Khaled Ramadan: For the love of air liquid

Water impact on human happiness 

Photography, short film, articles, 2014-

Biologist Wallace J. Nichols published his first book: Blue Mind, The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What you do. 

In his book Nichols’ analyze the emotional, behavioral, psychological and physical connections that keeps humans so mesmerized with water. He studies seas and oceans, lakes and rivers, even swimming pools and urges people to get closer to water if they wishes to change their neurological, psychological and emotional experiences.

Nichols draws on science, art, and narrative as well as plenty of experience, to explain his blue mind in detail. Not just what it is, but how we can enter into this state and, perhaps most important is why we should do so.

In order to know why water is one of our sources of happiness or even a sources of misery for that matter, we need to observe and analyze (perhaps break down) a very complex social science and place it in conjunction to the natural science: human relation to nature and the natural. 

We are shaping nature and nature is changing us, and due to climate change taking place in the world, one of earth prime elements the water is getting scarcer and scarcer yearly at least in some part of the world while in some other parts people suffers from the extra amount of water quantities falling from the sky also pumping from underneath.

In the scenarios of the world’s water bodies, only 3 percent of the water on the earth surface is fresh and drinkable. The 97 percent of the water on earth’s surface is salty. The 3 percent of the fresh water is shared amongst the billions of world’s population.

Water shortage will soon hit cities and towns across the world, and out of many small towns will soon face water problem. Populations are increasing every now and then and in parallel the water problem is also increasing. The industrialization is doing its job but also the greenhouses.

The greenhouse has a direct negative impact, which lead to the climate change that directly affect water sources. In addition the crowded and congested world, the water supply has become scarcer than before and more contaminated. The waste drains from houses complex in most underdeveloped countries are drained out in rivers and the sea. Like is the case with Asia longest river the Mekong River where thousands of people settled together by the riverbank for various purposes. 

In Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh the Mekong River cross the capital and the country. Several thousands families have lived by the riverbank for 4 generations. The river use to be their source of happiness, economical income, social life, ironically and simultaneously it became their source of constant misery.  

Until 1970 the Mekong River has been sources of happiness for all the individuals who lived around it. The river used to contribute to their economy and happiness, but not anymore. Due to mass contamination, over fishing, and water scarcity the river now is a transportation highway.

The in progress research project For the love of air liquid address and document human behavior and relation to water across many countries, from Cuba, to Arabia, to Cambodia and Indonesia. The project is at stage two, and consists of photography a short film and articles.

The project got started during Ramadan's Frontiers residency at HIAP in spring 2014.