Bridging Waters


Who is behind this?

Christiane Wittenborn



Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

Bridging Waters is a Pan-European conversation on transforming water habitats.

Locals creating postcards as contemporary witnesses on:
Albania’s Vjosa, Europe’s last wild river threatened of destruction and Germany’s Emscher, once very polluted now being re-naturalised.

Where will your idea take place?

Essen, Germany, Permet, Albania

Why does Europe need your idea?

In the last 50 years many European countries underwent radical structural transformations. Nature was not regarded as profitable. In Germany, recent efforts are made to reverse the former destruction of its environment. In Albania, a developing country, about 50% of the population live in rural areas. Nature is essential to them as it is their source of income. Our project examines development through local communities’ handling of nature in countries that are miles apart. We aim to establish partnerships between Germany and Albania that cross generational, linguistic and cultural boundaries. We will facilitate positive change through art, creativity and shared experience. Rivers connect!Bridging Waters is an creative example of social and cultural cohesion.

What is your impact?

We aim to contribute to a conscious dealing with nature by participatory action of local people. Healthy rivers are precious and unique - tangible. And so are our postcards as records of contemporary witnesses.
The project will bring together two different European regions and contribute to sharing experiences and culture. It will be designed as a participatory platform for local people to get involved and make their voices heard. The environment and local culture are two areas where participants can influence the local government.After a year, the participants will be able to relate their knowledge to a different region in Europe through direct communication.
The aim of this project is a long-lasting environmental cross- boarder collaboration between the Vjosa and the Emscher region.

How do you get there?

- Summer 2015: selecting participants via open call from the Vjosa region and the Emscher region.
- 4-days workshops with 25 participants
/workshop.1st workshop-Permet (Albania): photographic concept guidance to transmit experiences in pictures.Photos, printed as postcards, participants share personal stories related to their environment.The workshop will strenghten participants’ observational and visual communication skills.
/2nd workshop Essen (Germany): Each participant will receive a postcard from Albania by random choice as a starting point to create a new series of postcards.They will send their postcards to their Albanian penfriends by post.
- The friendship will be printed as a postcard book.
- Permanent postcard exhibitions along the shores of both rivers.

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?


What makes your idea stand apart?


€ 46690,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 49990,-

Total budget

Major expenses


What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

We will share the outcomes of our project with different communities in Albania and Germany. Further we will work with a network of local NGOs to participate in our cultural dialogue. Any suggestions concerning improvement are most welcome.



Idea created on April 13, 2015
Last edit on Oct. 30, 2017

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