Rivers in the spotlight in 2022
From my source at a 2,300 m altitude, I cross Switzerland and France for 815 km before flowing into the Mediterranean. Human beings have always tried to tame me and to take advantage of my many resources. But my power is starting to wane: it’s high time to start taking care of me.
I, THE RHONE…
I, the Rhone – by Erik Orsenna, writer and member of the Académie Française
“- I’m in a rush and can’t stay.” “-Why are you in such a hurry?” “-I’ve heavy loads to carry but I I feel I’m weakening. I’m alone and I’m afraid but I continue to give my heart, without counting.”
“I can draw a parallel: the Rhone, this great injured being, and me, so small next to the water, with the same challenges to take up.”
Jean-Louis Michelot, geographer and naturalist, Atelier des Confins
“One speaks of eternal ice, but’s it’s clear to us that it’s not eternal for the Rhone.”
Dr Matthias Huss, glaciologist, ETH Zürich
I cross Guinea, Mali, Mauritania and finally Senegal. I am the thread of life between these countries of the Sahel and a precious resource for the food and energy security of the populations who count on me. What’s more, I am a factor of peace in this region, although climate change exhausts me.
I, THE SENEGAL RIVER
I, the Senegal River – by Baaba Maal, Senegalese singer and songwriter
” I’m not a border, I’m a link, a ribbon of silt. “
“You only have to listen to the noise the river makes, its movements, it has its own song.”
Ablaye Cissoko, composer, singer and kora player
“This noise that the river makes, I hear it with great pleasure. Let’s say it reminds me that I’m useful at doing something.”
Amada Chéibani Aw, a technician at Diama dam.
Third largest river of North America, I stretch 1,197 km from the United States to Canada, passing through the cities of Montreal and Quebec. Besides being a major trade route, I am also a vital source of energy and a home to a large biodiversity. Even though I hold a quarter of the planet’s surface freshwater resources, I suffer from a catastrophic pollution.
I, THE SAINT LAWRENCE
I, the St. Lawrence River, by Lyne Morissette, oceanographer and marine biology researcher
“My shores spread out in giant’s wings. Did they need courage for Cartier’s children to dare to navigate in my powerful currents”.
“It’s important to be aware that the water one throws away is someone else’s drinking water. […] Our drinking water was someone else’s wastewater before.”
Professor Vivianne Yargeau, Director of the Chemical Engineering Department, McGill University.
“The Saint Lawrence is energy: if you’re lacking energy, you go to the river.” – Robert Roy, painter, member of the group “the Painters of the Saint Lawrence”.
Robert Roy, painter, collective member of « les peintres du Saint-Laurent »