Cuencas Lab – River Basins as Governance Labs
‘Who designs the territories? And for whom are they designed?’
The River Plate Basin at the heart of Latin America’s Southern Cone is specifically challenging because it has become a laboratory to observe the dynamics of the global food crisis as a result of the large-scale exploitation of resources in this region over the past decades. This situation has brought new geopolitical possibilities and uncertainties to the region.
River Basins as Governance Labs was an extraordinary platform to visualise the basins as new laboratories for trans-border regionalisation and ‘environmental governance.’ Fellow researchers were invited to explore the conflicts and controversies along the proposed itinerary for a twenty day period. The researchers were connected along the basin to produce insights, hold interviews and prepare reports about specific issues in the proposed scenarios, and to take part in meetings with local representatives. The travel team was armed with an FM radio, generating a communicative dynamic by using vacant frequencies and different nodes managed by local organisations during the trip. This created spaces of encounter and dialogue across enclaves and scenarios of the ‘Cuenca del Plata.’
Alejandro Meitin, Silvina Babich (Ala Plástica), Brian Holmes, Sara Lewison (Grupo Compass), Graciela Carnevale (El Levante), Steve Kurtz, Lucia Sommer, Steve Barnes and Melissa Meschler (Critical art Ensemble), Joan Vila Puig (Sitezise), Eduardo Molinari (Plataforma La Dársena), Fabiano Kueva (Centro Experimental Oido Salvaje), Mauricio Corbalán and Pio Torroja (m7red).
Alejandro Meitin, artist, lawyer and founder of the art collective Ala Plastica (1991 – Current) is based in the city of La Plata, Argentina. He has participated in the research, development and implementation of collaborative art practices working with residents, youths, farmers, artists, activists, architects, landscape architects, local authorities and pollution control experts. His collaborations and proposals have involved regional, national and international rivers and water resources.