Water Matters

The story of water is essentially the story of the planet and human civilization. Water is the omnipotent force that enables life on earth. We, the humans and other life forms come from water, our bodies and the planet itself consist largely of water. Among many unique qualities of water, is its ability to exist in different states, take on versatile forms, be a drop and the ocean, move vigorously at times and embody stillness at other times.

Water rules our material world, based on the different ways in which humanity has been able to harness its potential, using diverse technological know-how over time; from the making of paper to the manufacturing of plastic water bottles, from hydroponics all the way to hydro-electricity. In equal measure it occupies our cultural landscape, wherein water has been a significant part of many of our vernacular folk forms. These collective imaginations captured the many roles that water played and how that shaped the environment, the people, other species or entities connected to it.

The ongoing moment of Climate catastrophe calls for an urgent relooking at how we inhabit the planet and our relationship with its resources. Therefore, we need to reconsider and reimagine the significance of water for life on this planet; from drinking water to the rising sea levels, from water histories to water futures, from water for place-making to vanishing identities, all these demand a re-calibration of our equation with water.

The open elective is an invitation to explore creative responses on the theme of water and its interpretations from practitioners across various domains. The elective is envisaged as a trans-disciplinary space where varied vantage points, knowledge systems, expertise, curiosities and practices converge towards a holistic deliberation on water. The proposals may consider various trajectories spanning aspects of Water in Time & Space, Water crisis and catastrophe, Water cultures and communities, Water ecosystems, Water politics and borders, Water as sensory experience, Water as memory and much more.