Cultural perspectives shape how people view and interact with water, be it as a commons, a commodity, a resource, a reminder of how all life on the planet is interrelated, the embodiment of spirit– as Dorothy Christian phrases it, and more. What roles do culture and poetics play in supporting a healthy, water-based ecology? The project involves respectfully listening to local, global, and indigenous perspectives on water, and considering what is both spatially and temporally downstream.
Building toward a workshop at Emily Carr in 2012 around World Water Day, the project will make space for environmentalists, community leaders, elders and academics to dialogue with writers and artists.
Public events include the following:
- Downstream Art Exhibition: Concourse Gallery, Emily Carr University March 5-14
- Bodies of Water Dance Performance, March 21, Roundhouse Community Centre – with Seonagh Odhiambo, Asava Dance and Angel Luis Figueroa
- World Water Night, March 22, Emily Carr University of Art and Design – readings by Lee Maracle and Michael Blackstock, and screening of Samaqan: Water Stories with Director Jeff Bear
- (more info coming soon on this site)
Downstream will also lead toward a book and media that poetically explore how the local relates to the global through water. The project’s collaborators include Rita Wong, Dorothy Christian, Peter Cole, Pat O’Riley, Larissa Lai, Karolle Wall, Alex Phillips, and Walter K. Lew.
With grateful acknowledgement to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for its support of this project.