Research duo Marte Johnslien and Ingrid Halland not only look positively at the attention they have received, but are thrilled to have received NOK 12 million from the Research Council for their project.
The Research Council has awarded NOK 12 million for a project where, among other things, research will be conducted on how Norway can make the world whiter. News of the project reached some of the largest media outlets in the world.
This week, the project was discussed by American news giants Fox News And New York Postas well as many other international media outlets, and researchers Marte Johnslien and Ingrid Halland have recently examined what it is like to be in the media spotlight.
“Norwegian authorities fund research to find out if white paint is racist,” is the headline of the Fox News article, which vaguely describes the purpose of the research project.
“We believe that too much media attention has given an inaccurate portrayal of the project,” write Marte Johnslien and Ingrid Halland in an email to Khrono.
Actually, we are talking about two different projects, Material white color And How Norway made the world whiter. The last project, which has received the most attention, will explore, among other things, how Norwegians innovate
White titanium It has transformed surfaces in art, architecture, and design, so that the world appears whiter, brighter, and seemingly cleaner.
Another point that received attention was an advertisement for a research post linked to the project, in which it was written, among other things, that whiteness in art and architecture can be theorized against racist attitudes and postcolonial theory.
Based on this announcement, a misunderstanding arose about the focus of the project, Johnslien and Halland believe.
– Yes, because this is only a minor part of a broad research project where we use art as an entry point to understanding complex topics around nature, technology and visual culture, the duo stresses.
Last week the two came out Morgenbladet He defended the project, as well as explaining what it was really about.
In front of Khrono, Johnslien and Halland convey that they are primarily interested in shedding light on the story of how the mineral Norwegian ilmenite formed the basis for an industrial patent that changed the way the world looks.
The headlines in the case of Fox News and other media are inaccurate. We never claimed that the project would investigate whether white people were racist, write Johnslien and Helland.
“However, in the process of examining the archive material, racist advertising material from the 1920s came to light, which we believe is important to take seriously as part of the larger story,” they further assert.
Criticisms of FRP
The newspaper online He mentioned the project in early January after Are Søberg, better known as the Waste Ombudsman, came out and declared that allocating money to this project was the dumbest thing he had ever heard a state spend money on.
In the wake of Nettavisen’s article, German Parliament politician Himanshu Gulati (FrP) written question to Minister for Research and Higher Education Ola Borten Moe (Sp).
– Does the Minister think it is a reasonable use of research resources to spend several million taxpayer dollars on a research project on how Norway has made the world whiter, including how, among other things, Norwegian white paint could be linked to racist trends?
Borten Moe replied that the relevant research project has been evaluated by several independent international academic experts.
“According to my acquaintances, the application has received the highest score for scientific quality,” the minister wrote in his reply to Gulati.
– That I or other politicians should be judged on the independent professional assessments made in the exhaustive and well-organized selection process is out of the question and, in principle, very unfortunate. Political debate over research is good, but I think everyone agrees that assessments of the academic quality of individual projects are not politics, Burton-Moe continued.
– looking forward
– It’s wonderful that there is so much international interest in the Norwegian story of titanium white and how it affected the modern world.
– But we consider it problematic when the presentation of a complex research project is reduced to incorrect addresses, write Haaland and Joncelin in the e-mail to Khrono, before we conclude:
We look forward to getting started and hope to tell a subtle and complex story about a relatively unknown Norwegian industrial adventure and how white was important to the field of art and architecture.
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