Meet the River

UN Water Conference
New York City, USA

“It’s me, the messengerI have been there
before the existence of any faith and religion
I carry the divine essence
that creates, maintains and destroys all forms of life
I am the most primordial means of communication
between mountains and lakes, aquifers and oceans
between plants and aquatic life, animals
and, importantly, I connect civilizationsSince the dawn of times,
I am utilized as a carrier, a trader, an incubator
to make communities grow, collaborate, and communicateHowever, my natural self,
my moods and my irregularities
don’t fit the forms of control and structure
which would be needed
for industrialization to functionMy wild, unsettled, character
has no space in a monetized economy”

Meet the Rivers is an official side event of the UN2023 Water Decade Conference which focuses on transboundary fresh water. The event will integrate storytelling, experimental group process, live performance, and aesthetic-sonic rendering to generate authentic affect and meaning for water in the audience, a scenario that invites the rivers — the fresh water that gives birth to civilisation and humanity — from all around the world to meet in the collective space of the oceans. On one hand, the performance provides an opportunity to explore alternative narratives about rivers, particularly in the form of worldly mythology, which provides the sense of identity and cultural belonging to individuals from different backgrounds. On the other hand, the project would communicate spatial boundaries (geographical, cultural, political), temporal boundaries (civilisation, climate change), as well as the history of modernisation: industrialisation, pollution, loss of biodiversity, through the perspective of a river.