Norwegian Gov’t Funds Research To Find Out If White Paint Is Racist

Gallery workers display an artwork titled 'Composition: No. II, with Yellow, Red and Blue' by Dutch painter Piet Mondrian during a photocall at Christies auction house in central London on April 22, 2021. - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

At a glance

  • Is white paint racist? Norway’s University of Bergen is exploring that question, asking how the aesthetic of white paint helped the nation contribute to white supremacy and helped “[make] the world whiter.”
  • “Whiteness is not only a cultural and societal condition tied to skin color, privileges, and systematic exclusion, but materialize everywhere around us,” a rundown of the study read.
  • “Although Norway is not a conventional colonial power, this project will show how the country has played a globally leading role in establishing white as a superior color,” it said. “Until now, however, this story has been lesser known to scholars and the public.”

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