Julia Lazarus

Quelle: Julia Lazarus

Conditions of drought – Investigating the many levels of water

The project will take a closer look at the many levels of water in Brandenburg. In the past years the area state around Berlin has experienced repeated periods of drought. The rising temperatures and lack of rainfall were exacerbated by Brandenburg's sandy soils, which have always posed a challenge for farmers. In some areas the groundwater level has since fallen so low, that salty deep water reaches the surface. A phenomenon partly due to climate change, but also to the large-scale renaturation projects in the nearby former mining areas and to the countries geological history. And scientists are predicting even fewer rainy days and much higher temperatures in the future, which will further reduce the water level in the region.

The matter of water is not easy to pin down. In between its three aggregate states, water is constantly moving, it is inside and outside of us and is able to cross all borders. All living creatures depend on water, which makes it an extremely valuable commodity, especially when it becomes scarce. Yet it is currently one of the few remaining natural resources, that has not yet been fully capitalized. Instead, in most countries water is largely treated as a common good and it is the task of the municipalities to distribute the water fairly and – contrary to the principles of the market economy – at an affordable price to everyone.

In the framework of the research project “Conditions of drought – Investigating the many levels of water” Julia Lazarus will take a look at how the municipalities in the region aim to solve the water issues. Fragments of the Political debates as well as the personal stories of people and farmers living of the land, will be interwoven with the statements of scientists who are apt to propose solutions to the issue, but are unable to foresee, which ones will be applied. But the main protagonist of the video work will be the water itself. More precisely, the large body of groundwater that lies beneath everyone and is coveted by all.

Julia Lazarus is an artist, film maker and curator based in Berlin. She studied at the University of Arts, Berlin and at the California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles. Her films and video installations have been on display at film festivals and in exhibitions, most recently at the Design Museum London, KINDL Center for Contemporary Art Berlin, Kunstraum Kreuzberg Bethanien Berlin, Angels Barcelona, DEPO Istanbul, NGBK Berlin, Manifesta 8 Murcia, rencontres international Paris/Berlin/Madrid, Globale Berlin, Rotterdam Filmfestival, Diagonale Graz, Istanbul Filmfestival, Kasseler Dok-Fest. Her films are in distribution at sixpackfilm Vienna and e-flux, New York. She has been teaching at Leuphana University, HGB Leipzig, UDK Berlin, Merz Akademie Stuttgart and TU Berlin. She is a founding member of the Radical Film Network Meeting Berlin. Currently, she is a postgraduate fellow at the Berlin Centre for Advanced Studies in Arts and Sciences at the Berlin University of the Arts.