INTRODUCTION to EWACC (Energy, Water and Climate Change in the Mediterranean):

The region encompassing the Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa (MENA), with a combined population of approximately 500 million people, is characterized by strong environmental gradients, climate extremes and diverse economic, social and cultural identities.

Current and future pressures on the MENA region, including the adverse impacts of climate change, major challenges in energy and food security, threats to environmental integrity, as well as decreasing availability of fresh water are anticipated. Moreover, the growing demand on resources and resource degradation, urbanization and globalization, cause unprecedented challenges for humanity.

For the EWACC 2015 Building Bridges Conference, The Cyprus Institute brought together a broad range of expertise – distinguished scientists from various research fields and communities, the private sector, primary stakeholders, policy makers and high-level officials, funding agencies, to foster sustainable development by broadening and deepening the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue.

Rapidly increasing multiple pressures on water, energy and food security drive social-ecological systems towards critical thresholds in countries of the MENA area, and Science and Technology, as key determinants for economic growth and societal well-being, are crucial to help finding sustainable solutions in a region with limited resources.

ACTIVATE talk and presentation The Role of the Activist-Artist in Building Bridges between Art, Science and Politics::

“Alongside the powerful momentum in the scientific community fueling the call for immediate global environmental action,
is a parallel and vocal force within our contemporary art world. Given the severity and scale of the world’s existing and anticipated problems,
the genre of activist art is progressively broadening its scope and its mandate.
In light of the unprecedented challenges faced by humanity today, the effort and work of artists around the world actively addressing today’s pressing issues, is increasingly being regarded both as an inspiration, and as a effective global platform to help strengthen the way toward change...”
— Melina Nicolaides

For the EWACC Building Bridges Conference 2015 talk and presentation, images and a short video from the Politics of Water exhibition was screened to illustrate the work of activist-artists around the world in relation to the world's water crisis. This exhibit, the latest edition of an ongoing water project initiated by Seoul-based curator Hyewon Lee, professor at Daejin University, debuted in Seoul in 2014, and demonstrates the direct connection of the multiple global water crises to current social, environmental, and political issues.