Have you ever imagined
how it is to live in the desert?

Open Call
for residency programme
exploring desertification

Starts 21.02.2022
Ends 21.03.2022

Application guidelines

Application form

Have you ever imagined
how it is to live in the desert?

about OA27

OASIS 2027 (OA27) is a research-based residency programme leading to the creation of an interdisciplinary festival that will explore strategies for the climate emergency.

The seed topic of the OA27 programme is desertification: the processes by which fertile land becomes increasingly arid, mostly due to human activity. According to scientific reports, the more tangible effects of desertification will affect Europe as soon as 2027.

OA27 is run by a cross-disciplinary cohort of agents of change, who examine the topics of desertification, water retention and soil regeneration through the prism of various disciplines engaged in environmental issues.

OA2& Agents are Aliaksei Babets, Aquiles Jarrín, Brendan Sullivan Shea & Noémie Despland-Lichtert (Roundhouse Platform), Elena Lazutkaite, Jonas Liepmann, Nini Khuroshvili, Rebecca Shedler, Vanessa Bosch & Bárbara Acevedo Strange, Zeno Nan.

The particiants were selected through a public Open Call addressed to the practicioners of the sciences and the arts .

The documentation of the process and outcomes of the research will become the content of the OA27 festival of strategies for climate emergency launching in Magdeburg in October 2022.

The goal of the OA27 programme is to bring forth the understanding of the severity of the climate crisis. Researching the processes of desertification and our relation to water and soil, the programme aims to inspire the change of how we use the planet's resources and position ourselves and agriculture as a part of the ecosystem.

Exploring interconnectedness, OA27 aspires to unite practitioners of diverse methods embedded in the ecological paradigm, to create a platform for knowledge sharing and resource exchange.

OA27 aims to hold a spacetime to collectively envision and experiment alternative approaches for organising the future. To seek deep adaptation strategies, and to foster trans-local alliances that lead to an environmental and societal flourishing.

objectives of the programme:

  • To research topics of desertification, water retention and soil regeneration through the prism of sciences and arts

  • To explore site specific issues related to climate crisis in Mallorca, Spain, Bledowska Desert, Poland and Magdeburg, Germany

  • To bridge the arts and sciences, and embracing collaborative approaches

  • To create a public awareness campaign

  • To organise a multimedia festival for strategies for climate emergency in Magdeburg

  • To establish a translocal network or agents and organisations ready to work together on environmental and societal issues

  • To navigate a transformation into a more sustainable, action and knowledge-based planetary community

timeline + locations

Open call for
participants of
2022 programme

of the results
of the Open

phase in
Mallorca, Spain

phase in
Bledowska Desert,

0A27 festival
magdeburg germany
climate emergency

about desertification

1. Etymology
desert(n.1) c. 1200, "wasteland, wilderness, barren area," wooded or not, from Old French desert (12c.) "desert, wilderness, wasteland; destruction, ruin" and directly from Late Latin desertum (source of Italian diserto, Old Provençal dezert, Spanish desierto), literally "thing abandoned" (used in Vulgate to translate "wilderness"), noun use of neuter past participle of Latin deserere "forsake" (see desert (v.)).

2. What is desertification?
European Court of Auditors in their paper “Desertification in the EU” published in June 2018 describes desertification:

“Desertification is a form of land degradation in drylands. It results from unsustainable land management practices and climatic factors. Thirteen EU Member States, not only in the Mediterranean region, but also in Central and Eastern Europe, have declared that they are affected by desertification. Desertification is a consequence, but also a cause of climate change : it is aggravated by more droughts, rising temperatures, less precipitation, and it also magnifies climate change by reducing the capacity of soil to retain carbon.

Desertification does not imply the presence of deserts. It can occur far from any climatic desert, and the presence or absence of a nearby desert has no direct relation to the desertification process.
There are fine lines between drylands, desertified lands and deserts, but, once they are crossed, it is hard to return, as restoring soil is a slow process. It can take 500 years for 2.5 cm of soil to form but only a few years to destroy it. It is much more cost-effective to protect drylands from degradation than to reverse the process.”

3. Cultural desertification

Desertification serves as an analogy describing processes of societal degradation, the loss of diversity, complexity and vibrancy of places or communities. Cultural deserts are spaces lacking agency, connectivity, or interests in intellectual and artistic activity. Philosopher Franco “Bifo” Berardi in his book “Breathing: Chaos and Poetry” writes:

“Existence alone has no meaning: this is the truth that we learn from traversing the desert of meaninglessness. But this truth is not frightening so long as we can find oases in the desert: oases of friendship, love, intellectual and erotic sharing, conspiration and the projection of a common landscape. Such oases are the precondition for sensuous consciousness and for shared imagination.”

OASIS 2027 project aims to deepen the understanding of the connection of nature and culture, of health of the planet, humanity and the arts.

Find out more about the desert of the real via our digital library.

advisory commitee




A: Grodzka 42/131-044, Krakow, Poland
T: +49 176 70297226
E: oa27@onearth.io


under the patronage of: