Creating utensils to transport, store and filter water using local knowledge, skills and raw materials.
The Pote Residency looks at Cape Verde’s insular and climatic condition as well as its unique relationship with land and water. It focused on the material culture resulting from this ambiguous relationship, which is vital for the permanence on the islands.
We started from a memory and experience of the place: what was learned from insularity and the scarcity of water? What was and is done to store, transport and consume water? What particular meanings have emerged from this experience? And what can we learn about resilience, creativity and material intelligence from the Cape Verdean condition? We ask these questions in order to address the present and imagine a future, with particular attention to ecological, social and economic conditions. With this approach we challenged the industrialization and privatisation of water access which turns the consumption of an essential good into an ongoing ecological disaster. In this way we position design and arts as responsible agents in the creation of a more conscious material culture.
We rehearsed responses for different contemporary contexts and proposed contemporary ways to transport, store, filter and drink water. All this was done through collaboration, sharing of knowledge and know-how, while using only indigenous raw materials. On the islands of São Vicente, Santo Antão and Santiago, we mapped and geo-referenced the clay pits, analysed the collected clay and, in addition to the various types of containers developed, we devised ways of self-producing filters with clay and other elements such as activated carbon, basalt sand or pozzolan. The research, mapping and product proposals were presented as an exhibition during URDI 21, the national craft and design event in Cabo Verde).