Charla con Cafe: 'Reimagining Mexico City's Water System as a Vibrant Assemblage'
Speakers: Jeff Banister, Professor of Geography and Director, Southwest Center, University of Arizona; Stacie Widdifield, Professor of Art, University of Arizona
About the talk: In this talk, we explore Mexico City's waterscape in the context of the current water crisis, typically framed in terms of deficient supply and inadequate infrastructure. The city's variegated and expansive water-control geography is often referred to as a single hydraulic "system" rather than more accurately as a concatenation – an assemblage – of responses to water-control crises over time. We draw from and develop the idea of "assemblage" as a way to imagine, to catch a glimpse of, the capital's vibrant historic waterscapes as they are lived, built, visualized, and archived. We bring the shared visual concerns of art history and cultural geography to examine Chapultepec Park, in which the conjoined Lerma and Xochimilco "systems" simultaneously supply distant potable water to Mexico City and are archived into a museum space.