creative Resilience

Call for applications
Deadline: 9th August 2021

UNESCO is organizing an exhibition to showcase the artistic works by women of science, on the reaction to and fight against the pandemic of Covid-19. The artworks capture both pain and hope and provide a new reading of societies that are slowly emerging from the pandemic.

Art has the power to provoke, motivate, inspire, illuminate and bring about change.

When art meets science, it enters into new realms of realization and purpose.

UNESCO’s data shows that only one of three scientific researchers are women,  even though they represent between 45-55% of the university students and 44% of those enrolled in PhD programs. Moreover, 26% of women scientists informed and raised awareness among the general public about the COVID-19 pandemic, but only 8% of women scientists participated in coordinating policy responses at an institutional level.

In the current global crisis, both women and men have faced difficulties, yet women have to struggle, additionally, with systemic gender-based inequalities. They remain largely invisible and bear disproportionately the consequences of the crisis, even though they have been at the front line in combating the pandemic. This creates a need for them to be heard and communicate their unique experiences of how their lives and perspectives have been transformed by the pandemic.

For centuries, women have expressed their passion for science through the arts, sharing their analysis, their discoveries, and their ideas through intellectual and creative works.

Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), for instance, was a self taught botanist, ecologist and entomologist before these fields were even defined, and Gertrude Mary Woodward (1854-1939), made paleontological illustrations for the British Natural History Museum in the early 1900s.

 The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way we interact and live in our societies, and at the same time inspired many women to pursue creative expressions to share their experiences.

Under the theme ‘Transformation’, UNESCO is calling on all women in science from around the world to share their artwork(s) with a global audience.

Creative Resilience
Art by Women in Science

Some frequently asked questions

Who are we looking for?

This exhibit invites applications from women ONLY. All women in science, working as - scientists, researchers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, engineers, architects, or in any other STEM areas (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), from around the world, and from all ages, who wish to showcase their artwork about the pandemic at an international exhibition are invited to apply.

What are we looking for?

The exhibition is open to all kinds of artwork related to the pandemic, whether digital or physical, such as paintings or other artistic images, photographs, sculptures, posters or any other diverse, innovative and original artworks. If the art is of a non-digital format, photographs of the artwork can be submitted as part of the application.

When and where?

The call for application is open from  9th July 2021 to 9th August 2021 and the virtual exhibition will take place on the occasion of UNESCO’s  41st General Conference in November 2021, in which representatives of 193 countries will be present.

Do I need to be present at the exhibit?

Please note that since this is a virtual exhibition, the selected artists and their works will be presented online only. However, pending on how the sanitary situation will evolve, a limited physical exhibition may be organized. Select artists may be requested to participate in a virtual Q&A session during the 41st Session of UNESCO’s General Conference in November 2021.

What format of artwork can be submitted?

Each artwork should be submitted as a low-resolution image in JPG format, which must be no more than 10 MB in size. If selected, artworks with higher resolution will be requested for submission.

Can I submit multiple artworks?

Each applicant can submit a maximum number of five entries.

What happens after submission of the application?

After receiving all the applications, the entries will be examined by a UNESCO-led panel of international experts, who will select the best entries. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit high-resolution images of their work and will undergo a round of interviews where they will be given the opportunity to better present their artworks, inspiration, and creation. Selected artists will be requested to sign a copyrights permission form. The artworks of 20 finalists will be selected to be part of the ‘Creative Resilience – Art by Women in Science’ art exhibit. Selected artists will be contacted at the end of August 2021. Final results will be known/communicated by mid-September.

Who should I contact for further information?

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us

Interested in attending the exhibit?

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Division for Gender Equality

Bruno Zanobia

Apply today