A new study launched by Norway’s University of Bergen has linked the role played by white paint to white supremacy around the globe.
The government awarded the university a $1.2 million grant for its research into How Norway Made the World Whiter” (NorWhite) to investigate “how white paint has contributed to white supremacy around the world.”
The project studies the Norwegian innovation of the white pigment titanium dioxide and argues how “Norway has played a globally leading role in establishing white as a superior color.”
NorWhite attempts to connect the topics of whiteness, mass exploitation of natural resources, and technological innovation in a single case study.
The project, led by architecture historian Ingrid Halland, proposes to explore how the white pigment titanium dioxide “not only led to an aesthetic desire for white surfaces, but was also connected to racist attitudes.”
The university project says that whiteness typically “is understood as cultural and visual structures of privilege” but offers “a distinctively different battleground for politics of whiteness in art and architecture.”
NorWhite has received funding from the Research Council of Norway and the companies Titania A/S and Kronos Tita, which mine titanium and produce the titanium white pigment, respectively.
In a recent paper titled “‘With-On’ White: Inconspicuous Modernity with and on Aesthetic Surfaces, 1910–1950,” Halland claimed the titanium white pigment “created conditions for the emergence of attitudes toward color that could be said to be socially toxic.”
The paper, co-authored with Marte Johnslien, Halland explores how titanium white furthered an attitude of colonialism and contributed to “systemic toxicity.”
The study is another example of ‘woke’ education making “whiteness” a focus.
Last year in the United States, Los Angeles Public Schools enforced the idea that “merit” and “individualism” were “white” concepts, calling for them to be questioned.
Watchdog group Judicial Watch published documents last year indicating the United States Military Academy at West Point was also taking hits at “whiteness” with its critical race theory-based curriculum.