Swati Dandekar, a filmmaker from Bangalore, visited UNSW in June with her documentary, Water and a City. UNSW hosted a special screening of the film along with a discussion, nibbles and networking at the UNSW School of Built Environment.

Situated in Bangalore, India’s IT capital, Water and a City traces the journey of water into and out of urban homes. It looks at how cities and city dwellers interact with water, access to water for the poor, the politics of water pricing, and urban India's continuous exploitation of natural resources. Hosted by Built Environment Lecturer Eva Lloyd, the evening was an opportunity to watch the film in its entirety, meet the filmmaker and discuss the challenges and possible solutions for cities that are desperate for more water. 

Filmmaker and film educator Swati Dandekar has a special interest in creating visual narratives of the living history around her; of people, places, ideas, traditions, practices, and the continuous process of change. Her past work is a series of essay films that explore the relationship between place, people, resources and the institutions that govern these. Water and a City was widely screened in India and abroad, and is part of the curriculum for courses in water management and development studies.

UNSW PhD Candidate and Sessional Lecturer and Tutor in the Environment and Society Research Group, Taylor Coyne, was one of dozens who attended the film screening. He says that the film itself and the fascinating conversations afterwards left him with many ideas for his teaching.

"For the last four years, I’ve been giving a specific lecture for a course we have on offer in in the School of Humanities and Languages’ Environment and Society Group: ARTS2240 Environment, Sustainability and Development. The course touches on a collection of themes relating to how socio-environmental dilemmas are entangled in a range of complex, multiscalar political and economic agendas. The week I teach is all about water and the uneven distribution and access of water, especially in developing countries. I have the ability to prescribe texts for that week and will definitely be using Swati’s film as a resource for students. It had so much to offer, and I think students would engage well with its themes. Thanks to the GWI and Eva Lloyd from Built Environment for hosting the event. I look forward to anything similar in the future."