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Omiwatari: Documentary Screening and Dialogue on the Cultural Losses of Climate Change

Omiwatari depicts the first year in memory that Lake Suwa, site of a millennia-old phenomenon, remained ice-free all winter. The post-industrial landscapes of Japan’s rust belt bear witness to the price we pay for progress and our remaining possibilities to adapt to those losses. Within the next 50 years, the gods of this lake, whose annual reunion across the ice brought good fortune and balance between humans and nature, will never meet again. We are the cause, and it is up to us to find a way forward for ourselves.


Sapna Sharma, Department of Biology, York University
Zeesy Powers, filmmaker


Omiwatari is based on the research of Dr. Sapna Sharma and in collaboration with Mr. Kiyoshi Miyasaka, chief priest of the Tenaga Jinga shrine. It is presented as part of the 2023 World Water Day Conference.


A dialogue on the cultural losses of climate change and a Q&A will follow the screening.


Presented with the support of the Sharma Lab, Department of Biology, Lassonde School of Engineering and the York Centre for Asian Research.