While coasting the oceans in 1492, Columbus believed he had solved a misconception: Earth wasn't round but the shape of a female breast toward whose nipple he would be sailing. This gross colonial scene illustrates the connection between European expansion and the gendering of nature, but also the unreliability and negligence of colonial science and Enlightenment thinking.
Today, the hierarchization of the nature-culture dichotomy is maybe the most decisive factor in the climate crisis and concerning questions of climate justice. So why do traces of this thinking still influence (Northern) knowledge production – and how can pitfalls like the division between Nature and Humans be overcome? What roles can and do traditional knowledges take in relating differently to our ecosystems?
In trying to understand WATER as a crucial source of life, but also as a space carrying tradition, myth, knowledge, and mystery, we need to examine and complicate our relation to this element. The biggest ecosystem on Earth has become a monitored, governed, and appropriated entity, while remaining a space of the unknown. Why is a Commons fundamental for all living beings – water – today critically endangered?
A consciousness of planetary resolutions needs to be established: only in communal formations can ecological crises and colonial-induced inequalities be resolved. The panel aims at navigating and dissecting the political, environmental, social, and technological realities of water (oceans, rivers, ice etc). These unsettling realities are part of topical paradigm shifts regarding water as both the means and the vessel of human life.