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  • Writer's pictureLaura Donkers

Water Reorganizes the Land

Next week, I will be showing my audiovisual work Land Radius|2 (60 min)  at an exhibition taking place at the 10th International Degrowth Conference and 15th Conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics in Pontevedra, Spain. There will be an artist' talk held during the ''Maniquesto'' Session at 9.00am, 20 June 2024, at Pazo da Cultura - Sala de Congresos, Pontevedra, followed by a walk though the exhibition.

Water Reorganizes the Land exhibition explores the practices, states and cultures of water bodies impacted by lithium extraction and sea level rise. We present two videos of seemingly contrasting phenomena made by artists Penelope Cain and Dr. Laura Donkers to highlight these issues from marganialised perspectives.

Before Air There Was Water (6 min 40) documents processes of lithium extraction in the Atacama Desert from the non-human perspectives of water, soil bacteria and flamingos. The work is the result of an Art-Science research collaboration between Penelope Cain and scientists and policymakers at the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission’s knowledge for policy service. Saline waters, increasingly utilised by lithium mining, are the site of a series of global conflicts over limited water resources, jobs, fragile ecologies, and wealth. Penelope conducted extensive on-site fieldwork to explore this process and show policymakers the uncanny peripheral landscapes impacted by their actions, in the centre of Europe.


Land Radius|2 (60 min) is a collaborative audio/visual exchange on the subject of irreversible sea level rise produced by artist Laura Donkers in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2021 for the art + climate science exhibition Dear2050 Oceans on the Rise. This work juxtaposes imagery of the rising tide with an array of human voices expressing knowledge, fears, frustrations, and teachings from the tüpuna (ancestors) as told by two Māori attestants.

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