Ohm is a member of water musiums and I’m co-curator

I Remember Water

Between past and future water management: a global digital exhibition exploring memories of our relationship with water


From the ornate public fountains and standpipes that provided free water to citizens in bustling cities, to the architecturally splendid stepwells quenching thirsty travelers across South and Central Asia, and the ancient civilizations that have flourished around mighty rivers from the Nile and the Amazon to the Tiber, the Indus, and the Yangtze rivers, water has shaped our landscape across time and space, from Europe to Africa, from Asia to the Americas.

While water is at the core of our bodies, our livelihoods and our social relationships, water resources have been dammed, depleted or polluted by human activity engrained in engineering paradigms, economic development and growing transboundary conflicts. Climate change has not only accentuated our failure to use and manage water wisely, but the dangers of too little or too much water (drought, floods and rising sea levels) have posed new challenges to global water governance. Considering the past and the present, it is likely that in the future water will have enormous economic value, as the ‘new petroleum’.

Water museums are public repositories of our fluid heritage worldwide – from technologies to artefacts, from science to the arts. However, if we are to address the next global water challenges, then we need to find new ways to connect people with their water heritage and with museums, so that we can build empathy and stimulate new water awareness, supporting the wise and judicious use of our shared waters.

WAMU-NET invites contributions that recall our past water memories and reflect on pathways that can help us shape our water futures. Memories, whether they are sensory or emotional, short-term or long-term, material or immaterial are fundamental to our existence as individuals and as collective societies.

Since water museums collect, archive, and display the memories of humanity’s relationship with water, the Curatorial Team of the exhibition (*) invites all members affiliated to WAMU-NET to submit their contributions to building a global digital exhibition exploring memories of our relationship with water.

Deadline for submissions: December 20th, 2021

This Call for contributions is organized thematically looking in particular at the emotions that water stirs – joy / struggle / life and death / celebration / respect / sacred / fun / peaceful, and so on.

All contributions, whether photographs, archival or nonarchival images, need to be digital and all copyrights and credits must be with the contributor and duly acknowledged.

Contributions are open to WAMUNET members only: water museums, individual members and artists have to submit their proposal in digital format by completing the Registration Form available HERE. For submitting the images and the form, send an email to communication@watermuseums.net

Each museum can submit up to 15 images from its own collections.

Individual members / artists can submit up to a maximum of 5 images.

Each image must be supported by 100 (minimum) to 200 (max) words explaining why it is a ‘water memory’ (following the example attached below: see Annex 1) and include other relevant data (date, location, credits).

All contributions will contribute to build a global digital exhibition to celebrate the next World Water Day on March 22nd, 2022. We look forward to your contributions!

The Curatorial Team (*)
(*) Adams Clive, Curator, Art and Ecology, UK; Ahmed Sara, Living Waters Museum, India; Eulisse Eriberto, Director, WAMU-NET; Mesquita Mário João Freitas, Parque Patrimonial das Águas, Porto, Portugal.

Annex 1

An example of image submission including title, description text and references:

TITLE: Mumbai ‘Broken or Parched’. Courtesy: Vaastu Vidhaan, 2020 DESCRIPTION: “In the midst of the constant smog, density and exhaustion of a developing city in the 21st century, a hundred-year-old sandstone water fountain, intricately carved but deteriorated and chipped, continues to dispense water to weary travellers. The ‘pyaav’, as it is colloquially known in Mumbai, is an often-forgotten relic of the history of water sharing in the city. Wealthy philanthropists donated these water fountains as public services to the residents of the city, starting in the early 1900s when the technology of piping and pumping water had just been introduced. Today, these pyaavs stand in oblivion, one of several such forgotten narratives of Mumbai’s rich and indigenous water heritage.” Credits: ‘Confluence: Visualising Mumbai’s Waters’,  https://garlandmag.com/loop/confluence-visualising-mumbais-waters/.