By Laurie Moberg, Editor
Over two years ago, before the global pandemic upended our lives, Open Rivers started talking with Professor Mary Modeen, an artist, academic, and convener based at the University of Dundee in Scotland whose work, creativity, and generosity have created an international network of collaborators doing place-based work. For this issue of Open Rivers, Modeen stretches the journal toward international perspectives on the meaning of rivers. This collection of artwork and reflections, place-based engagements and community-driven actions demonstrates exactly that—the meaning of rivers to so many people in so many different places—through stunning exhibits and galleries, lyrical prose, and reflections on waters in place.
In her introduction, Modeen begins by welcoming us, drawing us together from our scattered places in watersheds around the world to share with us the river that shapes her place. She gathers us as readers just as she gathered the many contributions to this issue, connecting artists, scholars, writers, and practitioners from across the globe to bring their stories together in this striking issue of Open Rivers. The international community of authors Modeen assembles in this issue is even more impressive and even more critical given the challenges of the past two years. Relying on digital communications and overcoming time differences, this issue of Open Rivers creates a space for these authors to share their places and for readers to find connection in the commonalities and differences of our waterways.
Modeen also suggests that we all have our own storied places to share. In that spirit, allow me to introduce my place and the home of Open Rivers. I come to this issue from Minnesota, with snow falling outside as the Mississippi River courses through the gorge just a short walk to the west; I come to this issue from Mni Sota Makočhe, Dakota land. From this place, I encounter the Tay and the rivers of Ilhabela, the Bow and Elbow, the Tweed and the Yangdeng and so many other locations in this issue as these stories draw me into a space for contemplation and beauty. Together, the articles in this issue provoke us to consider not only how humans make meaning with rivers, but how rivers themselves might make their own meanings. These global authors and rivers demonstrate that by understanding other places we might better understand our own. Enjoy.
Moberg, Laurie. 2022. “Introduction to Issue Twenty.” Open Rivers: Rethinking Water, Place & Community, no. 20. https://editions.lib.umn.edu/openrivers/article/introduction-to-issue-twenty/.
Download PDF of Introduction to Issue Twenty by Laurie Moberg, Editor.