The Ark of Kratie is a speculative project, commenting on a threatening environmental, economical & political problem in Cambodia:
At the moment 80% of the Cambodian population doesn’t have access to electricity while the rest is facing the highest electricity prices in the world. This results in devastating plans for the future: There are 40 hydro power dams planned to be build until 2035 along the Lower Mekong, which will break the river into a series of lakes & reservoirs. This will have disastrous effects on the biodiversity of one of the largest rivers world-wide, its fishing industry, as well as the country’s tourism & agriculture.
Due to the flooding, more than 100.000 people will have to be relocated, a very similar scenario to what happened after the world’s largest dam in China had been build.
A mass relocation will result in the destruction of social patterns, habits, traditions & culture.
Also, the investor driven dam projects, will leave the population in dependency on monopoly businesses from China. By doing so, Capitalism is threatening to repeat Cambodia’s recent history of just three decades ago under Pol Pot & the Khmer Rouge.
The Ark of Kratie is a strategy, rather than a design, for a self-initiated project by the people of rural Cambodia, hoping to inspire further communities to join in later. This so called grassroots notion is, in my eyes, absolutely crucial within the local mindset. A fishing town called Kratie, in the epicentre of the flooding, acts as an exemplary community for the structure about to inhabit the newly created lake.