Waiting for water
project by Walid Maw'ed

With the sponsorship of Lanificio Guabello

Water and war are two topics being assessed together with increasing frequency. Articles in the academic literature and popular press, point to water not only as a cause of historic armed conflict, but as the resource which will bring combatants to the battlefield in the 21st century.

"...Between 1967 and 1982, West Bank waters were controlled by the military. Now they're controlled by Israel's water company, Mekorot, and integrated into Israel's overall network. West Bank waters supply 25 to 40 percent of Israel's water, while Palestinians use 18 to 20 percent.
Palestinian water use is controlled and restricted by the Israeli government. A 1967 military order decreed: No person is allowed to establish or own or administer a water institution (any construction that is used either surface or subterranean water resources or a processing plant) without a new official permit. It is permissible to deny an applicant a permit, revoke or amend a license, without giving any explanation. The appropriate authorities may search and confiscate any water resources for which no permit exists, even if the owner has not been convicted.
In 1999, Palestinians were allowed to dig only seven wells. In addition, Palestinian wells could not exceed 140 metrs in depht, while Jewish wells could be a s deep as 800 meters."
Taken from the book "Water wars" by Vandana Shiva

I would like to address, in my current and future project, water issues as a local and global problem which exist not only in the Middle East, but in the rest of the world.
That’s the idea based on the project “waiting for water” focusing on the water conflict that exists between Israel and Palestine, through the example of the river in Biella (Italy).
The project consists in a public intervention and in a information point: - outside, 100 m2 of fabric stretched by 200 m metal cables build up an architectural element – size 15 m x 5 m - fixed 2 m over the flowing water of the Cervo-river. With this architectural barrier I change the perception of the environment next to the river, blocking the normalized view of passengers. The black barrier gives the illusion of stopping the water putting in question the power of the flowing water holds. The black color reflects ideologically the state of power and represents also in this “natural” context an unusually and extreme artificial element/statement which limits our prospective. -Inside, an information point including maps and images which line out the distribution and the control of water resources in Palestine and Israel from a geographical and political point of view, offers information to the visitors which want to go deeper in the issues. Two different public “observation points”, one, placed on the via Serralunga, another in the backyard, inside the foundation allow to regard to the public intervention from different angles.

The black textile i used to build the architectural element interfering with the flow of the river, will be recycled in a collection of clothing and accessories (for unisex uses) ready to spread among the people the message focusing on the problems related to the distribution and control of water today and specially in the future.
This work is an open process, related to a research and my aim is to plan other “waiting for water” site specific interventions in order to give space for discussion and let come out collaborations which could become an organized sensitization - campaign favors to the water-problem.

Waiting for Water is an ongoing project.

For further information or materials relating this project write to unideeweb@cittadellarte.it