Background image:
Courtesy of Tue Greenfort
Title: Coral Fresh Color, photo edition

WE ARE OCEAN is an official project contributing to the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development Preparatory Phase. An interdisciplinary art project to raise awareness about our interdependence with the ocean in three European cities: Berlin, Venice and Marseille from 2019 to 2020. Due to the pandemic conditions we adapted the activities and the calendar and will continue each project in 2021. Meanwhile we also started WE ARE OCEAN Vancouver in 2020 and will continue until the end of 2021.

WE ARE OCEAN gathers institutions, cultural practitioners, policymakers, the youth and the general audience to discuss solutions for improving ocean health and reducing the human impact on the environment. Our contribution aims to stimulate educational and behavioural change among young people and adults through art and scientific programs including workshops, panel discussions, scientific interventions, art performances and film screenings.

WE ARE OCEAN draws inspiration from Epeli Hau’Ofa‘s works “We are the ocean” which is a collection of essays, fiction and poetry by the Tongan writer and ethnographer. His work challenges dominant discourses about Oceania and prescriptions for its development. We acknowledge his work as a source of inspiration and a guide for our mission throughout the project such as the creation of alternative perspectives and solutions to implement climate action and the full integration of indigenous worldviews in the art, science and education.

United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development


24 September 2020 from 3:45 pm to 5:45 pm (free entrance)
Location: Klimahaus Bremerhaven, Am Längengrad 8, 27568 Bremerhaven, Germany

ARTPORT_making waves’ program: WE ARE OCEAN @ Klimahaus Bremerhaven “How to …” International Symposium 24-25 September 2020

ARTPORT_WE ARE OCEAN: How can art be an accelerator for change in the context of ocean, climate change and sustainable development?

WE ARE OCEAN @ Klimahaus Bremerhaven is imagined as a storytelling and inspiring event. A cross-disciplinary initiative which highlights the pivotal role of art, culture and education in the positive transformation of society by making scientific and environmental facts visible and inspire for interdisciplinary discussion and action. A best practice example with a proven track record.

1. Screening of WE ARE OCEAN Berlin/Brandenburg by Lisa Rave.

2. An open discussion round: “Fishbowl discussion”: experts meet artists, students, civil society, scientists to discuss the importance of interdisciplinary art projects by including young people.


Jens Ambsdorf (The Lighthouse Foundation)

Prof. Dr. Dr. Christian Berg, Sustainability Thinker and Author

Dr. Julia Moritz, Education Curator, Gropius Bau Berlin and Co-Curator WE ARE OCEAN Berlin

Maria-Elena Vorrath (Phd Student, Alfred-Wegener-Institut)

Moderator: Anne-Marie Melster (ARTPORT_making waves)

3. Closing artistic video


14 DECEMBER 2019 from 3 pm to 8 pm (free entrance)
Location: State Studio Berlin, Hauptstraße 3, 10827, Berlin
– short film program in the basement, curated by Julia Moritz and Anne-Marie Melster,
with films by Ursula Biemann, Forensic Oceanography, Tue Greenfort, Michelle-Marie Letelier, Parvathi Nayar, Ana Vaz, Susanne M. Winterling, Marina Zurkow.
– the current exhibition of State Studio will be open to the public
– workshop for high school students upon pre-registration, offered by Christian Rauch (Director State Studio)
– from 6 pm on film screening of Lisa Rave’s “Inhale. Exhale. Ocean” (2019) with an introduction by the artist
– followed by dialogue situations and a bar and open exchange from 7:30pm onwards

What does the ocean mean for people in Berlin? How is the situation as regards its health? And what can we do to protect and preserve the ocean? These are the questions we are asking ourselves this fall and winter in the program series WE ARE OCEAN together with scientists, artists and cultural workers and hogh school students. The main goal of the ARTPORT_making waves initiative is precisely this exchange, the networking and understanding of various professional actors and the young generation of a city in order to raise awareness of issues relating to the climate protection of the oceans and to discuss options for action. For the fourth and final event in the State Studio Berlin, an independent project space for art and science, we are presenting for the first time in full length the film “Inhale. Exhale. Ocean “by the Berlin-based artist Lisa Rave, created during a series of workshops with students. In the afternoon before the screening Christian Rauch (Director State Studio) will conduct a final student workshop, which will formulate future scenarios for the climate protection of the oceans. The students will present their findings following the film presentation in three short interviews with one member of the WE ARE OCEAN team, one each of the participating educators and the audience, and formulate further questions for the project to continue elsewhere. Afterwards, the bar of the State Studio invites for a more informal exchange. Throughout the duration of the event, the basement features the approximately one-hour program of artistic short films on the theme of the sea and ecology, poetry and politics in the loop, which was put together specifically for WE ARE OCEAN. We are looking forward to your visit!

06 August 2019 – 06 September 2019
Event: Scientific-artistic-curatorial workshops
Participants: Oscar Schmidt (IASS Potsdam), Lisa Rave (artist Berlin), Julia Moritz & Anne-Marie Melster (ARTPORT_making waves), students
Location 1: Montessori Schule Niederbarnim, Brandenburg
Location 2: Barbara-Zürner-Oberschule Velten, Brandenburg
Location 3: Schule am Berlinickeplatz, Berlin

30 SEPTEMBER 2019, 6-8 pm (only for MRF participants)
Event: Interactive Intervention 
Title: “WE ARE OCEAN_making waves: A floating conversation on ocean awareness and action”
Participants: students of the Barbara-Zürner-Oberschule Velten, Brandenburg
Special event: film screening
Location: Marine Regions Forum, Vienna House Hotel Andel’s, Berlin

01 OCTOBER 2019, 11 am-1pm (only for MRF participants)
Event: Panel Discussion
Title: “Can the arts mobilize young audiences regarding ocean conservation?” 
Participants: Markus Reymann (Thyssen Bornemisza Art Contemporary), Prof. Dr. Antje Boetius (Alfred-Wegener-Institut), Michelle-Marie Letelier (Artist), Lisa Rave (Artist), Dr. Thierry Pérez (Labex-OT-Med/Institut Pythéas), school student Jay Pauls (Barbara-Zürner-Oberschule Velten) + one student from the Schule am Berlinickeplatz Berlin (moderated by Anne-Marie Melster and MR (IASS Potsdam).
Location: Marine Regions Forum, Vienna House Hotel Andel’s, Berlin

02 OCTOBER 2019, 6-7:30 pm (open to the public)
Event: Interactive Intervention
Title: “WE ARE OCEAN_making waves. A floating conversation on ocean awareness and action”
Participants: Prof. Dr. Antje Boetius (Alfred-Wegener-Institut), Sebastian Unger (IASS Potsdam), Markus Reymann (Thyssen Bornemisza Art Contemporary), Dr. Lukas Köhler (MdB), 2 students from Schule am Berlinickeplatz and Barbara-Zürner-Oberschule Velten (moderated by Anne-Marie Melster and MR (IASS Potsdam).
Special events: discussions, film screenings.
Location: Futurium Berlin, Alexanderufer 2, 10117

31 OCTOBER 2019 (open to the public)
Title: We are Ocean @ Bodenproben
When: Thursday, 31 October 2019, 7-9 pm
What: Interactive panel and film program around the topic of deep seabed and soil.
Participants: Uwe Gössel (curator, Berlin), Armin Linke (artist, Berlin), Lisa Rave (artist, Berlin), Torsten Thiele (scientist, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam).
Film Program: Lisa Rave: “Europium” and the WE ARE OCEAN curated film program with videos by Ursula Biemann (CH), Forensic Oceanography (GB), Tue Greenfort (DK), Michelle-Marie Letelier (CHI), Parvathi Nayar (IN), Ana Vaz (BR), Susanne M., Winterling (D), Marina Zurkow (US)
Moderated by: Anne-Marie Melster (executive director ARTPORT_making waves), Dr. Sven Sappelt (director CLB Berlin)
Location: Collaboratorium im Aufbauhaus CLB Berlin, Prinzenstraße 84.2, 10969 Berlin (Germany)


The “WE ARE OCEAN” program in Berlin & Brandenburg was supported by


Like everybody else, we were creative and adapted the content and events of WE ARE OCEAN Venice to the current pandemic conditions. (open to the public)
Event: workshops conducted by the artist John Palmesino
Participants: to be confirmed
Special events: dialogue discussions, film screenings.
Location: TBA21-Academy Ocean Space, Chiesa di San Lorenzo, Venice

The “WE ARE OCEAN” program in Venice is supported by


September 2020


Event: workshops conducted by the artist Marc Johnson at the Ecole de la Roseraie, Marseille
Title: “Draw me a whale, a walrus and a clownfish!”
Participants: students of the Ecole de la Roseraie
Special events: open air film screenings, art performance, panel discussions
Location 1+2: Plage du Prophète, Marseille (Surfrider Foundation, Ciné’Ma Plage   + Théâtre Sylvain, Marseille
Location 3: the IUCN World Congress 2020 (to be confirmed), Palais des Congrès Marseille Chanot, 114 Rond-Point du Prado, 13008  (January 2021)

The “WE ARE OCEAN” program in Marseille is supported by


Anne-Marie Melster
Anne-Marie Melster

Artistic Director and Coordinator

Julia Moritz
Julia Moritz

Co-Curator of the film program

Vanina Saracino
Vanina Saracino

Curator film program Marseille


Lisa Rave
Lisa Rave

Commissioned Artist (Berlin)

Portrait of the Artist John Palmesino
John Palmesino

Commissioned Artist (Venice)

Portrait of the award-winning artist, filmmaker, writer Marc Johnson
Marc Johnson

Commissioned Artist (Marseille)