The Water Festival – Can art be a catalyst for change?

On Monday evening, 19th March 2018, The Universal Sea opened the first Berlin Water Festival. It was running from 19th-23rd March 2018 at Betahaus Berlin, a co-working space located in Kreuzberg. We were invited by the like-minded festival organizer, the fundraising and green online platform Plan A to celebrate the WORLD WATER DAY.

Water Festival


The evening started with two short presentations by Plan A, and by The Universal Sea team.
Following, an artist discussion on the theme of water and upcycling art gave the opportunity to five invited Berlin-based creatives to speak about their concepts. Each of them works with different types of media and material, spanning from glass, photography, video to performance and sound art.


The Water Festival

Mona Lüders, Daria Wartalska, Corinna Rosteck and Eleonora Bidiville


“Can Art be a Catalyst for Change?” was the title of the panel, the reply was given by sustainable product designer Daria Wartalskaphotographer Mona Lüders, and artist Corinna Rosteck.

The talk started with artist Corinna Rosteck. To her, the purity of water is the essence of life, she inspired the audience by telling how important it is to preserve such an important natural resource. In addition, Rosteck explained that it is essential as an artist to step out of the creative circle, located usually in big cities, and reach inhabitants of smaller towns or villages in order to get full-power actions from every citizen of the world.



Then, Daria Wartalska took over. She emphasized the importance of raising awareness on a larger scale instead of focusing only on marketing her products. The Ph.D. candidate,  puts a clear point on the educational aspect, to learn how to produce differently and more sustainably by using the amount of material already created. She started collaborating with local suppliers, teaching them the art of up-cycling stock and waste.

Ultimately, the discussion moved to a call for action by Mona Lüders, who is denouncing trash with trash. The young photographer’s works can be interpreted as a social analysis of people’s lifestyle. She uses actual trash collected by volunteers and sticks it between double glass windows. The result shows an incredible stained glass effect. She involves people in her creation in order to gain a stronger and a more active impact. Mona Lüders is always looking for new waste to work with, therefore if you are willing to help her, contact us at to be part of her projects! 

Water Festival

Stefan Röslmair

Following the panel, sound artist Stefan Röslmair performed an astonishing live set putting everyone in an almost meditative state. The evening was later concluded with a mini video by multi-media artist Timo Kahlen. His video “Adhesion” reminded us that even though we throw away trash out of sight, in the way we do it every day, it still keeps sticking to us. We must find new ways to recycle and consume in a wiser way to really provoke a change.

During the whole duration of the Water Festival, a selection of artist’s submissions from The Universal Sea open call was shown.