EMPACT – "Empathy and Sustainability: The Art of Thinking like a Mountain" is an exciting 24- month project, co-funded by the European Union's Creative Europe program, which is expected to be completed in 2024.

The EMPACT project adopts an innovative approach in advocating for climate crisis, based on the idea that the concept of empathy can shed new light on how we understand and embody sustainability in the arts. The project lies on two interconnected pillars:

(i) the facilitation of artists to produce, through sustainable practices, art that fosters an empathic stance towards non-human beings and nature, and thus effectively incorporate the concept of sustainability in their artistic production;

(ii) the necessity for artists and cultural workers to become themselves empathic and resilient individuals in order to deal with the post-pandemic social and economic crisis. Key role players, including, artists, sustainability experts, philosophers and social scientists will engage in effective dialogue to explore the importance of empathy as a central means to encourage individual sustainability orientations and broader environmental sustainability, with the ultimate action of tackling climate change.

EMPACT project aims to address the following needs:

To bring together artists, cultural institutions and key thinkers in creative sustainability, philosophy and social sciences to discuss and explore ways of intensifying the powers of art in tackling the key pillars of sustainability.

To introduce, discuss and clarify the meaning of “empathy” in arts, which has important implications for artistic research, training and practice.

To support male and female, in all their diversity, artists, and cultural professionals to engage with mainstream research from philosophy, social sciences and sustainability studies on the role of empathy and perspective-taking in advocating for environmental issues.

To offer artists training courses that will allow them to transfigure moral emotions (empathy, compassion, perspective-taking imagination) to new skills related to sustainable creation.

To inspire the creation of innovative projects that address the empathy-sustainability relationship through arts and raise awareness on the challenges that climate change poses to environmental, physical and emotional health.

To engage new audiences and establish an innovative, participatory approach to contemporary visual and performative arts.

To support European artistic co-operation and mobility of artists and of artworks that redefine sustainability within an empathic and creative context.

From this, EMPACT will deliver a holistic, well-designed, series of activities and tools that will provide artists and cultural players with the knowledge and tools to address complex scientific and social conflicts generated by climate change, namely:

A training program on Empathy & Sustainability pathways for arts that will be developed by relevant experts, and will be tested and delivered during the project with artists from all partner countries through landmark and experiential workshops.

An artistic program that involves co-operation and creation of innovative art-projects, comprising the creation / curation of 2 contemporary art exhibitions that address sustainability within an empathic and creative context. 101055903 — EMPACT — CREA-CULT-2021-COOP-2

A series of art/artist orientated projects, including, a residency program offering artists the opportunity to work with international collaborators and present their work to the public; socially-engaged art interventions, to collaborate with the organization and local people, communities and/or art students to initiate and implement a socially engaged art intervention, tackling specific problems related to sustainability and the promotion of circular economy practices; and, collaborative interdisciplinary artistic projects.

The development of the Sustainable Circular Economy (SuCiE) Platform to enable artists and companies to post and trade waste, spare or unneeded material with other artists cost effectively.

The consortium

EMPACT is led by the Cyprus University of Technology and scientifically coordinated by Assistant Professors Efi Kyprianidou and Yannis Christidis (Department of Fine Arts). The above measures will be implemented with the collaboration of nine European partners (University of Technology (Cyprus), Fondazione Lamberto Puggelli (Italy), Espacio Rojo (Spain), ID22:  Institute for Creative Sustainability (Germany), National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts (NATFA) “Kr. Sarafov” (Bulgaria), Nature, Art & Habitat (NAHR) (Italy), Umetnostna Galerija Maribor (Slovenia), Wisefour (Cyprus), and Vorres Museum (Greece)) offering diverse experiences and know-how, which represent a broad, balanced, and targeted geographical area.

Start date 01-09-2022 – End date 31-08-2024. The project is co-funded by the Creative Europe program of the European Union. Project Number: 101055903 — EMPACT — CREA-CULT-2021-COOP-2

"Empathy for human and non-human beings."

26-27-28 May

Friday, 26 May, 13:00 – 18:00,

Saturday & Sunday, 27-28 May, 11:00 – 19:15.

A three day event with seminars/workshops/performances which was organized in the framework of the innovative project “EMPACT – Empathy and Sustainability: The Art of Thinking like a Mountain”, co-funded by the EU Creative Europe Programme. (Grant Agreement No: 101055903 – EMPACT – CREA-CULT-2021-COOP-2).

Empathy for human and non-human beings: clarified and demonstrated how empathy as an abstract concept can be applied in the arts so that people are motivated to care for non-human others and the environment by using concrete examples. The Seminar “Empathy for human and non-human beings” was organised by the Vorres Museum, an EMPACT consortium partner, and was held in Greek / English language. Seminar speakers, artists and moderators were renowned experts and professionals in the field of art theory, art management, environment experts, Institutions and sustainable development.

During the event, talks, seminars, workshops took place in the framework of the innovative EMPACT - Creative Europe project.

The workshops focused on introducing, discussing and proposing resilience as a motor of reflection, which has important implications for artistic research, training and practice. In the three days of interactive events:

FRIDAY 26.05.2023

13:00 Registration

13:30 Olga Daniylopoulou - The art of thinking at least!

14:00 Thanasis Moutsopoulos - The dilemma of humanness: the artistic creation and the philosophical facts.

15:00 Break

15:30 Nikos Vassileiou with Evi Mazi – Empathy in music, ''..you taught us to see through our ears and listen through our hearts'', Khalil Gibran

16:30 Berthold Bell - Music and empathy in films

17:30 Irene Orati – Τhe J. F. Costopoulos Foundation and the artists


SATURDAY 27.05.2023

13:00 Registration

14:00 Marilena Karra - The role of advertising in the commercial world of any city.

14:30 Alikio Tsirliangou - And now what? Post-pandemic Art Industry Insights for Artists.

15:00 Break

15:30 Giorgio Davos - Thinking on the end of the humanised view of Nature.

16:15 Thrafia – Presentation - Clouds like mountains, the art of Ascending.

16:45 Berthold Bell – Presentation – How to murder a mountain

17:30-19:00 Workshop by Bell & Thrafia, Visual Artists

Workshop title: "Mountains and Myths"

The participants assembled in the basement, around a large table usually available for children' s workshops. There was an introduction by the two collaborating artists on the subject of the Seminar. The most basic materials were available so that drawings on paper of the above concept were created. These drawings were expedited to the highest point of the Vorres Estate where chairs were waiting for the participants to sit and face Mount Hymettus. Through a discussion and through questions and answers, the idea of communicating with and looking into the matter of the Mountain was elaborated to the point where every participant completed their drawing with a short text.


SUNDAY 28.05.2023

11:00 Presentation Apostolia Papadamaki - Anamnesis / Remembering Our Ancient Future

12:00 Seminar Apostolia Papadamaki - All of Nature One Stage

Title: “All of Nature One Stage”

An interactive seminar that aimed to use the human body and nature as the main and maybe the only tool to create a performance to awaken our empathy for Nature and the Cosmos, to enhance our feeling of belonging and to connect us with ceremony and ritual as a form to create our "ancient-future". A future connected with all living beings, so that we can envision a new cosmogony. Under the umbrella of Human, Body & Nature, participants explored themes of: metamorphosis, oneness, catharsis, ecstasy, ritual, mysticism, timelessness and ceremony. The seminar lead to the presentation of a short performance to the audience at the gardens of the Vorres Museum.

14:00 Performance Apostolia Papadamaki - All of Nature One Stage

15:00 Break

15:30 Presentation Sonia Ntova, Maria Papadopoulou and Vera Karavakou - Βοdies as Garden

16:30-18:30 Workshop Sonia Ntova, Maria Papadopoulou and Vera Karavakou - Intergenerational Movement Workshop - Βοdies as Garden

Title: Intergenerational Movement Workshop, “Βοdies as Garden”

A movement workshop “Bodies as Garden” invited children 7-9 years old, teenagers and adults + 65 years old regardless of their experience in dance. The workshop was held in the gardens of the Vorres Museum.

What is nature?

Are you part of nature?

What happens when we spend time in a garden?

How does our perception change?

How do our breaths grow a tree?

How do the roots of plants vibrate in our bodies?

How do we relate to nature?

Through games, visual and sensory activities, physical and choreographic practices our relationship with nature was explored. We walked, observed, used organic materials from the garden, listened to our inner body, danced, played! Through collaborative and creative practices, this inter-generational symbiosis was explored by creating interconnective and caring relationships.

✔ How could artists and cultural organizations effectively connect their creative work, actions and strategies with resilience and sustainability.

✔ How could the resilience instinct be applied in the arts so that people can find ways to care for humans, non-humans and themselves.

✔ We established dialogue and debate among professionals to find different forms and ways of combining science, art, ecopoetry, ecomusicology and cinema.

 18:30 Salutation Nektarios Vorres

 The Seminar and Workshops are free.


Creative Sustainability

Three day event

Presented on the 16th, 17th, 18th of June @ the Vorres Museum in the framework of the innovative project “EMPACT – Empathy and Sustainability: The Art of Thinking like a Mountain”, co-funded by the EU Creative Europe Program. (Grant Agreement No: 101055903 – EMPACT – CREA-CULT-2021-COOP-2).

Throughout three days, participants got to know case studies and pioneering initiatives combining art and ecological practices within the scope of creative sustainability. This event addressed both the theoretical and practical aspects of sustainability. Real examples of creative sustainability, social ecology, adaptation to greener production models in arts and ecological approaches both in creating artworks and in producing and disseminating art projects.



18:30 - 19:00 Registration

19:00 - 19:15 Nektarios Vorres, Director of the Vorres Museum

“The Gardens of the Vorres Museum”

19:15 - 20:00 Thomas Doxiadis, Architect & Landscape Architect

“Snake in the garden - Designing for Symbiosis”

20:00 - 20:15 Catriona Gallagher, Visual Artist

“Prolific yet overlooked: tracing the growth of wall-pellitory (Perdikaki) in Athens”

20:15 - 21:00 Documentary: Perdikaki, 2019, (38min)


SATURDAY 17.06.2023

11:00 – 11:30 Registration

11:30 – 12:00 Penelope Iliaskou, Art director of the Duncan Dance Center

“Τhe moving grounds of the Duncan Dance Center's ecology”

12:00 – 13:00 Dr. T. Konstantinidis, Associate Professor of Systematic Botany, NKUA

“Are extinctions forever? Examples from the Greek flora”

13:00 – 14:00 Dimitris Alithinos, Visual Artist

“Empathy for the Civilisations of Others”


SUNDAY 18.06.2023

11:00 – 11:30 Registration

11:30 – 12:30 Dr. Nikos Krigas, Biologist, Researcher Institute of Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources Hellenic Agricultural Organization Demeter

“Richness – uniqueness of the Greek flora: a variety of sustainable utilisation possibilities”

12:30 – 13:00 Eleftherios Dariotis, Botanist, M.Sc. Plant Biology, UCDavis M.Sc. Horticulture, U of Reading

“The value of plant propagation in Mediterranean summer-dry gardens”

13:00 – 14:30 Workshop by Eleftherios Dariotis

“Plant propagation for a sustainable gardening practice in the garden”

Hands-on experience and techniques used.


Join EMPACT social media and keep yourself updated about empathy and sustainability through the arts:

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube.

For additional information on the event: please contact Eleni Korakianiti (info@vorresmuseum.gr)

Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.