International Conference Water Imaginaries

Event Serial81111
Event TypeConferences
Event Date from2020-03-25 to 2020-03-26
Event Categories
Location Meknes, Morocco

International Conference Water Imaginaries

Moulay Ismaïl University, The Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences of Meknes And The Literature and Communication Research Group In partnership with the C.R.E.R.E., The Hermeneutics and Transmission team, the Catholic Institute of Toulouse, Organize an international conference on March 25 and 26, 2020 under the theme: “Water imaginaries”.

 “Water is the master of fluid language, of smooth language, of continuous language, continued language which softens the rhythm, which gives uniform matter to different rhythms. We will therefore not hesitate to give full meaning to the expression that says the quality of a fluid and lively poetry, a poetry that flows from the source.” BACHELARD, G. (1942), Water and Dreams, José Corti Bookstore, p.209.


Water is at the heart of life. More than that, it is the origin of life. Man, since its creation, has maintained an unwavering relationship with this material. Water, indeed, has haunted the imagination of man in all civilizations and in all cultures. A source of life, but also a means of destruction and devastation, water has always aroused in humans multiple, even contradictory, feelings. It is associated with creation and life.

It is linked to transformation and metamorphosis. It symbolizes fertility and fertility. It is a gift from God, but can become a most destructive means of punishment. It is a means of purification and escape. It is the link between the material world and the immaterial world, the sensitive world and the marvelous world

In ancient Greece, and among philosophers, notably Democritus, Empedocles, Heracles, Thales and Socrates, water is one of the four elements that found the universe. Thales even saw in this matter the first element that founds everything. This theory was developed and has been applied to other disciplines, including cosmology, biology, medicine and even dietetics at Hippocrates, among others.

In Greco-Roman mythology, a considerable number of Gods and Goddesses originate from the waters. Thus, for example, Ocean, which represents the water which surrounds the world, married Tethys, who is none other than the embodiment of the “feminine” fertility of the sea. From this union were born the river gods and the Oceanids which represent streams and springs.

Poseidon (Neptune, among the Romans), after the victory of the Olympians, is declared supreme sovereign of the Seas, the Oceans, the Rivers, the Sources, the Lakes. Amphitrite, daughter of Nérée and wife of Poseidon, always appears, in the company of several marine deities, on her sea chariot. Aphrodite (Venus among the Romans), daughter of Ouranos and goddess of love and fertility, was born from the foam of the waves. Besides, the latter obtained immortality from her son, Aeneas, who drowned in the Numicus river. And the list is long.

In the Judeo-Christian tradition, water is present with force. In Genesis (1,1) and before the creation of the world, a spirit (of God) leaned “over the waters. God also commands “Let the waters swarm with a swarm of living beings.”

The symbols of water as a purifying element flourish in the biblical text. Moses had to wash his body and clothes to receive the divine Law. In Psalm 55 of the Vulgate, “it is water that cleanses the sins of the world.”

In the New Testament, Saint John the Baptist administers baptism to Christ in the waters of the Jordan River. There are many rites of purification by water, in this case in the case of ablution, sprinkling or immersion. Let us remember that the fish was the major symbol of primitive Christianity: “We, small fish, like our Fish, Christ Jesus, we are born in water and we are saved only by staying in water“, writes Tertullian.

Water is not only linked to Judeo-Christian rituals or the stories of iconic prophets, including Moses and Jesus Christ, but it also appears in their metaphorical language. Jesus in the New Testament, for example, says, “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never be thirsty again: the water I give him becomes in him a source of gushing water in eternal life.”

It should be noted, moreover, that in the Judeo-Christian tradition, water is not only an element which allows man to purify himself and reach a rank of the most important, but it is one means by which God’s punishment is carried out. It was by water that the disbelievers were punished by God in the days of Noah. It is also through her that the pharaoh is drowned and the people of Israel are saved.

This same symbolism of water is found among Muslims with some differences of course. In Islam, water is the source of life: “From water, We have made everything alive ”declares God in the Surah of the Prophets (v-30). God thus created Adam from wet earth. To save Ismail and his mother Agar, God made the source of zamzam arise from the ground, in the middle of the desert.

Like Moses and Jesus Christ, who worked miracles with water, the prophet Mohamed raised from his fingers the water that was used to quench his thirsty companions. Likewise, if Moses defeated his enemy the pharaoh near water, the prophet Mohamed won his first victory near the wells of Badr.

During the resurrection, in the Sunnah, the bodies will be resurrected thanks to a regenerating rain. The faithful believers and before entering Paradise will drink water from the very hand of the Prophet Mohamed so as not to be thirsty any more. At the bottom of Paradise rivers flow. And there too the list is long.

It should also be noted that water has also caught the attention of artists from all fields and from all eras. There are those, especially the romantics, who have devoted a significant part of their production to describing the beauty of this material, its transparency, its clarity, its clarity, its runoff, its flicker, its lapping, the feeling of well-being. that it provides, the reveries it triggers, etc.

Others, especially the baroque poets, the symbolists or the directors of disaster films, have emphasized its relationship with melancholy, death, suicide, in short, what Gaston Bachelard called “fatal reveries” or have highlighted its destructive force.

Others still, insisted on its symbolic dimension and highlighted its fertilizing, purifying, metamorphosing, miraculous, regenerative, marvelous virtues, etc.

Gaston Bachelard, who devoted a significant part of his reflection to water, saw that it represents the fundamental substance that structures all other substances. “She assimilates so much substance exclaims this philosopher! She draws so many essences from her! It receives equally constrained materials, sugar and salt.

It soaks up all the flavors, all the smells. We therefore understand that the phenomenon of the dissolution of solids in water, is one of the main phenomena of this naive chemistry which remains the chemistry of common sense and which, with little dream, is the chemistry of poets. (تعيين الصورة البارزة للمقالةBachelard, G. (1942), L’Eau et les Rêves, José Corti, p.110.)

The aim of the international conference that we are organizing is to explore the imaginations of cultures and artists in order to identify the various symbolic representations of water. No temporal or spatial area will be privileged.

The object of this conference could be declined under several axes, in this case:

-Water imaginations and religions
-Water and myth
-Representation of water in literature
-Representation of water in the arts
-Water and philosophy
-Water and development

Scientific committee:

Bernadette Rey Mimoso-Ruiz – Rabiâa Aadel- Driss Ait Zemzami -Sadik Alaoui Madani -Mokhtar Belarbi-Imad Belghit -Bouchra Benbella-Driss Benlarbi-Atmane Bissani-Mohamed El Bouazzaoui- Mohamed El Kandoussi-Hind Lahmami – Hassan Manouzi- Hassanoust Ouhadi- Ali Rahali -– Driss Ridouani- Mohamed Semlali

Steering committee :

Driss Aït Zemzami- Rabiâa Aadel-Mokhtar Belarbi- Imad Belghit-Bouchra Benbella-Driss Benlarbi–Toufiq ElAjraoui- Mohamed El Bouâzzaoui- Abdelali Hebbaj- Hind Lahmami -Hassan Manouzi-Mohamed Laouidat- Sadik Alaoui Madani- Driss Ridouani- Hassana Zbir -Nisrine ElAdouldi

Time limit :

Abstracts of communications (300 words in Word 12 single-spaced format) and a short CV must be sent before February 25, 2020 to the following address: The scientific committee’s responses will be communicated before March 05, 2020.

Date and place of the conference:

The symposium will be held on March 24, 25 and 26, 2020 at the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences in Meknes-Morocco.

Language of the conference:

Arabic, French and English

NB. Transportation and accommodation costs are the responsibility of the participants.