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Burnt Waters, A Response to Carlos Fuentes (2020)

Kyriaki Costa’s online project ‘Burnt Waters’

A residency funded by Energy Systems  Well Projects, British arts council and the Cyprus Ministry of Culture to learn new skills in creative technologies.


Writer: Kyriaki Costa

English Translation: Rhea Frangofinou

Copy editing: Stephanos Stephanides (English), Marianna Kokota (Greek)

Supporters: Energy Systems  Well Projects, Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs,

British arts council

I have always been interested in water and in flows of water. On seeing ‘Burnt Waters’ by Carlos Fuentes I picked it up on instinct, and was taken by surprise. Composed of a series of Janus faced stories of tragedy and loss, haunted by specters of the past, Burnt Waters narrates the deaths and rebirths of Mexico City - much like the phoenix rising from its ashes. I spent a long time with Fuentes’ writing, collecting things that related to ‘liquid’ and ‘movement’. 


The following short stories play on these notions of flow, continuity and change.  Functioning as an abstract epistolary narrative - the words in ‘Burnt Waters’ that relate to the liquid element have been reborn as new liquid fictions.  

Hunting for a Ghazal

Stephanos Stephanides

For Kyriaki Costa


Kyriaki says Carlos has no Fuentes

Only water burning in a yearning


An  icy fire  that sinks into the mire

Her desire to unclog the flow is dire


She asks me if I have a potion

Anything to help the motion


So I ghazal drops of spring water for my pleasure 

As I seek an elixir beyond measure 

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