In the Autumn of 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, there was an e-conference on the Art of Change, organized by the Change Leaders, an international community of practitioners. Part of the e-conference was to set up a small art project to experiment with the art of change.
Lars, Roberto, Thea, Ute (and later Jane) decided to form a team and to focus on participatory art as a vehicle for social change, focusing on the importance of water.
One of us had a vision: a thousand people aligned on a beach, with their feet in the water, each of them holding a vessel. One by one they take water from the sea with the vessel, as in a wave, until they all have some water. Then in a wave back through the line of people, one by one they give back the water to the sea, to symbolise the importance of giving back to nature.
We got excited and decided to move along with this vision. We adapted the original idea by imagining multiple groups, small and large, all over the world, comprised of kids, families, co-workers and retirees, each performing this wave in the water.
We reported back to the community of the Change Leaders and invited others to contribute. From there the idea slowly grew and some small pilots were done.
And then, in February 2021, after some exciting conversations, the first project was done in Pakistan. The whole team, everyone involved both in Pakistan and throughout the world, was moved to tears when they saw the first footage of the art performance Life=H2O. It was a dream come true.
And then? How does the story continue? We have yet to find out. New ideas pop up every week and more people get connected every week. Life=H2O is evolving organically and is bringing fun, energy, experimentation, learning and increased awareness about the importance of water to everyone who’s involved.
Let’s have a glass of water to reflect on that.