The Un Litro de Agua project aims to establish and support dialogue between Colombian and New Zealand artists and the wider public through a series of collaborative arts events.

Un Litro de Agua was initiated by New Zealand artists Ana Terry and Don Hunter (Number 8 Collective) during their residency in Casa Tres Patios, Medellín, Columbia in 2012.

The project facilitates discussion and critical thinking around sustainable water practices through workshops, exhibitions, urban interventions and platforms for public participation and dialogue.

Un Litro de Agua (“One Litre of Water”) explores different social and environmental cultures around water, and its place in our collective memory. The emphasis of the project is river rejuvenation, exploring social and environmental linkages and differences between waterways in Medellín, Columbia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

The project is currently in process. The first phase of Un Litro de Agua was a curated exhibition of New Zealand artist’s work exploring various aspects of the thematic of water, with an emphasis on developing dialogue between Columbian and New Zealand artists.

The Number 8 Collective has also run community workshops – digital and non digital – working with NGO’s Mi Sangria, Casa Tres Patios and several youth groups at Communa Trese (Community Thirteen).

Although sustainability was the initial focal point of Un Litro de Agua,  much of the workshop process relied on negotiating cultural borders – emphasising the very foundation to sustainable practice being the collective agreement of different cultures and people to work together.

Workshop with Comuna Trece where participants put together their own stop motion films about the project’s theme

These borders included the Collective’s position as foriegners or “gringos”, and borders between families within Medellín’s communities – an effect of over 20 years of drug gang violence resulting in displacement and constantly shifting hierarchies between gangs and their associated families.

The Number 8 Collective have also set up a Blog about the Un Litro de Agua project, including discussion and updates about New Zealand and Columbian rivers and waterways. Rio de Medellín, running through the city of Medellin, has had a considerable injection of resources over the last decade in an attempt to return the rover to a health state and changes attitudes around its use, while New Zealand has comparable histories around river rejuvenation and river resource allocation.

The Un Litro de Agua blog is updated regularly and the Collective has a combined exhibition of Columbian and New Zealand artists planned for 2013.

Ana Terry and Don Hunter formed the Number 8 Collective in 2010 as a way to formalise the pair’s growing collaborative partnership and develop their emerging curatorial practices. The name is a reference to number 8 fencing wire – a symbol of the quintessential kiwi improvisational approach.

The underlying aim of the Number 8 Collective is to provide platforms initiating and facilitating discussion of contemporary issues between artists and the wider community.

Casa Tres Patios is an arts-led NGO based in Medellín, Columbia founded in 2006 with an emphasis on teaching, research and the creation of links between artists, public institutions and other national and international independent spaces.