Embassy of Foreign Artists     



*1985, Poland – *1987, England. They live and work in London.

Residency period : September to November 2021

In collaboration with the United Nations Perception of Change Project.

Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping, are an artist collaboration working with a combination of photography, artist’s film, virtual reality, installation and research. Since 2012 they have been working on extensive, interdisciplinary projects relating to political ecology, climate change, climate justice, Loss and Damage, Slow Violence and the Anthropocene which they prefer to call the Captialocene.

Their research led cross disciplinary practice is focused on forming meaningful collaborations with scientific, humanitarian, academic, activistic, artistic and developmental institutions and organisations in the Global North and Global South as well as multilateral organisation, with the intention of driving change, in the political and cultural narratives that surround climate change, migration, human rights and development. They have a specific focus upon Loss and Damage (WIM) and Climate Justice, the climate adaptation, resilience and political leadership of the Global South and what we can learn about the humanitarian, developmental and psychological impact of climate change through the lived experienced of those that are living lives impacted by climate change and displacement.

In June 2016 they were awarded the yearlong Culture and Climate Change: Future Scenarios networked research residency which was supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, The University of Sheffield, The Open University and The Ashden Trust. They have since collaborated with a network of Climate Change researchers, NGO’s, policy makers and institutions including but not limited to ICCCAD, UNHCR, The Tyndall Centre and Jesuit Refugee Services.

In November 2019 they were awarded the COAL Prize on Disaster and Displacement at the Centre De Pompidou and then again at UNFCCC COP25 in Madrid where they presented their proposed film “You Never Know One Day You Too Could Become A Refugee” to negotiators and displacement specialists at the UN mandated side event that reviewed the work of Task Force On Displacement and at the French pavilion in collaboration with the Platform On Disaster Displacement, COAL and Displacement Uncertain Journeys.

Their work has been exhibited internationally, most recent exhibitions include: Krakow PhotoMonth 2020, Noorderlich Festival of Photography: Taxed To The Max (2019), Ci.CLO Bienal Fotografia do Porto (2019), Kunst Haus Wien: Museum Hundertwasser (2019), Unseen, Amsterdam (2018), Fotofestiwal, Lodz (2018), Photomonth, Krakow (2016), Fotograf festival, Prague (2014). They have presented and lectured at intuitions and events including: COP25 Madrid, The Financial Times Weekend, Wilderness Festival, The Royal Geographical Society, IDOC’s 2018 and 2020. They have presented at conferences such as the Anthropocenes 2020 conference (PL), The Anticipation Conference (2018) and COP 25 in Madrid (2019).


During the residency period they will work to develop and film part of their ongoing artists film project You Never Know One Day You Too Could Become A Refugee which has so far been developed in collaboration with Displacement Uncertain Journeys (DUJ) and the Platform On Disaster Displacement (PDD). The film will follow two narratives: 1. The story of a white middle class family from the Global North (UK) who are displaced and then generously hosted by a nation in the Global South in 2050. And 2. The negotiation of finance within the Warsaw Mechanism on Loss and Damage (WIM) of the Paris Agreement at COP 26 in Glasgow 2021. It is their intention while in Geneva to collaborate with experts from organisations that work on Climate Change and Displacement from organisations such as UNHCR and IOM to further develop the scripts of both film narratives by interviewing and holding workshops with its members and advisory groups. They also intend to film the negotiation section of the film with actors, and where possible members (interns, negotiators and researchers) of climate and development focused organisations in (if possible) a UN meeting room in Geneva.

The You Never Know, One Day You Too May Become A Refugee film is intended to highlight how the nations that are most vulnerable to climate change are actually emerging as leaders in the development, the introduction and negotiation of progressive migration policies and constitutional rights in response to climate change and how the developed nations are blocking progress at the negotiating table. Their research focus during the development of the film will be upon the generosity of nations like Uganda, who’s liberal refugee policy has seen it host over 1.3 million refugees even though it is an LDC with a history of conflict, and how Uganda’s model of hosting refugees is something for the rest of the world to aspire to.

The artists film is intended to initially be screened as a projection during the negotiations at COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021 at an official side event (in the blue zone) that reviews the UN mandated Task Force on Displacement. They also hope that it will be possible to find a collaborator that will help us set up an installation inside the Blue Zone or failing that the Green Zone or a gallery space within Glasgow during the period in which COP 26 is taking place. They then intend to create an immersive cinematic installation of the film that can be show in museums and galleries and an I-DOC that draws together all of the research collected during the marking of the film.

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