The Artdog Quote of the Week
The Artdog Image(s) of Interest
During “Social Justice February” I’ve been looking at innovative ways to deliver safe, clean, affordable water to populations that need it.
The United Nations recognizes access to good water as a basic human right–and it isn’t only in developing nations where it’s a problem.
Remember Flint, MI, where problems with lead contamination in the water will unfortunately continue to be an issue for several more years.
Providing good water in times of disaster is a particular challenge, and that was the spur for innovation that created the Cycloclean, a product of the Nippon Basic Co., Ltd. It’s a kinetic water-purifier mounted on a bicycle.
How does it work? Well, first of all, it can go anywhere you can ride (or push) a bicycle, so it’s pretty portable. It uses no gasoline or other fuel (except pedal-power), so it’s entirely eco-friendly (though possibly not so leg-friendly).
Park it next to a water source, insert the hose, then prop up the bike on its stand (one website called them the bike’s “crutches,”) and hop on for some vigorous pedaling.
This pumps the water up the hose, into the purification filters, and out to whatever catch-vessel you have–cans, jars, or maybe one of last week’s Hippo Water Rollers.
The biggest drawback to the Cycloclean right now is its price. Though it varies from country to country, it costs several thousand dollars for one unit. So far, the main customers have been local Japanese governments, especially in mountain villages. But the company also has been expanding into Bangladesh and elsewhere, and prices are coming down.
IMAGES: Many thanks to InfoHeaps, for the photo of Katsuura on the Cycloclean and the “Simple Overview” diagram. The close-up of the filters on the bike is courtesy of The Rakyat Post, via BaikBike, and the side-view of the bike with the unit mounted on it is from the Leonard J Kovar’s Self Sufficiency Off-the-Grid Survival post “Cool Water Purification Gadgets,” which also features the LifeStraw. Thanks very much to all!
I’ve been wanting to round out my mid-week “Social Justice February” posts with art–and I’ve found the perfect “poster man” for the topic. He is Ricardo Levins Morales. You may find that you recognize his work, but even if you don’t I hope you enjoy it.
|Trayvon Martin-Ella Baker
I had seen this image before, but never knew who the artist was.
Posters have a long history in art. They haven’t always been appreciated for the art form they are, of course–Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, for example was scorned by other artists for his commercialism when he created what are now considered iconic images. And Alphonse Mucha tried to distance himself, later in life, from the Art Nouveau style he helped create with his marvelous posters.
|Budget Priorities speaks to the school-to-prison pipeline.|
Ricardo Levins Morales, by contrast, has embraced the art of the poster-style image in his own unique way. The artist/activist has turned it into what he calls “medicinal art.” What does that mean?
|History’s Perspective offers hope in an unjust world.|
“when I work with any community I start with a diagnosis,” he explains in his online biography. “I ask what it is that keeps this group of people from knowing their power and acting on it. Not what has been done to them but wounds, fears or ways of thought keep folks immobilized.”
|We Are the Mainstream|
His work embraces social justice, the environment, empowerment for a variety of minority groups, and labor issues. I’ve collected a “mini-gallery” of some of my favorites here, but you can see many, many more wonderful pieces at his Ricardo Levins Morales Art Studio website.
IMAGES: Many thanks to the Ricardo Levins Morales Art Studio for all of the images shown in this post. I’ve linked each back to a page where you can purchase the image if you wish. Many are available in at least two formats.