Waters of Hope, Rivers of Tears, Christian Cravo's photography

Christian Cravo Waters of Hope, Rivers of Tears

Amazonia, Riomadeira, 2004

Anecho, Benin, 1995

Brazil, Santos, 2004

Haiti, Sodo, 2001

Sodo, Haiti, 2007

India, Sagar, 2002

India, Sonepur, 2001

Haiti, Sodo, 2002

India, Allahabad, 2001

Varanasi, India, 2008

Artist's statement

In today’s world, the scientific concept of the evolution of life on Earth provides a limited appreciation of the role of water in our lives. This view needs to be revisited in order to broaden the reality of the facts: seeing water as a source of life, instead of just an infrastructural resource required for the well-being of all societies.

Since the very earliest times, when the four elements – water, earth, fire and air – were identified as vehicles for communicationwith the sacred, the sacramental use of water in baptismal ceremonies (religious initiations) and purification rites has given it a special place in the human imagination and the religious unconscious. In some cultures, water is used as a kind of link between humankind and the divine.

The aim of this project is to draw a visual parallel between religious expressions and the element of water in specific parts of the planet, such as West Africa, the Middle East, the Amazon and Southeast Asia – regions wherewater is essential to the religious, ethnic and cultural survival of their peoples. The Waters of Hope, Rivers of Tears project aims to use powerful images to portray the delicate ‘balance’ that still exists between humankind and nature, challenging “contemporary” people to see water as not just monetary merchandise or a political tool but the result of divine inspiration.

About the photographer


1974, Salvador, Brazil



Based in


About Christian Cravo

Christian Cravo is a self-taught photographer whose work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally. His photographs are featured in many significant collections worldwide such as the Museum of Modern Art, Salvador and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, New York, Museum de Arte Moderna, Salvador, Brazil, Musset for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark, El Museo del Barrio, New York. As well as his major publications Irredentos (USA 2000), Roma noire, Vile metisse (France 2005), Espiritoculto (Brazil 2006) his photographs have been featured in numerous books, magazines and catalogues. His work has been recognised through the award of scholarships and prizes including the Mother Jones Fund for Documentary Photography, (USA 2000); Bolsa Vitae de Artes, (Brazil 2000), the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, (USA 2001) and the Amherst Collaborative Production Award, (USA 2008).