Camilla Plastic Ocean

Transmedia storytelling hub

The project “Transmedia Storytelling: Camilla Plastic Ocean Plan” was founded at Film University Babelsberg by Angelica Boehm. After 5 years, more than 200 students, alumni and professionals from different parts of the world have become involved.
We started the project because the worldwide media present often environmental problems in a way that makes us feel gloomy and hopeless. Consequently, people start ignoring facts and turn to fantasy-worlds. Films usually show the future as dystopias taking the world as destroyed and telling stories how to take refuge in the outer space.

However, what about the future we want to live in? Can’t we use the expertise of storytelling in movies to design pictures of a desirable world that combines digitalization AND healthy nature with happy animals, big old trees AND wealth for people?

The earth is the only place with perfect conditions for people to live. WE – the human beings - have limits. The earth will persist even if climate changes, but people will face problems. We are part of nature and we are animals, too. This should become a guiding principle. Each of our actions should be appraised: how does it impact nature? How can we bring environmental knowledge from research and science to the minds of people?

New things are very often created by a combination of things that have never been combined before. With a mix of artistic imagination and fantasy-setting on environmental problems CPOP is a mind opener backed by scientific expertise from the renowned Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research. The scientists willingly cooperate with us in creating a worldwide multi-disciplinary space to solve this complex issue.

The other facet of the artistic research in CPOP is transmedia storytelling with the short-story about Camilla as the base and red line. This integrative project is presented in terms of events, exhibitions and several multimedia ways. Based on scientific collaboration, numerous artists create artworks like paintings, concept art, sculptures, 360° short films, and VR-experience.

The project will be introduced by a web-exhibition that shows all the works connected by the audio-book of the story. Each chapter is complemented with scientific facts about the plastic debris in the oceans. The opening of each part is connected with cultural, political ore scientific events like Ars Electronica 2020.

How the project came about

Over 9 days in 2019 a Masterclass brought together experts and students from all over the world. This was supported by DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and the European Union STARTS-project and additional funds. We combined scientific input and creative-methods for finding solutions in an artistic playful way full of joy. How could a world look like where we would really want to live in? Instead of focusing on the problems, we should discover the fascination. From there comes the power to improve the world.

Based on this experience we developed in cooperation with the “Institute for Art and Innovation” an online-workshop and integrate the international audience in the process of solution-thinking during the opening-events.

People need inner pictures from things they want to reach. First, you need an emotional idea from the world you want to create. Then you will find the way.


We are happy to welcome the founder Angelica Böhm to the Climate Story Lab. 

18. SEPTEMBER 2020