The American Riad @ Hyperallergic
DETROIT—Many of us have joked at least once about having “first world problems,” with the implication being that people in places with weaker infrastructure have more serious worries. But this phrase ultimately reflects a certain kind of classism: it subtly reinforces notions of a global hierarchy in which developed nations provide outreach and aid to so-called “third world” countries, implying that the latter have little to offer in return.
In Detroit’s ever-changing North End neighborhood, a new artist-run development project is challenging this unbalanced power dynamic. Ghana ThinkTank is a radical international art collective that identifies so-called “first-world” problems in American communities, then submits these problems to think tanks it establishes in third-world locations. These remote think tanks then propose solutions, seeking to “develop the first world.”
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