Our Water Project

We, Dr. Jeffrey M. Banister (Assistant Research Social Scientist and Assistant Editor at the Southwest Center; Assistant Professor in the School of Geography and Development, SBS, University of Arizona) and Dr. Stacie G. Widdifield (Professor of Art History in the School of Art, CFA and Affiliated Faculty, Latin American Studies, University of Arizona) are collaborating on a project about the visual and spatial history of Mexico City’s first modern water supply, ca. 1900-1914.  This network is known as the Xochimilco Potable Water Supply Works (Las Obras de Provisión de las Aguas de Xochimilco). With its ornate and monumental structures above ground and its state of the art engineering below, as well as a corpus of documentary photographs, the Obras knit Mexico City to its water-rich hinterland to the south in Xochimilco and was an expression of emerging  conceptions of water or, as contemporary scholars call it “modern water.” The project came out of a  2011 focus group on The Representation of Air and Water in Mexico, funded by a University of Arizona Confluencenter Faculty Collaboration and Innovation Grant. We are continuing our research with a 2014-2015 American Council of Learned Societies Collaborative Research Fellowship.