Our Story

We live in a city that is shaped by water, we share space with this entity that is sacred, neglected, resource and sewage carrier all at once! How can we keep quiet about the water bodies in Chennai? Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Chennai was keen on approaching this vast idea from another perspective, as a cultural institute we saw the need for a layered, transversal approach and above all to create a new dialogue on water in urban spaces. This, in a nutshell is the origin story of Embrace Our Rivers.

Water Crisis is not a problem to be solved by technical experts and the government alone. We are listening to what a musician, a fisherman or a policy maker has to say! Educators, Artists, Lawyers, Poets, Architects, Musicians, Stake-holders, Activists, Bureaucrats, Engineers, Students and Citizens – in other words a truly diverse group of people came together to evolve this new dialogue. Embrace Our Rivers is an ongoing effort with several innovative projects running concurrently, each one trying to be as multi-disciplinary and as participative as possible.

Here is what the director of the Goethe-Institut Chennai, Helmut Schippert has to say about embracing our rivers.