Art, Knowledge, Action: How Columbia University Is Celebrating the Year of Water


[MUSIC PLAYING] The Year of Water is a
campuswide, citywide initiative to focus on all
aspects of water– the poetic, the
symbolic, water inequity, all the water issues that
are facing the planet– and to involve as many parts
of the university as we can. When I started asking who is
working on water at Columbia, I was amazed. Water is an issue that’s already
taken up by so many parts of the university–
institutes, centers, schools– working on issues
of law legislation to change how water
is distributed, issues of the
cleanliness of water, the purity of water, water
inequity in places like Flint and now in Newark. So Columbia just already
is doing all that work. How do you make all of that
visible to the general public and say, Columbia is not just
theorizing, not just doing research. Columbia is doing research
that is leading to action. How do you make that visible? And that’s– in my mind,
that’s what the arts can do. We make stuff visible. Artists have a unique
capacity to do that– to really affect
how people feel, how their minds work, but
also how their hearts open to these issues. And that, I believe, really,
is how consciousness and change occur. Daan Roosegaarde’s Waterlicht
will be a welcome to everyone to participate with us
in the Year of Water. We can invite everybody from
New York and say, come up. It’s three nights. We have to wait till
it’s dark, and we have to get all these
buildings around us to be dark, which is a
big challenge in New York. But it should be
really beautiful. And we can say to everyone,
come and participate in the Year of Water with us. It’s our open house
to the Year of Water, and it will happen at
the end of October. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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