Magazine article Foreign Policy

The Waters Beneath

Magazine article Foreign Policy

The Waters Beneath

Article excerpt

In May 2009, a truck rolled through the Sheikh Yasin camp in Mardan, Pakistan's "city of hospitality," where thousands of people had fled following one of the country's military offensives against the Taliban. If water was a scarce commodity to this refugee community, ice was a luxury. And it was worth fighting for: A single block could refrigerate whatever perishables the displaced had secured for their families.

Over the past 10 years, Hungarian photo-journalist Balazs Gardi has explored how something as basic as water has become a source of global conflict. But his work focuses on more than just environmental catastrophes and humanitarian challenges; exposing corporate interests--the massive bottled-water industry and the plastic waste it creates--is another layer of his project. When it comes to water, he asks, "Who produces it? Who owns it? And who profits from it? …

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