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Institute of Advanced Study

UK Launch of Black River Business

(13 April 2011)

Black River Business

Black River Business

On 19 April 2011, the IAS will be hosting the UK launch of 'Black River Business', a film produced by Indian documentary film-maker, Sudheer Gupta.   A film about the decline of the River Yamuna in Dehli, Gupta - who was an IAS Fellow at the end of 2009 as part of the Institute's year long focus on Water - explores how, as a result of rapid development in India and its associated waste, the river has slowly turned black.

Not only is this pollution slowly killing the river, it is also affecting the spiritual and cultural practices of those who live on the banks of the river.

However, in contrast to the current fate of the River Yamuna, Gupta spent his three month Fellowship at Durham filming rivers in the North-East of England capturing, in particular, the regeneration of the River Tyne following centuries of  pollution from the heavy industries built on her banks.  The juxtaposition of rivers Tyne, Tees and Wear and the River Yamuna is telling - Gupta sees this film as being about globally interconnected water, shared histories of clean rivers becoming polluted, and working industrial rivers coming alive.

To coincide with the launch of Black River Busiess, the IAS is also releasing a position statement from its international workshop on Global Water Regulation, an event organised in collaboration with Northumbrian Water and Newcastle University.   Called 'The Water Needs of the World's Poor', it was written by Prof Ash Amin, Executive Director of the IAS, and Prof Esteban Castro, of Newcastle University.

Prof Amin said: "The paper's central message is that the world's clean water supply problem can be sorted out.

"It's not a technical problem but a political one. It's one which requires that we don't treat clean water as a commodity when it comes to meeting the needs of the poor, but as a public good. The situation has been further aggravated by the global financial crisis but it can be overcome."

The screening of Black River Business is taking place on 19 April 2011, at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle.  The event is free to attend but registration is essential (to register for your free ticket visit the website below).

The position paper 'The Water Needs of the World's Poor' can be downloaded from the Global Water Regulation Workshop website.