Sacred Water






‘The beautiful thing about Nepal is that the myths are alive and woven into the daily fabrics of life, sometimes frustratingly against the grain of science and modern progress: other times preserving tangible and intangible things more precious than development.’ – Lena Bui

‘Sacred Water’ explored people’s relationship with water usage from ancient fountains around the Kathmandu Valley and typhoid fever risk. Through art and media, we strived to build understanding between communities at risk and medical workers.

The project was developed based on research on endemic urban typhoid transmission at the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit Nepal at Patan Hospital, Kathmandu, Nepal. Lena Bui, in collaboration with the Community Medical Assistants from OUCRU Nepal and local artists from the Bikalpa Art Centre, created a short film on the usage and maintenance of the ancient fountains and develop an art workshop for residents to express their relationship with water and water shortages.

Building on the established relationship between Community Medical Assistants (CMAs) and local patients, we visited and filmed people in their homes and captured their activities surrounding the fountains. With the local artists from the Bikalpa Art Centre, we will develop an art workshop for people to express their relationship with water and water shortage. By weaving together visual elements drawn from scientific research and those from people’s imaginations we hoped to gain some understanding of the discrepancies between science and real-life practice. This in turn would provide continuing dialogue between the medical officers and local people, and contribute to ongoing efforts to improve sanitary conditions.

The project culminated in a short film screening for the public and medical officers, as well as an exhibition at the Bikalpa Art Centre.

Key Milestones / Activities

Screening video

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