Let's talk about water: South to North

Following the steps of the Nan Shui Bei Diao – South to North Water Transfer – the world’s largest water transfer project, stretching between southern and northern China.

You could wonder if man has gone mad, or that the rationality of engineers just shows pragmatic brilliance. Stretching thousands of miles, the South-North Water Transfer Project in China is unmatched. First envisioned by Mao in the fifties, it will take some 50 more years to finish. The idea is straightforward: the north of the country is arid, deserts are growing where a people need to live. The south has huge rivers and an abundance of water. By bringing the subsequent megaproject to fruition the State shows the extent of its power. In the ever-changing redesigned landscapes, we see rivers leaving their beds and deserts becoming forests. Visual artist Antoine Boutet is fascinated by these ‘political landscapes’ –in which he also discovers people, who hesitantly start raising their voices– and a great observer of the (lost) connection between man and its habitat.

Are there the limits to the engineered environment?