Words4Water was initiated as a project in 2013 by Australian based interdisciplinary artist Dr Tracey M Benson as a response to the ecological decline of river systems in Australia and beyond.

Words4Water explores a diversity of languages, including Indigenous Australian languages as a starting point to evoke a connection to water as the sustaining element of all life.

Embedded in Indigenous knowledge is an acute understanding and connection to the relationship between body, environment (site) and identity, This project seeks to (re)awaken this connection more broadly across cultures, disciplines and practices.

Water makes up over 70 per cent of the human body, it is essential for sustaining life and has massive social and cultural significance. Water may seem ubiquitous, but it has some rather uncommon properties. At the atomic level, water can influence how life and landscapes are formed, such as how water moves through a plant and how rivers meander around bends. It is also the only chemical that be formed in three states – vapour, liquid and solid.

This project uses a range of mixed reality media approaches  – the use of augmented media to ‘trigger’ sound and video, the development of a smart phone/tablet app, gallery and installation based exhibitions and a projection work that bring together this project in a filmic, linear narrative.

The original post is located on the Geokult Blog. Words4Water is an exploration into the many aspects of the chemical of H2O.

On 2 June 2013 a call was made to Tracey’s networks on Facebook to share what their words for water were.
These were the responses:

Gapu: Yolgnu, Kapi: Pitjanjatjara, Gugu: Wubuy, Air: Bahasa Indonesian, Wair: Bahasa Sikka, Wada: Myla, Voda: Russian, Sui: Cantonese, Water: English, Aqua: Latin, Eau: French, Ma: Arabic, Agua: Spanish/Portuguese, Wasser: German, Wai: Māori, Galin: Wiradjuri, Wala: Yorta Yorta, Su: Turkish, Tubig: Filipino, Vann: Norwegian, Uisce: Irish Gaelic, Ilma: Maltese, Vand: Danish, Vatten: Swedish, Banyu: Javanese, Vesi: Estonian, Auga: Galician, Ouse: Old English, Av: Kurdish, Neró: Greek, Dŵr: Welsh, Shuǐ: Chinese Traditional, Pānī: Hindi, Ujë: Albanian, Jur: Armenian, Ur: Basque, Jala: Bengali, Vode: Bosnian, Aigua: Catalan, Akvo: Esperanto, Tsqlis: Georgian, Víz: Hungarian, Vatn; Icelandic, Mmiri: Igbo, Nīrina: Kannada, Tuk: Kymer, Mul: Korean, Noa: Lao, ūdens: Latvian, Vandens: Lithuanian, Yc: Mongolian, Woda: Polish, Apă: Romanian, Biyo: Somali, Maji – Swahili, Taṇṇīr: Tamil, Nīṭi: Tegulu, N̂ả: Thai, Nước: Vietnamese, Omi: Yoruba, Amanzi: Zulu Thank you so much to everyone who contributed!!

Project progress
Words for water is seen as an ever expanding project, allowing for infinite expansion of words, thoughts and stories related to water. Post from https://traceybenson.com/2014/08/12/words-for-water/

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