Transmedial Storytelling: Camilla Plastic Ocean Plan
Professor Angelica Böhm, Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, became aware of the phenomenon of “garbage patches” through her students in 2015. The immense plastic pollution of the oceans as an example of the manifold destructions of nature is in the focus of the young generation in particular.
Angelica Böhm worked her way into the topic through various media, most of which left her with a perplexed and depressing impression. She took this introspection as an opportunity to use the expertise of her field – scenography – and the resources of the Filmuniversity Babelsberg to find a more creative approach that circles the topic with imagination, opens up new spaces for thought and involves many people through co-creative processes.
Two scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) were recruited as partners to provide scientific expertise: Dr. Lars Gutow, AWI Bremerhaven, researches microplastics in the oceans, and Dr. Bernhard Diekmann, AWI Potsdam, lectures on the connection between climate and oceans. The scientists were willing to cooperate with the Filmuniversity because they are convinced that a multidisciplinary space is needed to tackle such complex issues.
Armed with scientific input, the story around Camilla, her adventures and her learning experiences regarding plastic waste was developed together with screenwriter Liane Porthun. This story was recorded as an audio book and now forms the thread of the project.
Image: Westrich Fotografie; Set Design: Angelica Böhm
The method of transmedia storytelling is being further developed through artistic research. Students, graduates and experts are invited to reflect and visualise parts of the story using a variety of media. More than 300 international participants are now involved and have made impressive artistic contributions ranging from drawing, painting, concept design, short film, wearable art, scrollitelling to VR experience and 360-degree film.
Co-creation is a great way to collaboratively revolve around a complex brief. In 2019, an international masterclass with an introductory symposium was funded by the EU. With this, the Filmuniversity Babelsberg won a congress award in the category “Innovative Event”. In the same year, the project was invited to Los Angeles and discussed on a panel, among others, with Captain Charles Moor, the famous discoverer of garbage patches.
With the web exhibition www.camillaplasticoceanplan.com, the project became accessible to a worldwide audience. For this purpose, the story was divided into six parts. Each part is opened within the framework of partner events: e.g. at a symposium on artistic research in Oslo, at Ars Electronica 2020, etc..
In each part, the story is told further, new artworks are presented, results of the international master class are presented and a scientific-documentary theme is explored in depth. There is also material to download. Analogue exhibitions in museums are planned for 2022.
The story ends with the invitation to the audience: “Do you have an idea how to make it better? Become part of the story. Become part of history.” The continuation therefore consequently takes place in an ArtForFuture Lab.