Visual Arts as Development Communication - Challenging Development Concepts : Case study Baguio City, Philippines
Abstract: International Development and its aims are often contested in post-colonial discourses and by postcolonial thinkers. The fundamental concepts of development, as we see in the sector of aid and international development, steer the values, execution and evaluation of development projects across the globe, as well as national development policy. While international development theory has gone through several frameworks, the concepts that underpin ideas of development have remained the same. Economic growth and political liberalism dominate development priorities, from national to grassroots efforts, while shifts in development theory like the capability approach or well-being index are treated as an appendage, or secondary to the overall goals of economic growth.While development practice continues to focus on economic growth and battles with how to marry this with eradicating environmental and human suffering, art and culture provide a paradigm shift that gives us access to ways of being, relating and knowing that step outside of the extractive dimension. This research investigates how artists in the city of Baguio, Philippines have contributed to the development of the area, and what main concepts of progress they have promoted. Through these insights a new approach to culture and development is aimed to be conceived.
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