in the project “light white” Some academics from the universities of Oslo and Bergen are studying the social and aesthetic effects of white paint. According to the researchers, Norway has played a leading role in promoting white as a “superior color”.
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Historically, producing pure white paint has posed many challenges. It wasn’t until the 1920s that two Norwegian chemists succeeded in synthesizing a harmless, colorfast, commercial paint. Fundamental discoveries have spread around the world in recent years and are now being implemented in the textile, plastics and construction industries, among others. “The overarching goal of NorWhite is to make a critical and visual assessment of a previously unexplored part of Norway’s innovation history that has brought light to the world,” said the professors.
Whiteness as a symbol of privilege
Whiteness is one of the most important social and political concerns of our day. Within and outside of academia, there are universal acts of resistance and regret to deal with our racial past. In major studies of whiteness in art and architectural history, whiteness is understood as cultural and visual constructs of privilege.” The academics also write that “whiteness is a cultural and social issue associated with skin color, privilege, and systemic exclusion.” The research was funded by the Research Council of Norway, a national government body .
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