Rivers of the World

Photo: Ed Stone

Rivers of the World is an international art and education project delivered in partnership with the British Council that connects pupils around the globe to their local river through environmental, economic and cultural learning and themes. 

The two-year programme involves the pupils in the first year learning about their local river and in the second about a river in another country. Rivers of the World encourages young people to explore and reflect on local and global issues and perspectives to build the skills they need for life and work in a global society.

Working with an artist or designer, who has been trained by our lead artist Shona Watt, pupils learn and gather ideas that are channelled creatively into drawings, paintings, photographs and other visual media which ultimately result in the creation of large-scale work of art. The artwork is then curated and exhibited in partner schools outside the UK and along the River Thames walkway in September as part of Totally Thames.

Since its creation in 2005, Rivers of the World has been delivered in over twenty countries around the world including Egypt, Turkey, China, Hungary, Thailand, Brazil, Indonesia, France, United Arab Emirates, Mexico, South Korea, India,  South Africa, Bangladesh, Argentina, USA, Pakistan, Taiwan, and across the UK in London, Hull, Reading. 

  • “I really had a great time working on the Rivers of the World project, it built up my confidence and understanding of how to make use of the resources around us.”
    Andrew Mutuma, pupil, Kafue Boys Secondary School
  • “The project allowed the pupils to develop team-building skills and their understanding of other cultures. To have a practising artist come into schools and work with the students is a wonderful experience. Every time we come away with new ideas for projects. Quite a few of these students then go on to study Art GCSE and A-Level and all continue to talk about their experience of the workshops.”
    Carmen Hannaby, teacher, Coloma Convent Girls’ School, London
  • “This was a really interesting project. We got to know how to prevent river pollution and what sort of things can pollute rivers. ”
    B.G Thamasha Ravishni, pupil, Sri Jayawardenepura Balika Vidyalaya, Kotte, Sri Lanka

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