This Talking Water site is a place to celebrate small groups of people whose imaginative actions have helped to protect or restore the well being of watersheds, rivers, wetlands, marshes, creeks and lakes. Here we gather stories from around the world showing what mere handfuls of people can bring about for the well being of the earth’s endangered waters. For example, there is the story of the Chipko (Hug the Trees) Movement which imaginatively worked to protect the treed Himalaya watershed and wetlands of the Ganges and other great rivers. From southern Manitoba, we read of a small group of farmers using a series of small-scale earthen dams to restore wetlands and a creek, Tobacco Creek.
The Talking Water site is part of an arts-based project. Its resources include drawings, photographs, theatre and poetry; including the poetry of many spiritual traditions that engage the well being of water. These languages of the heart, no less than the head, call forth the love and wonder that often heartens ongoing practical actions. These “optics of the heart” may help us and others to see and act, while others do not dare to look.
These stories seek to encourage by the small victories they unhide. They also give shape and form to the behind-the-scenes power and machinations needing to be confronted. For it is important to discover how people have advocated for the well being of water in the face of forces that endanger it. Recurring throughout are declarations of deep delight, no less than worries around the troubled gift of water.
This site is part of a larger art-fused project which uses exhibitions, performances and workshops. For the first year (2013) it is an offering of the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery of Winnipeg. The project’s resident artist and co-ordinator is Bob Haverluck, who works under the guidance of an advisory council.
With gratitude the Talking Water project receives gracious support from: