Water Stories: Panel Discussions
The exhibition, Water Stories: River Goddesses, Ancestral Rites, and Climate Crisis, on view at Harvard Radcliffe Institute, illuminates the cultural, religious, and political significance of water—beyond an extractive commodity framework—and draws attention to the legacy of colonial rule and imperialism in the climate crisis. Water Stories presents new works from two contemporary women artists with others works drawn from the collections of the Harvard Art Museums and the Peabody Essex Museum. Together, the pieces tell stories of water experience that treat water, not as a resource to exploit, but as a life-giving and life-dissolving, inert but innately alive spiritual force—a notion shared widely among Indigenous communities, including those in the Global South, which is disproportionately affected by the climate crisis.
This program will bring together artists whose works are represented in the exhibition with scholars of religion, anthropology, and transnational studies to explore water’s multivalent meaning and to contemplate our current relationships with water. Participants will discuss traditional paintings depicting mythological stories along with contemporary works evoking different aesthetic and spiritual experiences of water in the age of climate crisis.
Harvard Radcliffe Institute gratefully acknowledges the Johnson-Kulukundis Family Endowment Fund for the Arts, which is supporting this exhibition.
Free and open to the public.
We are planning "Water Stories: Panel Discussions" as a hybrid program.
Join Us in Person
To attend in person, each individual will need to register.
Join Us Online
To view this event online, individuals will need to register via Zoom.
For instructions on how to join online, see the How to Attend a Radcliffe Event on Zoom webpage.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing a link and password for this meeting.
Live closed captioning will be available for the webinar.
- Jinah Kim, Johnson-Kulukundis Family Faculty Director of the Arts, Harvard Radcliffe Institute; and George P. Bickford Professor of Indian and South Asian Art, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Panel 1: Artists’ Perspectives
- Atul Bhalla, artist and professor of visual art, Department of Art and Performing Arts, Shiv Nadar University (India)
- Alia Farid, RI ’24, artist
- Evelyn Rydz, artist
- Moderator: Jinah Kim
Panel 2: Religion, Spirituality, Sacred Rivers, and the Climate Crisis
- John Stratton Hawley, Claire Tow Professor of Religion, Barnard College, Columbia University
- Tulasi Srinivas RI ’17, professor of anthropology, religion and transnational studies, Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies, Emerson College
- Discussant: Atul Bhalla
- Moderator: Jinah Kim
Close of Program
- Jinah Kim