Signifying thirst: New anthology explores why water matters

Social theorists believe that meaning exists in relation, in the exchange of words and images between people. David Elliot Cohen’s new anthology, What Matters, takes this theory to heart — bringing leading photojournalists, scientists and thinkers together to explore and celebrate the ways in which photojournalism moves humanity to care, and to act.

Featured in What Matters, Circle of Blue contributing photojournalist Brent Stirton and the Pacific Institute’s founding water expert Peter Gleick collaborate to convey the significance of water issues to communities across the globe — humanizing the statistically foreboding frontiers of the freshwater crisis.

“Water is the key to life,” writes Gleick, “It is fundamental to all human activities. Water grows the food we eat, generates the energy that supports our modern economies and maintains the ecological services on which we all depend. Yet billions of people world-wide still lack access to the most basic human right: safe, clean, adequate water.”

From Ghana to Zambia, to Bangladesh, the chapter includes photographs and text that document the perseverance of those for whom water represents a daily struggle. “Stirton’s images tell many stories if you know how to read them,” writes Gleick.

The message beneath the mirror, however, reaffirms the power such photojournalism has to change the very way people read — to actualize the way they learn to care about the world, about water and about each other.

View the chapter here.

Source: What Matters

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