Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Imperishable water - action with Katerina Anghelaki Rooke in Rhodes 2011


       Katerina Anghelaki Rooke and Haroula Hadijnicolaou


In her poem 'destiny flows', there appears the term 'imperishable water'. Haroula Hadjinicolaou felt so much inspired by this particular poem, that she made it as curator into the motto for the entire action in Rhodes called Biotope of ideas.


Destiny also flows - Katerina Anghelaki Rooke

At dawn the sea turns green like a meadow

and you can see how the imperishable water

views the grass

how it conceives the partiality of the root

the bondage of the fruit.

A forest hour of the liquid element

a leafy moment for the water

and the beloved is planted in the mind

like a weeping concept.

I understand the basic principle

of that which while standing still hits me

while being absolute, flows:

instantaneously the fleeting

face of love is created;

it is in eternal blue

that the rooster snuffs it.

And always the same grief:

Nature asks us with constant blossoming

to confirm the copies of the invisible

while violently pushes us outside form.

My eyes then flow like fountains

as if they had never ceased to flow over him

and as adorned with drops

I emerge from my sorrows,

I don’t forget that under his nameless

skin it is he alone who moves.


From the Collection of Poems 1986 - 96

Katerina Anghelaki Rooke

(Translated by the author)

See also for the Greek version:



'Imperishable water': the role of the concept in the poem by Katerina anghelaki Rooke called 'Destiny also flows'

After one week on the island of Rhodes, we realized that we had not really touched upon the open question of development. Of course, we saw tourist developments which ignored rivers and swept aside natural beaches. And we heard from Nikos Kasseris some of the issues the island faces, such as a lack of planning and no real waste disposal management, while his project of recycling paper high lighted the fact that something can be done.

When walking through Rhodes itself, the imprint of tourism could be seen everywhere, but also how the local inhabitants play with the rules. Despite being a pedesterian zone, they would race through on their motorcycles. They did so always smiling.

In view of this and many other things, it provokes a specific question of development, namely what skills shall be in demand, if only a certain economic activity guarantees some source of income? Especially in a time of crisis, it was noticable that Rhodes experienced in 2011 a near record influx of tourists. Official statistics stated at the end of 2011 that tourism on Rhodes had increased by 35%. The increase of people coming to the island evokes still another question which we posed ourselves: will the water supply suffice if ever more people come yearly to this island? Must there not be imposed one day some limitation?

Also, if it is officially prognosed that the island's population will grow to be around 350 000 by 2020, and this figure was used when constructing the dam, then for sure this projection will justify banks giving loans for new tourist constructions. It is to be feared even more so that without Tina Birbilli, the former Minister for the Environment, the risk increases that construction will also be allowed in protected areas, in particular those of 'natura 2000'. Especially if the crisis does not seem to deepen thoughts about a progressive development towards sustainability, but rather the very opposite is proving to be the case, sustainable development shall never be attained. When looking at what coordination there exists between environmentalists e.g. from WWF, then nothing qualifies really as having a careful planning instrumentarium guide future development. By using up precious land and resources, things shall be ever more jeopardized, in particular wet lands found where rivers enter the sea and where precisely hotels wish to extend the illusion of having sandy beaches available for its guests.

The poetess Katherina Anghelaki Rooke, whose poem was the inspiration for this artistic and reflective action, was startled after listening to our discussions Friday evening, June 3, 2011. Suddenly it had dawned on her, and realized by being with us on Rhodes, that we have all become members of a new 'family', namely a "family of fear." She went on with her reasoning and contemplated, if the earth is no longer a guarantee to be around for eternity, that means no real "immoratlity" can be made out anymore in our imagination once we have been buried.

In consideration of what Katerina Anghelaki Rooke implied when she realized what happens in our imagination once we conceive that the earth shall not be around forever, it seems that we are at risk to lose the art of keeping open the question of development. Only then solutions can be discovered by future generations who have to pick up the pieces and state of affairs we have left behind, in particular with all the damaged nature. In anticipation of such an unknown future, we may want to become much more prudent in our use of the land and of all the resources can give. We would have to prepare already now for a different way of living than what is the case today. We cannot continue simply merely consuming everything, in particular land, water, air and many other precious resources which we need to exist on this earth.

The current failure of development is because the economic system is so much interwoven with a political administration which limits everyone's capacity to live and to enhance his or her talents and qualities as a human being. There are already too many young people who are turning their backs on Greece and its wonderful islands. Like a cultural desertification going on, the land and its water is being treated as if no one cares to what extent this is already threatening to both present and future life. By entering a biotop of ideas created by an action like this one, people should be brought together so that they can be more open to one another, in order to change together the course and thereby make sustainable development happen.

Hatto Fischer

The above text is part of the essay on The open question of development written in reflection of the action on Rhodes 2011 called Biotope of ideas

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