“Imperishable Water” and the Question of Development

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photographer Nikos Kasseris

Field workshop from 29th of May until 5th of June 2011 in Rhodes, Greece

Departure: 29th of May 2011, 19.00 from the Port of Piraeus with the Blue Star Ferries.

On the occasion of the World Environment Day, June 5th 2011, this field trip aims at combining artistic, philosophical and environmental approaches to the question of the future development of wetland ecosystems of Rhodes.


  • Examine the contradictions or convergences among the various models of economic management (farming, stock-breeding, tourism and housing) inside the specific landscapes, in relation to the existing institutional conservation framework.
  • Resuscitate the memory of wetlands, by tracing the evidence of wetlands in time, as preserved by the material and immaterial culture (language, customs, technology etc.).
  • Positive evaluation of the environmental aspect inside the cohesive network of the insular landscape.
  • Energize the local communities by strengthening the bonds with the work- people, educators, local government institutions and youth.
  • Manifest the power of culture (philosophy, architecture, literature, music, visual and performative arts) towards responsible attitudes of stakeholders or policy makers.
  • Investigate the development models in site specific landscapes marked by the urgent need of the preservation of water resources.


  • Organize a collaborative field work with joint actions, in site specific areas, among the relevant institutions of the island and the team of the workshop consisted of philosophers, anthropologists, biologists, architects-planners, environmentalists, new media artists and poets, coming from Greece or other European countries.
  • Ensure an on going and follow-up digital or conventional recording and documentation as well as the inauguration of a data base resulting from the field work and depicting the diverse fields of research.
  • Collaborate with the educational sector, First Degree and the University of the Aegean in order to organize programmes with an artistic content (music, visual and performative art and literature) having as inspiration the water resources and the landscapes of wetlands.
  • Co-operate with the International Writers and Translator’s Center of Rhodes by focusing on the poetess Katerina Anghelaki Rouk and the natural element in her poetry.
  • Produce an artistic action e.g. a performance at a site specific wetland, Sunday 5th of June 2011, World Environment Day.
  • Organize a Day Conference with the following aims: to manifest the cultural dimension as the only way of rescue as well as being the most prominent vehicle of development procedures, to energize the local institutions and organizations in order to undertake initiatives with permanent perspectives in respect to environmental and cultural criteria, to propose the diversion of the main economic activity, that is tourism, from the massive, consuming model to the quality dimension, in respect to the diversity, the beauty and the mosaic of the landscape. Outcome: a Co-operation Memorandum with the agreement of all participating institutions.
  • Produce a half an hour documentary addressed to participate during the ‘’Rodos ecofilms –International films and visual arts festival’’ taking place annually in Rhodes.
  • Future perspectives-2nd stage. Fist show of the documentary during the ‘’Rodos ecofilms –International films and visual arts festival’’ June 2012 and parallel site specific land art istallation.

Sites of Interest-Wetlands of Rhodes:

  • Wetlands: Rivers, creeks, estuary and delta of rivers, lakes, lagoons, marshes, springs, lakeside or riverside sites, salt-pits, artificial water reservoirs.
  • Rhodes is among the islands with the largest number of wetlands
    • River Loutanis and Dam of Gadouras
    • Marsh of Plemmyri and Marsh of Katavia
    • Torrent Kontaris and Damlake of Apolakkia
    • Streamlet of Butterflies and River Platis
  • In some of the above wetlands is still observed the threatened endemic fish gkizani (Ladigesocypris ghigii), biological symbol of the island.

This project is organized by:

  • Haroula Hadjinicolaou, art historian Benaki Museum
  • Anna Arvanitaki, president of Poiein kai Prattein and urban/land planner at Greek Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change
  • Hatto Fischer: coordinator and poet / philosopher

In collaboration with:

The text reproduced above was written by the  project organizers at For more information, please visit that website.

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G20 protests: does the lack of iconography = a lack of vision?

make tea not war Pictures, Images and Photos

Guest blogger Caleb Klaces writes: In Everything that rises: a book of convergences, Lawrence Weschler compares graphic imagery used in Communist-controlled Poland’s Solidarity movement with later social justice movements in the US. He argues that the image of an angry crowd facing directly forwards was instrumental in really bringing people together in both cases. In his view, the image was more powerfully drawn in Poland than the US because the movement itself had more vitality.

The image I remember from the ultimately unsuccessful anti-war in Iraq protests in London is of Tony Blair with a tea cup on his head: “Make tea not war”. The British anti-nuclear movement has long had the circular peace sign, and the Greenpeace dove and rainbow.

The peace sign was still the face-paint of choice at last week’s protests in London around the G20. The symbol has arguably lost some of its import by being employed in support of such a broad spectrum of causes. But I haven’t seen a powerful new image or symbol from the Climate Camp and Put People First protests that the discontented could own and rally around.

Has anyone else located a semiotic centre? If not, what could it be?

Caleb Klaces edits the poetry website; his review of Far North is on the RSA Arts & Ecology website.

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