The project

Those who do not speak the complicated financial language of economists and bankers are excluded from the social debate about our monetary system. This stands in the way of addressing problems such as the growing inequality and recurring financial crises. This is why cartographer Carlijn Kingma – in collaboration with financial economists Thomas Bollen and Martijn van der Linden – made the world of money accessible with metaphors and architectonic illustrations. If you compare money to water, then our monetary system is the irrigation system that waters the economy. But our society’s waterworks are not a natural phenomenon: what they look like is a political choice. Kingma visualises how our monetary system works and sketches possibilities for reform.


Expert panel

Carlijn Kingma delivers excellent illustrative and journalistic work here, executed in collaboration with two economists. By using water as a metaphor and exploring the details, she questions the monetary system in a way that everyone can understand. It is impressive that people have been made to think through workshops at various banks. The Waterworks of our Money also reaches a wide audience thanks to the collaboration with Follow the Money. The richness of themes and the visual narrative are almost addictive – like a screen you cannot look away from. The smart animations based on the illustrations add a lot and really bring the subjects to life.

— “The Waterworks of our Money clearly maps out how our monetary system really works, in Carlijn Kingma’s signature, virtuoso drawing style.”

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