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HUMAN RIGHTS I European Parliament, Brussels I 2022


    What is the most important human rights?
    For me personally the answer is obvious. The most important thing I talk about in my work is the right to access to clean water.
    In the project “Imagine A World Without Water” I spoke about it since 2016

    The access to clean water for all living humans is the basis Human Right.

    In July 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution recognizing that – the right to safe, clean, safe drinking water and sanitation is an indispensable right to enjoy life and human rights to the full – (A / RES / 64/292 of July 28, 2010).

    The European Pillar of Social Rights proclaimed by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on 17/11/2017 foresees an explicit reference to the right of citizens to water and sanitation under principle 20 – “Access to essential services”.

    Furthermore, the problem of access to water was the first European Citizens’ Initiative having gathered the required number of signatories. The name of it was Right2Water. It was submitted to the Commission on 20/12/2013:

    2022 is a special year – we can all see how threatened Europe’s energy security is. All of us will be affected by the unprecedented increase in energy prices. The consequences will be very serious. This could have been avoided by timely political decisions and increasing independence from single source supplies.

    At the same time, in 2022, severe droughts caused water shortages in many EU countries. So far, the main response to this crisis has been only a temporary reduction in the supply of water for economic purposes. Drinking water is still flowing from the taps in our homes, the toilets are still working, the prices have not increased significantly. Due to climate change, however, this problem will increase in the coming years. What if we do not create a mechanism to shield EU citizens from the long-term effects of this process?

    I would like to find the answer to this question in my artistic action, which I will carry out in the building of the European Parliament as part of your artistic initiative. In order to get our representatives to think and act, I would like them to feel the effects of a possible water crisis on their own skin. On the agreed day, the day of the plenary session, during the busiest hours, I would like to completely close the water in all parliamentary buildings for 4 hours. The action must cover all restrooms, restaurants, cafes, offices and any water abstraction points for human use. Of course, water must be available for critical building infrastructure, e.g. in fire protection installations.

    A few days earlier, messages saying “Imagine A World Without Water” will appear in toilets, restaurants and in the aisles. These will be stickers, posters, monitors, or even text messages.

    Details of the project are to be discussed in detail. It is a complicated logistics operation that requires a group of motivated volunteers. The project budget must possibly include compensation to restaurants and cafes for losses caused by the action. There must be cisterns in front of the building from which drinking water can be drawn. Prices for bottled water available in restaurants must increase during these hours, e.g. fivefold. And so on.

    The implementation of the project is likely to cause outrage and protests from parliamentarians and employees. I believe it will work to our advantage and will raise the profile of the project, even in the mainstream media and internationally. We must also be prepared to respond to what we want to achieve by implementing such an action. The answer to this will most likely be a detailed analysis of the documents created in connection with the Right2Water initiative. To what extent have the solutions proposed at that time been implemented? In the event of extreme drought on land, do we have alternative sources – for example, means for desalinating sea water? Should we increase our efforts in this direction now, not waiting for a repeat of the situation in the energy market (single source dependency)?