Water is a connector of all things on our planet. But it is also something that helps us to realise our hopes and vision for the future. In this piece, we introduce our series of illustrated stories from the future: Visions of water – seeing the unseen.
‘Visions of water – seeing the unseen’ is a series of illustrated stories that imagines our world in 2050. Water provides life and connects all aspects of life, yet many of its powers remain unseen. The stories present ‘visions of water’ based on real-world projects of SIWI, set in a future where the true powers of water have been recognised by all.
The first story, Whispers from a Jordanian watershed, celebrates the power of water to collate peace. The second one, Across the Nile and around the table: Women with a shared dream, speaks about the power of water to achieve gender equality. The third, Catching raindrops in Zambezi to secure food, explores the power of water to secure food and livelihoods. The fourth, Lake Hawassa is what happiness looks like, depicts the power of water to restore ecosystems.
Why illustrated stories?
Storytelling is the most ancient form of passing down knowledge. With modern tools, we are blessed to be able to push the boundaries of storytelling. The illustrations are based on interviews with people associated to the projects in question.
The disturbances in society and negative impacts of human induced climate change are highly daunting. Communicating about the most pressing issues of our times plays a key role in how people’s views and perceptions are shaped. The illustrations and accompanying texts are intended to stretch our imagination of what is possible if we pull all the right levers. The challenges that we face today, go beyond a specific moment in time, and they need continuous effort and ambassadors to push communication for change.
Amitav Ghosh writes in his book The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable: “When future generations look back…they will certainly blame the leaders and politicians of this time for their failure to address the climate crisis. But they may well hold artists and writers to be equally culpable — for the imagining of possibilities is not, after all, the job of politicians and bureaucrats.”