Paul McBride, Danielle Lax, Isoke Craig
I think the painting of John Gast, “American Progress,” (1872) that you used at the end of your investigation on “Article 25”, tells a lot, which cannot be explained via words, especially in terms of “philanthropy”, “theory of progress” and politics of “Western Modernity”. May be, this “woman in white,” should enter into a direct dialogue with “Liberty Leading the People” (1830) by Eugène Delacroix.
From looking at the website it is explicitly stated that Article 25 is working in response to the Millennium Development Goals, which is an development standard established by the United Nations. Article 25 thus aligns architectural projects of building schools for education, clinics and hospitals for healthcare, and homes for stable refuge as part of this United Nations standard. It would be interesting to investigate what the benefits, stated or not, of achieving these goals are to a body such as the United Nations. As your quote from Ban Ki-Moon it is an alignment with ‘enlightened global business’ in an effort to “ensure that markets, commerce, technology and finance advance in ways that benefit economies and societies everywhere.” Is there any tracking of what reciprocal effects occur after intervention? Economically, socially?
Is there any dialogue against these ‘developments’? Do the people receiving such ‘aid’ speak out in support or opposition?
At times in your presentation of A25, I found it difficult to determine if texts were taken directly from A25 materials, or if they were your own rendering of the information. Just in terms of moving forward with projects we present in this more public forum, I think it is really important that we make such distinctions clear (and I know I could have done a better job of this in my own set of slides). These organizations already seem to have such well-developed and closed rhetorical loops; I wouldn’t want us to contribute to promoting the uncritical presentation of their “official” goals.
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