Interview Safi Graauw

Ieder jaar wordt er op Wereld Waterdag door de Verenigde Naties extra aandacht gevraagd voor de wereldwaterproblematiek. Op deze dag worden overheden en bedrijven opgeroepen om dit aan een breed publiek kenbaar te maken en in actie te komen. Ook Marie-Stella-Maris geeft deze maand nog meer aandacht aan het belang van water en roept haar klanten, partners en media op hetzelfde te

We gingen in Gesprek met Safi Graauw, regisseur met een achtergrond als aardwetenschapper en een fascinatie voor water.

Can you tell me more about your background as an earth scientist?

From a young age, I have always found nature fascinating. I was born in Suriname, a country where nature is central to daily life. When I moved to the Netherlands, that changed quite a bit. I went from a country where buildings were often no taller than 3 stories, to a country with gray weather, highways, and 12-story apartment buildings. That had quite an impact on me. Fortunately, I found solace in television. I enjoyed watching National Geographic and Discovery. But many of those programs often ended with a bleak picture. "Things are going well for the elephants, but: 'The Human'." At the age of 8, I decided I wanted to do something about it. That's where my long journey began, eventually leading me to complete a Research Master's in Earth Sciences. And now, I make films, among other things, about nature.

"It was evidence to me that water serves as the foundation for much of the life we are privileged to witness on Earth."

What is the origin of water?

Water did not originate on Earth by itself. Our planet was bombarded by a large number of enormous space rocks containing large amounts of ice crystals (and therefore water) during its formation (meteorites and comets). These meteorites and comets gifted us our oceans. We could see water, and therefore life, as a gift from the universe. A gift that we, however, don't always handle well.

What is the importance of water?

Water is the cornerstone of all life. Life as we know it can hardly exist without water. It is the foundation for everything we see, everything we make, and everything we use. From the jeans we wear to the cars we drive. Water remains one of the most essential natural resources on Earth. Two-thirds of the Earth is covered in water, but only 10% of that water is drinkable for us. And for our households here in the West, this cosmic gift is available with just a twist of a knob. Personally, I hope that this awareness will eventually sink in deeply.

What fascinates you about water?

Water is the essence of all life on Earth. We ourselves consist mostly of water. The majority of organisms we know on Earth use water or are made up of water. Water has incredibly interesting properties.

Can you name a place where water has had the most impact on you?

I once sat on a rock in Southeast Kenya overlooking a lake. Elephants, giraffes, hippos, and buffaloes came in and out of the lake. Water lilies and all kinds of other plants grew in the lake. Each organism used the water in its own way. I cherished that moment and stored it forever. It was proof to me that water is the basis for much of the life we get to witness on Earth. At that moment, I felt the power of water.

"Our growing awareness and measures (provided we adhere to them) certainly offer a future when it comes to water on Earth. But we must genuinely strive for it."

Do you have any tips for being mindful about water usage?

There are hundreds of ways to save water, but what's most important is your mindset. We have important political goals for 2030 and 2050, especially regarding water. I think it's crucial for all of us to realize that this is within our own control. Create an awareness, a mindset that considers our immediate environment, and you'll naturally find the right measures that work for you.

What else can people do (at home)?

Think about how you use water, use a water-saving showerhead. Make sure the dishwasher is full when you turn it on. Don't shower for too long. And don't brush your teeth in the shower but rather, for example, after you finish. These are just a few examples.

You use many bright colours in this series and work in general. What is your relationship with colour?

I work with colours as a sense of emotion that we see, and I familiarize myself with exciting and vividly pleasing colours. Nature always adds some aesthetics. I continually try to understand color theory rather than play around with them.

If people are interested in your work, where can they find you?
They can contact me through my Instagram: @prince.cartiee or my website: