Amplifying Storyteller Voices

Our partner, Ocean Culture Life brings Ocean Storytellers and Ocean Guardians together to give a voice to the ocean. Their annual Storyteller Grant empowers young creatives to tell stories and fund projects that highlight the beauty of our ocean, its people, and the organisations that are working tirelessly to protect it. The 2022 winners are Kaush Subramaniam, conservation biologist and wildlife cameraman, who will produce ‘Peixinho’ about a courageous young man sharing his passion for the ocean in coastal Mozambique; Madeline St. Clair, a marine biologist, underwater photographer and expedition leader, who will draw attention to the amount of plastics used in Fuvahmulah (Maldives) whilst aiding with local led advocacy for conservation; and Stefan Petursson, artivist, who will create a series of artwork and illustrations in protest of Icelandic whale hunting.

At Ocean Born, we are so proud to have contributed funds to these storytellers.



Inspire Category | Winner

His story follows a young man, raised in a community that is afraid of the ocean but so dependant on it for their livelihoods. The majority of people are unable to swim and drownings are an agonising part of daily life.


One young and budding conservationist is bucking the trend, drawn to the ocean and the amazing life within it.


Bento Nhamussua is a 21 year old from Jangamo Bay in Mozambique who is sharing his passion for the ocean with his community. This story follows Bento on his journey to change local perceptions about the ocean, as he teaches the new generations to be able to swim and interact with the water safely, as well as his mission to improve the sustainability of fishing in the area.

Kaush's 2022 Update:

In 2022, Kaush left his 9-5 job to be a full-time photographer and videographer. In that year he managed to run his first photography trip so people could experience the fantastic tiger sharks in the Maldives, following on from his short documentary “The Reef”. Kaush also filmed his first short film “Peixinho” in Mozambique – I can’t wait to see it!


Educate Category | Winner

Mads has sculpted an incredible career amplifying female voices and building an equitable marine science community as founder of Women in Ocean Science. Seeing the destruction of the marine environment first-hand as a scientist, Mads transitions to advocate, channelling her energy into becoming a freelance natural history photographer-filmmaker, commercial drone operator and digital content creator, using her skills to primarily shoot marine wildlife and conservation stories.⁠

Continuing her mission to elevate female and marginalised voices, Mad’s will be storytelling through Empower Ocean, an initiative that sets out to create opportunities for local women to become active participants within ocean-based livelihoods and conservation efforts within coral reef communities.⁠

Documenting female voices from small island communities across the globe, Mads’ short film is an exploration of the female connection to the sea and strives to give underrepresented stories, perceptions and realities a seat at the table. She hopes to reframe attitudes around local and native women in marine conservation and to highlight the intersectionality between female empowerment and the increased resilience, protection and longevity of coral reef ecosystems and the marine life that inhabits them.⁠

Mads will be heading out to the Indo-Pacific to tell these stories later this year. Be sure to keep an eye on our socials for more information and live updates closer to the time.

Madeline's 2022 Update:

Mads was part of the film crew for the @shebahopegrows team. We are waiting to hear her yearly summary, and what she has been up to most recently.


Protect Category | Winner

Stefan Petursson (Styngvi) is the ‘Protect’ category winner. Styngvi will be using his ‘Artivist’ skills to create a series of artwork and illustrations around the theme of whale conservation in Iceland. His project is called ‘let them live’, with the CTA being to sign a petition to end the fin whale hunt in

Stefan's 2022 Update:

Stefan continues to be very passionate about spreading awareness about whaling in Iceland. Last year his first illustration series “Let Them Live” was created. More recently, he has been involved with Japan’s plan to increase the consumption of whale meat in schools and vending machines. 

He also donated some cards over Christmas with his artwork to the whale museum in Iceland to spread awareness and back the petition. This summer he plans to make one of his whale illustrations into a mural for an outdoor wall in Reykjavik.

About Ocean Culture Life
Ocean Culture Life is a community with an unconventional approach to marine conservation: They bring Ocean Storytellers and Ocean Guardians together to give voice to the ocean, highlighting the importance of emotional connection to the sea. They concentrate on the interconnectedness between water and earth and promote collaboration in order to foster a healthy blue planet.
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