Hydrocitizenship is a three-year research project running from 2014-2017, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council with the aim to explore and articulate the transforming relationship between communities and water in the contemporary environment.
The project is conducted across four case study sites in the UK and is composed of 15 researchers from 9 universities in partnership with arts practitioners and community groups to conduct participatory research practices which will be determined by a mixed methodology including direct on-site experience, consultation and local collaborative working.
The case study sites are:
- Borth, Mid Wales (Cymerau) for which the partnership is between Bangor University, Bath Spa University and an extremely pro-active local community.
- For ‘Water City Bristol’, the partnership is composed of researchers from Bath Spa University, Bristol University, University of West England with specialist consultants Antony Lyons and Iain Biggs.
- ‘Multi-Story Water’ is a celebration of Shipley in Yorkshire and its waterways and the team is drawn from Manchester University, University of Leeds, Newcastle University, University of West England and local activists and consultants.
- The Lea Valley partnership is composed of team members from University of Brighton, and Middlesex University London.
My role in this project has been as a consultant and since I had scant knowledge of the complexities of the river and how the relationship with the communities it passes through from source to confluence with the Thames, I considered the best way to gain insight would be to walk its course and record and reflect upon what I discovered. The outcome of this is a text with the working title ‘Walking Narratives of the River Lee’, which is at present a work in progress on the Hydrocitizenship website, with the expectation that it will be complete before the Summer of 2017.