Hydracity 2021

Hydracity brings artists and public together to investigate London’s watery network, the interlocking ideas & currents that flow in/out the Thames; with new artistic commissions, exhibitions, festival, and participatory workshops. We focus on collective co-creation through on the ground mapping, ecology, the environment and placemaking; creating a network of alternative histories for our watery commons that invite audiences to collaborate in re-imagining the city as a fluid ecosystem, by exploring: other narratives for places, people, landscape within Thames Valley; novel ways to experience together and understand the city’s waterways; complex ecosystems of cohabiting/cooperating; our own body as watery ecosystem within wider watery commons – in the merging of solidity and fluidity; water as a regenerative resource for shifting times. All activities reflect something of the hydra-like city, whose legendary regenerative ability offers overlapping narratives for this complex watery network.

Hydracity 2021 is an ambitious, timely, transformational programme of work, linked to a novel programme of co-creation, open workshops & public engagement. The activity is delivered by a wide range of artists, artist collectives & multidisciplinary partners across London. along the Thames and out into the Estuary. Hydracity re-imagines the city’s river system as one organism with a slow-motion evolution like a hydra’s looping locomotion; in geological time the estuary extends and retracts according to prevailing conditions. By reimagining the city as space of water, we track the nature of the radical changes, wrought on the Valley’s watery arteries and create other future visions, other liquid states, other understandings.

During 2021, Hydrodetours creates a series of novel walking workshops for the public to join IL’s on the ground mapping, exchanging and sharing knowledge and histories. The events, performances and walks in September 2021 located in the landscape, on waterways, online and within safe venues, will explore current issues of climate change, environmental protection & the ongoing ecological challenges. The project employs forms of alternative/collective practice, with artists working with local communities, groups and partners to explore watery commons’ rich and often overlooked stories, bringing new audiences to a deeper understanding of Thames Valley ecosystem.

For Hydracity we are partnering with artists, artist groups and other festivals to create unique set of watery commons walks with parallel online experiences – launching walks during Estuary 2021, T100 and Totally Thames. All walks are new commissions delivered and supported by volunteers and artist associates.

Hydrodetours Launch as part of Estuary 2021 Associated Programme: see here