Let’s Talk About Water — Film and Water Event — Delft
February 16-20, 2016
Welcome to the fourth installment of the film and water event Let’s Talk About Water, where water scientists and engineers, students and the general public meet and the power of cinema is used to inform, spark dialogue and electrify discussion. This year’s theme is inspired by ‘Design with Nature’ (1969), the book by Scottish landscape architect Ian McHarg, who pioneered the concept of ecological planning and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Humanity frequently subjected the environment to radical changes and blunt interventions, usually at the expense of nature, water and landscape. To engineer and build differently, the dynamics of nature and landscape need to be known, honored and used in the design process, balanced with dynamics in other ‘layers’ like economy, urbanization, technology, culture etc. This is where GIS and mapping as research and design tools come into play. For the designer the challenge remains what balance to create: to have collaboration or collision. Based on the values that we deem important we choose our solutions. Mitigate problems, increase resilience, adapt or let go.
We open our festival on Tuesday at the Student Night in Filmhuis Lumen, with a magical film set outside the levees of the Mississippi Delta. In Beasts of the Southern Wild the delta is both paradise and nightmare and water a blessing and a curse. A strongly united community has been knocked down so often, that they truly know what’s important and what it takes to stay in the place they love.
On Wednesday at UNESCO-IHE, young architect Isaac Stein from New York is our guest. He will present his visionary plan to save Miami Beach, just above sea level. On Thursday, architect and writer Joep Janssen will talk about his fascination with Vietnam and the challenges that climate change poses for this country. His views on the Mekong includes history, culture and anthropology.
Thursday night director Digna Sinke will visit the screening of her documentary Wistful Wilderness (2010). This ode to a tiny Dutch river island shows the slow transition over many years from agricultural land to new nature. Are the results what policy makers were hoping for?
The Faculty of Architecture will host a Master Class on Friday afternoon, where graduate students will present their designs for delta areas, scrutinized by mapping expert Steffen Nijhuis (Landscape Architecture TU-Delft) and Fresh Water expert Esther Blom (WWF).
Friday evening the documentary Lost Rivers (2012) will show us the waters that in the nineteenth century became conduits for disease and pollution and were buried underground, out of sight and out of our memory. Spread all over the world, they are being rediscovered and brought to the surface, back into the public consciousness.
We conclude this year’s festival on Saturday with DamNation (2014), a cinematic manifesto that criticizes the 75,000 dams that rob most rivers in the US of their natural course. Beautiful images illustrate what has been lost and what could be recovered. In the US, removing dams is no longer taboo.
film and picture researcher for 40 years, specializing in science and history, Linda Lilienfeld (director of Let’s Talk About Water) believes in the power of an image to tell a story and move people. It can electrify our conversation and help us understand our world in new ways. And we need to, because with climate change and human activity affecting the world, the lives of many people are at risk – and water knits it all together.
This festival is organized in collaboration with UNESCO-IHE, Deltares, TUDelft and WWF-the Netherlands.