Getting the Water Right

The culture and politics of the water in the Everglades

Exhibition Website

Oct 26 2016 - Feb 4 2017

“Getting the Water Right” is the motto and goal of Everglades restoration. The development of South
Florida’s coastal communities and agriculture has reduced the Everglades in size by half. Now, the
ecosystem is at risk, threatening the region’s water supply, scientifically - and internationally - recognized
subtropical wetlands, and the water rights and ways of life of indigenous and nonindigenous peoples. This exhibition follows water to show how the world’s costliest ecosystems restoration initiative is as much a social and cultural project as a scientific one.

Increasingly, scientists and public commentators refer to the present time as the “Anthropocene,” or “human epoch,” in acknowledgment of people’s profound impact at all levels of earthly existence. Combining photographic and anthropological perspectives, Getting the Water Right tells the human story of the iconic Florida Everglades. In doing so, photographer Adam Nadel and anthropologist Jessica Cattelino explore pressing issues in the interplay of human with non-human life. These include the differential costs to human communities of ecological destruction and restoration alike, the difficulty of defining what is “natural,” and the challenges posed to prevailing views of wilderness by historical change and the migration of peoples and other species. People and wilderness often are depicted as opposed in visual media and public discourse; instead, Getting the Water Right explores the complex ways that nature is social and humans are part of nature, and it shows why understanding them as such is necessary for human and non-human flourishing.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

  • Photography
  • American
  • Contemporary
  • Political / Satire / Documentary
  • Adam Nadel
  • Jessica Cattelino

Exhibition Venues & Dates