Memory of Water is an artist-led project that explores the impact artists can have on post-industrial waterfront heritage in terms of urban planning and community development.

A highly successful City Lab event initially took place at the end of November in Ostend, Belgium, where objectives and strategies were discussed, and presentations from artists and planners were given. Between 29 January and 2 February, the first of three artist residencies will be held in Levadia, Greece. Memory of Water partners from Sweden, Scotland, Poland, Belgium and Ireland will be hosted by their Greek counterparts to exchange and generate creative approaches to post-industrial waterfront sites. Over the five days, there will be an intensive, diverse programme of presentations, discussions, site visits, workshops and interactions with various institutions and local bodies.

The Levadia residency will start with a meet-and-greet between organisers and artists with Mayor Giota Poulou, organiser Andreas Stamatakis, historian Vassias Tsokopoulos, and artist Rafika Chawishe. Chawishe, recently commissioned by the NEON foundation to create a new media installation performance,is the lead Memory of Waterartist for Greece.

Presentations will be made by local interest groups and communities including the Refugee Program of Relocation, and the LEVADRO local activist group. A ‘discovering the river’ event will take place with geographer and biologist Dr. Stamatis Zoggaris. Historian Tsokopoulos will present ‘Industrialisation of Levadia’, discussing industry as an element of European history, as well as trade, exchange and transport.

A workshop led by local artists will look at narratives on the position of women in our cities, and a performance will explore traditional myths of River Erkina. Dimitris Danias, president of Viotia livestock farming, will lead a visit to a local farm with Dimitris Zanias (via Skype, former artist-in-residence there). Following this, a presentation will take place on indigenous and rare flora and fauna. Mayor Poulou will look at the city’s and river’s regeneration process as well as public policy, with municipal architects and urban planners. There will be a ‘Walkabout’ event, visiting abandoned buildings and sites with LEVADRO activists and the street art community. These and other events and interactions, taking place across this and future residencies and Labs, will enable Memory of Water artists, organisers and project partners to develop and support plans and strategies for waterside cultures and environments.

The findings from Memory of Water will reach out locally, nationally and internationally, exploring and challenging histories and futures of industry and waterfronts through artist and community-led discussions.

Download the press release in full here, and the short version here.