Posted by: waterworks | September 24, 2008

38. Dirty water

An effective new consciousness-raising short film courtesy of World Vision defibrillates our geographical imagination by showing what life would be like if nice people living in clean countries still had dirty tap water.  It’s a memorable little vignette, a reminder of what drinking supplies looked like – even for the rich – in Nineteenth Century London (before Joseph Bazalgette’s sterling sewer work ended the city’s dependency on a closed water cycle wherein the Thames served simultaneously as both an open sewer and as the principal source of drinking water).


A postcolonial dissertation could easily be written about the unabandoned dance of dirty water across unblemished white faces that features so prominently in this film (the sprinkler moment is especially arresting).  But the factual lesson learned – that over one billion people worldwide continue to tolerate water of such unacceptably low quality on a daily basis and for all their needs – is salutary nonetheless.  

Watch the short film here.

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