What is the Digital Earth Fellowship?

Published on: Jul 07, 2020


10 days left before applications close!

A lot were wondering what exactly the Digital Earth Fellowship was all about, and why we should apply for it? How would it benefit our creative careers in the long run? And why the theme Planetary Sensorium?

Mr Churchill Ongere from HIVOS was happy to answer a few pressing questions about the unique theme of the call for us.


  1. What is the Digital Earth Fellowship?

Digital Earth is a think tank of artists and scholars who are interested in the growing presence of the digital and its impact on the planet. Our aim is to produce, through artistic practice, new ways of knowing the inextricable planetary conditions propelled and mediated by digital technologies.

Our fellowships provide resources, tools, community, and amplification to artists. We organise events, curate exhibitions, and share the research and findings of our community on Medium and in our upcoming publication, Vertical Atlas.


  1. How will Creatives and Artists in Kenya benefit from it?

We will welcome a cohort of 8 fellows, each of them receives a variety of resources such as a monthly stipend of a total amount of €13.500 and consultation with scholars and curators. We also plan to showcase findings and organise exhibitions and public programs in collaboration with partners. We aim to support 4 projects grounded within the African continent, 2 projects that take Asia as a starting point, 1 project from Latin America, and 1 Global application.

  • A Fellowship spanning 9 months (September 2020 – May 2021).
  • Monthly Stipend, a total of €13.500 per fellow for the entire fellowship.
  • Consultations with acclaimed artists, curators, and scholars.
  • Online research groups with other fellows.
  • Online sessions with our faculty.
  • Presentation during partner events, symposia and exhibitions (online and in real life, when possible).


  1. Explain Planetary Sensorium to us in layman’s terms?

This year’s theme for the Digital Earth Fellowship Open Call is “Planetary Sensorium”. The theme builds on the idea of a sensorium, which describes the combined system of perception that an organism has to sense its surroundings. Digital Earth seeks to investigate the current planetary sensorial apparatus by both acknowledging and re-imagining our conception of Planet Earth. Digital Earth invites artists from all over the world, representing all disciplines to apply and investigate how we can imagine a humane digital earth to come.


  1. Why the theme Planetary Sensorium?

We need a new framework to understand the pervasiveness of technology on a planetary scale. The current planetary sensorial apparatus — sonic, tactile, visual, affective, and embodied — can help us to imagine alternate possibilities for the digital planet and new ways of living together. A leading question throughout the fellowship is: For which Earth do we create our intellectual, cultural, and artistic interventions?


  1. Is the fellowship only for artists or can creative businesses, especially those that offer support to creatives and artists apply?

It is not possible for a creative business to apply. Digital Earth invites artists, musicians, and creatives from different geographies and disciplines who are interested in the planetary sensorium to apply. The Digital Earth Fellowship welcomes 8 artists and/or duos from different practices who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits, and are committed to ideas of resilient futures, equitable societies, and critical diversity, showing a marked capacity for self-direction.


If you have any questions about the application please consult our FAQ or send us a message via email fellowship@digitalearth.art. Remember, tik tok, applications close in 10 days!


Bringing things back home, we asked Mr Ongere, besides the partnership with Digital Earth, what else should creatives in Kenya expect from ROOM this year:

Through ROOM “We support artists, culture and media producers, and creative hubs in many countries around the world to freely express themselves. Our R.O.O.M. program specifically aims at diversifying dialogue and debate in society through the power of art to bring about structural social change.”


1. ROOM has had Digital Earth and African Crossroads as experimentation and learning platforms for the past 3 years. However, due to C19, we have had to scale back on African Crossroads from a physical gathering of creatives from across the continent to an online one. This year it will be done as an online platform towards the end of the year. Please be on the look out for more information regarding this on our social media platforms. You may also subscribe to the HIVOS newsletter from our website. Having said this, Digital Earth is the experimentation and learning line of activities that is currently live. Kindly be on the look out for more info as we make progress on it. I encourage you to apply/share it with those in your networks and beyond.

2. Yes, we are finalising some opportunity for funding that will be published on our website in the coming week and also HIVOS East Africa social media platforms . Kindly be on the look out for these.

3. All ROOM, and other programmatic opportunities this year including research have a C19 consideration in them which is communicated to partners at different stages from research to implementation.