I AM WATER Assembly
Thursday, July 22, 2021
United States: 10am PT, 11am MT, 12pm CT, 1pm ET
EUROPE: Scotland/Ireland/England/Belgium/Germany/Portugal: 18:00 BST
Billboard artists: Maria Whiteman, Basia Irland, Helen Glazer, Holly Fay, Lisette Morales, Joan Perlman, Ellen Jantzen, Margaret LeJeune, Ellen Kozak, Hillary Johnson
Guest Presenters: Veronica Strang, Sara Ahmed
Curators: Patricia Lea Watts and Tanja Andrejasic Wechsler
This event will be presented in two parts, 2.5 to 3 hours in length. For the first hour we will hear from three women who are leaders, educators, and visionaries of clean and healthy waters. Following we will hold an audience Q&A. There will be a 10-minute snack/bio-break, then we will invite the ten artists selected for the I AM WATER billboard exhibition to discuss the selected works and share about their arts practice focused on water. The Curators will discuss the jurying process and plans for future billboards. We will end with a film short the Artists Think About Water collective.
Members are free. General Public can attend for a $10. All participants MUST REGISTER.
Image: Lisette Morales, Miccosukee Grandmother Betty Osceola, Everglades, Florida, taken January 7, 2021 (billboard at Green Central Knoll park at Evergreen and Flushing Avenues, Brooklyn, NY).
Veronica Strang began as a freelance writer exploring environmental issues. She has researched the human-environmental relationship, in particular societies’ engagements with water. Every society has pressing water issues, which has taken her all over the world, though her major ethnographic research has been in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. She has worked with the water industry and multiple water using groups including indigenous people, farmers, miners, urban and recreational water users, conservation organizations, museums and artists. Her research also involves collaborations with diverse organizations ranging from local communities, to the water sector, and to international bodies such as UNESCO, the UN, the World Bank, and the International Water Association. She is the author of The Meaning of Water published in 2004 and Water: Nature and Culture published in 2015. Her upcoming book Water Beings: from nature worship to the current environmental crisis will be out in 2022. Strang has a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Oxford University. veronicastrang.com
Sara Ahmed has thirty years of applied research experience on water, livelihoods and social equity. Ahmed holds a PhD in Environmental Sociology from the University of Cambridge and is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune. She has published extensively on gender and water governance and her last co-edited book is entitled, Diverting the Flow: Gender Equity and Water in South Asia (2012). Sara serves on the board of WaterAid India and has worked with numerous grassroots organizations and networks, including the Gender and Water Alliance. In 2017, Ahmed launched the Living Waters Museum, the first digital museum curating visual narratives on India's water heritage and a founder member of the Global Network of Water Museums, endorsed by UNESCO-IHP as a special initiative towards SDG 6. livingwatersmuseum.org
I AM WATER Curators:
Tanja Andrejasic Wechsler is founder of Our Humanity Matters and designer of I AM WATER DROP. She is dedicated to inspiring more enlightened and sustainable humanity with the knowledge that everything is interconnected. Wechsler believes that current marketing strategies and product choices are perpetuating the misuse and damage of water. Knowing that a new mindset is required, she seeks to counteract misinformation and reduce the abuse of the fragile natural equilibrium on which we depend. Wechsler grew up in Slovenia, known for its pristine waters and the first in the European Union to amend Water Rights to its constitution and denounce water privatization. She completed Mechanical Engineering School and has a degree in Philosophy from the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. More recently, she received an MA in Media from The New School. Wechsler is a member of the UN Global Compact. iamwaterdrop.com
Patricia Watts is the founder of ecoartspace. She has curated three water shows, including Works on Water (2012), Delta Waters (2012), and WaterWorks (2006). Since 2008, Watts has conducted in-depth video interviews with thirty pioneering ecological artists for the ecoartspace archive, including water artists Basia Irland, Jackie Brookner, Meridel Rubenstein, Mags Harries and Lajo Heder, Ruri, and Sant Khalsa. She has written Action Guides of replicable social practice projects, including Eve Mosher's HighWaterLine. Since 9/11, with the proliferation of fracking and plastic waste in our oceans and waterways, Watts has been concerned about water quality. More recently, she has become aware of the importance of forests along streams and rivers and their role in healthy drinking water. Watts is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.