Art And Culture

Isfahan Museum Displaying Segment of Water Crisis

The installation art set up by the staff of Museum of Contemporary Art in Isfahan seeks to draw public attention to the nationwide water crisis
More than a hundred glasses of water are seen glowing in the large pond.More than a hundred glasses of water are seen glowing in the large pond.

Cities and villages in the southwestern province of Khuzestan have been struggling with water crisis for ages. Over the past few weeks the crisis turned into a major disaster as water supply in the oil-rich region fell to unprecedented low levels and in some areas drinking water was supplied in plastic cans and bags.

According to economic experts, environmentalists and even state officials, this year Khuzestan will not be alone in this appalling condition. Rural and urban areas across the country are grappling with water shortages and deficits of different levels – the situation is similar if not same in many parts of the globe thanks to climate change, falling precipitation and waste.

Isfahan is one of the provinces gravely affected by water shortage this summer, but somewhat to a lesser extent compared to Khuzestan where the mercury this week has jumped to 50 degrees centigrade.

To draw public attention to this growing nationwide affliction, the staff of Museum of Contemporary Art in Isfahan has filled the large blue pond in the museum yard in a different way: more than a hundred glasses of water are seen glowing in the pond under the unusually hot sun.

Titled “The Museum Personnel,” this is the first conceptual installation art set up at the museum pond.

The empty large pond with small glasses of water scattered in it represents Iran which is suffering from water shortage.

  Extended Problems

Located in arid regions of Iran with minimal annual rainfall, Isfahan has been struggling with drought for seven years, which has resulted in drying up of the famous Zayandehrud River. This in turn has resulted in drought in the Gavkhuni wetlands and other environmental crisis in central parts of the country.

In an interview with ISNA, Mehdi Tamizi, head of the museum, said, “we will not fill the pond with water until the water crisis is over in the country. Instead we will display conceptual works of artists on the subject of water scarcity in this pond whose main function depends on water.”

The museum is accepting works from artists across the country on the subject of water.  

The worsening water scarcity in the southwestern province prompted street protests in Khorramshahr, a county in Khuzestan, last week. They were venting anger mainly over the poor management of water resources, which let salty, sludgy water to flow into the city’s supply network.

To alleviate the crisis in Khuzestan, a water distribution project was launched on Thursday to supply water to 25 cities and 1,600 villages, covering 80% of the oil-rich region. According to available data, close to 4.7 million people lived in the province in 2016.

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